How To Clean The Burner Manifold Assembly On A Malfunctioning Gas Water Heater

My blog focuses on teaching homeowners more about their plumbing, so that you can enjoy what you have and troubleshoot new problems.

How To Clean The Burner Manifold Assembly On A Malfunctioning Gas Water Heater

2 March 2016
 Categories: , Blog


The burner manifold assembly on a gas water heater contains a few different parts that all help provide the heat needed to warm the water coming into the tank. Problems with the assembly can lead to a lack of hot water, a yellow and lazy pilot light, and a lack of gas coming into the system.

Problems with the burner assembly sometimes occur due to a simple buildup of dirt. If you have some do-it-yourself repair experience working around gas and electricity, the cleaning task is something you can handle yourself. If the thought makes you at all nervous, call in a plumber for a quick cleaning and general maintenance tune-up.

Things You Need:

  • Owner's manual
  • Screwdriver
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Clean kitchen sponge
  • Stiff brush
  • Can of compressed air

Step 1: Study Your Manual

You want to study your owner's manual to find out the exact location of the burner manifold assembly and how the parts all fit together. There are quite a few parts attached to the assembly that will need to be disconnected so that you can pull the assembly free.

Make sure you turn off all electricity and gas to the unit before attempting any type of maintenance whatsoever. Assemble all of your needed supplies so that you don't have to keep leaving the area once you have the unit open.

Step 2: Remove the Burner Manifold Assembly

Remove the screws to the access panel covering the burner manifold assembly. Locate the manifold tube and push it down gently in order to start freeing other parts around it. Now you should be able to easily disconnect the pilot tube and the thermocouple.

You will also want to remove the wire to the ignition button. Check to make sure nothing else is still attached to the burner assembly. If the assembly is clear, pull it out of the unit to begin cleaning.

Don't know which part is which even with the help of your manual? Call in a plumber for help.

Step 3: Cleaning the Assembly

Unscrew the burner portion from the assembly and clean it first. Use regular soap and water and a clean kitchen sponge to clean the burner thoroughly. Set the burner aside to dry while you work on the rest of the assembly.

Use a stiff brush to clean off any dirt and debris on the rest of the manifold assembly. You can then go over the assembly with a can of compressed air to make sure all of that loosened dirt gets completely off of the assembly.

Once the burner has dried, you can start putting the water heater back together. Work in the opposite direction as the unhooking process making sure that you screw the burner back onto the manifold before returning the assembly to its spot. Ensure all of the wires and tubes are reattached properly.

Close up the unit completely, turn the gas and electricity back on, and give the water heater a test run. Still experiencing problems? Call in a plumber, like those at Johnny Pipewrench LLC and other locations, for some water heater repair.

About Me
Enjoying Your Plumbing

When you think about the fixtures in your home that keep you happy, you probably take that bathtub, sink, and toilet for granted. However, if you have ever been asked to live without one of these crucial fixtures, you probably quickly discovered how important they really were. That bathtub can give you relief after a long day at the gym, and that toilet can become the most important plumbing device in your home if you come down with the stomach flu. My blog focuses on teaching homeowners more about their plumbing, so that you can enjoy what you have and troubleshoot new problems.