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Where is the high-temperature sensor located on Whirlpool natural gas water heater model #40T61-343?

The high-temperature sensor on a Whirlpool natural gas water heater model #40T61-343 is an essential safety component designed to monitor and regulate the water temperature inside the tank. Its primary function is to detect excessive water temperatures and shut off the gas burner or heating element if the temperature exceeds a safe limit. Here's how to locate and understand the high-temperature sensor on this specific model:

1. Turn Off the Gas Supply:
Before performing any work on your gas water heater, including locating the high-temperature sensor, ensure your safety by turning off the gas supply. Locate the gas shut-off valve and turn it to the "Off" position.
2. Allow the Water Heater to Cool:
Give the water heater some time to cool down before you start working on it. Hot water can cause burns, so it's crucial to ensure the tank is not scalding when you begin.
3. Access the Water Heater's Burner Compartment:
The high-temperature sensor is typically located within the burner compartment of your water heater. To access this compartment, you may need to remove a metal access panel or door. The location of this panel can vary depending on the specific model and design of your water heater.
4. Locate the Burner Assembly:
Inside the burner compartment, you will find the burner assembly, which includes the gas burner and various safety components, including the high-temperature sensor.
5. Identify the High-Temperature Sensor:
The high-temperature sensor is a small, disc-shaped or rectangular device that is typically mounted near the bottom of the water heater's tank. It is often secured to the tank with a metal bracket or clip.
The sensor is designed to monitor the temperature of the water in the tank. If the water temperature rises above a safe limit, the sensor will trigger a safety shutdown of the burner or heating element to prevent overheating.
6. Check for Wiring Connections:
The high-temperature sensor will have electrical wiring connections leading to it. These connections may include wires or terminals.
If you need to inspect or replace the high-temperature sensor, carefully examine the wiring connections to ensure they are secure and in good condition.
7. Replacing the High-Temperature Sensor (if necessary):
If you need to replace the high-temperature sensor due to malfunction or safety concerns, follow these steps:
a. Turn off the gas supply to the water heater.
b. Disconnect the electrical wires from the sensor. Make a note of their positions or take a photo to help with reconnection.
c. Remove the mounting bracket or clip securing the sensor to the tank.
d. Take out the old sensor and replace it with a new one of the same type and specifications.
e. Reattach the mounting bracket or clip and secure the new sensor in place.
f. Reconnect the electrical wires to the new sensor, ensuring proper alignment and tight connections.
g. Restore the gas supply, turn on the gas valve, and relight the pilot light following the manufacturer's instructions.
h. Monitor the water heater for proper operation and check for any error codes or issues.
8. Replace the Access Panel or Door:
After servicing or inspecting the high-temperature sensor, securely reattach the access panel or door that you removed earlier. Ensure it is sealed tightly to prevent dust or debris from entering the compartment.

It's important to note that the high-temperature sensor is a critical safety component of your water heater. If you suspect any issues with its operation or if it triggers frequent safety shutdowns, it's recommended to consult a qualified technician or plumber for inspection and repairs. Never attempt to bypass or disable the high-temperature sensor, as it plays a crucial role in preventing overheating and protecting your water heater from potential damage or safety hazards.
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