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m204899 10-07-2012 01:28 PM

Furnace Won't Light
I'm having trouble lighting my furnace. The pilot light won't stay lit as I turn the know from "light" to "on". I have tested my thermocouple and it seems to be working. My gas valve is an Essex SX-242N. How many millivolts are required to keep the pilot light lit?? Is there any way to check the gas valve to see if it is working properly?? Thanks.

biggles 10-07-2012 01:40 PM

if the thermocouple we're working the pilot would hold and stay on as you turn from PILOT to ON remove it from the top of the valve clean with rubbing alk Q-TIP then swab the opening on the valve where it screws into...if the same ned a new TC..if you have a digital meter remove the TC and put it into a burner on the stove red the end in MIllivolt setting..see if it is producing MILLI to hold valve..

how 10-07-2012 02:54 PM

Getting a good millivolt output on a thermocouple on a stove won't tell you if its a weak or mis directed pilot plame. Look to see if the pilot flame fully envelopes the tip of the thermocouple.
If it glows hot , the pilot flame should be OK. Use at least a minute of flame time.

Those essex valves are a problem. Often the pilot solinoid will engage if after a minute of the pilot being lit and while the control knob is still being depressed, take a pair of plyers and rap on the metal base of the valve.

In the field, only checking a thermocouple while it's lit & connected to the gas valve with an adapter gives us the strength of the thermocouple/ pilot assy and whether the gas valve solinoid is strong enough with a timed and electrical lock out test..

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