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How to replace burner assembly on A.O. Smith propane water heater?

Replacing the burner assembly on an A.O. Smith propane water heater is a task that requires attention to detail, safety precautions, and familiarity with gas appliances. If you're not experienced in working with gas appliances, it's highly recommended to consult with a professional plumber or technician. However, if you have the necessary skills and tools, here's a general overview of how to replace the burner assembly on an A.O. Smith propane water heater:

1. Safety First:
Safety is of paramount importance when working with gas appliances. Before you begin, follow these safety precautions:
Turn off the propane supply to the water heater at the gas shut-off valve.
Turn off the power to the water heater at the circuit breaker or disconnect switch.
Allow the water heater to cool down for several hours to prevent burns from hot water.
2. Gather Tools and Materials:
You'll need the following tools and materials for this job:
Replacement burner assembly (ensure it's compatible with your A.O. Smith propane water heater model).
Pipe wrenches (adjustable and pipe wrench).
Pipe thread sealant (Teflon tape or pipe dope).
Safety gloves and eye protection.
3. Access the Burner Assembly:
Access the burner assembly by removing the outer access panel or door on the water heater. This panel is usually secured with screws. Set it aside for reassembly later.
4. Disconnect the Propane Supply Line:
Use an adjustable pipe wrench to carefully disconnect the propane supply line that connects to the burner assembly. Be prepared for some residual gas to escape when you disconnect the line. Place a bucket or container underneath to catch any gas or water that may come out.
5. Remove the Old Burner Assembly:
The burner assembly is held in place by a bracket or screws. Remove any securing hardware and carefully lift out the old burner assembly. Pay close attention to how it's positioned and the orientation of the components, as you'll need to replicate this when installing the new assembly.
6. Install the New Burner Assembly:
Position the new burner assembly in the same orientation as the old one and secure it to the water heater using the same mounting bracket or screws.
7. Reconnect Propane Supply Line:
Reattach the propane supply line to the new burner assembly using an adjustable pipe wrench. Apply pipe thread sealant to the threads before making the connection. Ensure the connection is tight and secure.
8. Check for Leaks:
Turn on the propane supply and use a soap and water solution to check for gas leaks around the connections. Bubbles will form if there's a leak. If you detect a leak, immediately turn off the propane supply and recheck your connections.
9. Restore Power and Test:
Turn on the power to the water heater at the circuit breaker or disconnect switch. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for relighting the pilot and turning on the burner. Allow the water heater to operate for a while and check for proper heating and combustion. Make sure there are no unusual sounds or odors.
10. Monitor for a Few Days:
Keep an eye on the water heater for a few days to ensure it's functioning correctly and without issues. Check for any leaks or unusual behavior.
11. Reassemble and Secure:
Once you're satisfied that the new burner assembly is operating correctly, reassemble the outer access panel or door that you removed earlier. Ensure it's securely in place.

In conclusion, replacing the burner assembly on an A.O. Smith propane water heater is a complex task that involves gas connections and safety precautions. If you're not experienced with working on gas appliances, it's highly advisable to seek assistance from a professional plumber or technician to ensure the job is done correctly and safely. Gas-related work can be hazardous if not done correctly, so prioritize safety and follow manufacturer instructions.
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