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This morning I went to take a shower and there was no hot water. I went to the basement to check on the water heater, and found the exhaust blower is running continuously but no hot water is being produced.

The exhaust blower has been running for over hours now, but still no hot water. Every minute or so the water heater makes a clicking noise.

I guess I will have to have a repair guy come in and take a look at it. But it there something obvious I should be looking into first?

Also, is it OK just to leave the blower running for hours and hours, or should I unplug the heater?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'm guessing a high temperature switch has failed and needs to be replaced. I'd turn off the fuel source and power until it can be repaired to avoid wearing out the motor.

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Close enough. It turned out to be the gas feed valve had failed, so no gas was being fed to the burner. The repair guy also had to replace the igniter coil, since it had burned itself out trying to ignite every minute for hours. So your advice to turn off the power would have been good, if I had done it sooner :-\ –  Dave Isaacs May 16 '12 at 0:19
    
@DaveIsaacs Thanks for the follow up. We welcome self answers here, so if you want to post your findings as an answer, I'd be happy to upvote. –  BMitch May 16 '12 at 0:41
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