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Old 07-24-2013, 09:36 PM   #1
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Gas Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps turning off


I can light the pilot light without any problem and get a good flame going in the gas water heater (2005) but then it just turns off by itself at some point. I google online and it seems the thermocouple is a recommended replacement... but it is not clear if this is only when the pilot will not light or also in my scenario of lighting but then going out.

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Old 07-24-2013, 09:49 PM   #2
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Gas Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps turning off


Cheap to try and see. It is either the thermo couple or the gas control valve.

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Old 07-24-2013, 09:50 PM   #3
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Gas Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps turning off


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I can light the pilot light without any problem and get a good flame going in the gas water heater (2005) but then it just turns off by itself at some point. I google online and it seems the thermocouple is a recommended replacement... but it is not clear if this is only when the pilot will not light or also in my scenario of lighting but then going out.
Probably a good idea to replace the thermocouple at this point. There could be other causes, but that's the most likely culprit. Go from there.

You could clean the old one with some fine grit sand paper and see if that helps any. Not really hard just enough to get the carbon off.
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:54 PM   #4
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Gas Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps turning off


Yep, if the thermocouple is weak then it can go out, but if the pilot flame is weak then it doesn't matter how new the thermocouple is, it is likely that it will not stay lit. Is your pilot flame nice and strong with a pretty solid blue color or is it kind of weak and yellow and lazy?

If you are comfortable taking apart the pilot assembly and cleaning it out then do so but be advised it isn't tough to screw up the pilot orifice. If you are not comfortable doing this then call someone that knows what they are doing. Gas is one of those things that if you are unsure of your skills then don't mess with it and call a pro. You can then be assured the job is done right.
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:17 PM   #5
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Gas Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps turning off


The flame is very nice and blue.

I just noticed that the vent is very hot. The water heater is next to the A/C in the garage and I saw a lot of condensation on the A/C which I had never seen before.

I am thinking now that something might be blocking the vent. Would that cause the gas water heater to shut itself off?

It is dark now but I shut the water heater off and will go up and investigate tomorrow in daylight.

I have some large trees. I guess I need to go up with a flash light and look into the vent?

Should I use a thermometer to gauge the temperature of the vent and any parameters to see if it is overheating and if that is the culprit?

Thanks.

Last edited by SpaceCoast; 07-24-2013 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:15 AM   #6
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Gas Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps turning off


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The flame is very nice and blue.

I just noticed that the vent is very hot. The water heater is next to the A/C in the garage and I saw a lot of condensation on the A/C which I had never seen before.

I am thinking now that something might be blocking the vent. Would that cause the gas water heater to shut itself off?

It is dark now but I shut the water heater off and will go up and investigate tomorrow in daylight.

I have some large trees. I guess I need to go up with a flash light and look into the vent?

Should I use a thermometer to gauge the temperature of the vent and any parameters to see if it is overheating and if that is the culprit?

Thanks.
The vent being hot is normal when hwh is on and running.

Definately make sure the vent is not blocked. This could cause your pilot to go out as well or worse let carbon monoxide in. Do an outside visual inspection from the ground like you said in the daytime. Make sure no trees, bees, birds nest, etc. are covering it up. No need for a thermometer you could just do a smoke test or feel with your hand to see if it is venting properly. Use a candle/match, if flame goes up, your good. If it doesn't or pushes away, then there is propbably a blockage somewhere.

Also, there are filters on the side or bottom of your hwh, make sure they are clean and not clogged as well. This could also make your pilot go out.

Just a suggestion, I recommend you or have a pro do a real good cleaning on your burner assy/tank flush. Your hwh is about 13 years old or so, may just need a new theromocouple and real good cleaning for now. Go from there. Thanks.

Check out video, may be helpful.

how to check hwh vent

Last edited by jmon; 07-25-2013 at 09:36 AM. Reason: more information maybe helpful
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Old 07-25-2013, 05:05 PM   #7
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Gas Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps turning off


The only thermocouple they sell in Lowes does not match what I have. I took everything apart. There is a rubber piece that the pilot wire, ignition wire and thermocouple go through. The thermocouple that I bought does not fit into that rubber piece. Any tricks? I can post pictures if necessary.
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:25 PM   #8
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Gas Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps turning off


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The only thermocouple they sell in Lowes does not match what I have. I took everything apart. There is a rubber piece that the pilot wire, ignition wire and thermocouple go through. The thermocouple that I bought does not fit into that rubber piece. Any tricks? I can post pictures if necessary.
Depending on your type/brand of hwh, you may have to purchase the entire burner assembly which will include the thermocouple already installed. I know a lot of sears kenmore miser series are that way.

What brand do you have? Pics are always helpful, please post a couple pics so we can see what you got there. Maybe someone can figure it out. Thanks.

Last edited by jmon; 07-25-2013 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:30 PM   #9
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Gas Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps turning off


I was able to get the new thermocouple into the rubber piece by cutting the rubber piece from the outside into the hole which allowed me to put the thermocouple wire through it. There were three holes in the piece (pilot/thermo/igniter). Now I have it on and it is working but I am scared that I did something wrong and the house is going to explode! I really wish I just called a professional. I will post pics in a minute.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:50 PM   #10
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Gas Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps turning off


You can see where the rubber thingy was cut here:



This is what the old thermocouple looked like. I cut to remove it from the three-hole rubber piece above:



This is what I replaced it with. It did not have a bracket and I was unable to remove the old thermocouple from the old bracket. I tired my best to position it in a way that it was not touching anything.


Last edited by SpaceCoast; 07-25-2013 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:55 PM   #11
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Gas Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps turning off


Can someone please explain to me what is going on with the thermocouple and that circular thing in the bracket?
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:50 PM   #12
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Gas Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps turning off


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Can someone please explain to me what is going on with the thermocouple and that circular thing in the bracket?
Call a pro.

The new thermocouple you used, is not the correct thermocouple for your hwh. That circulor thing, is a thermo cut off (TCO) safety device. It's never good to bypass safety. It's there for a reason. Now you have disabled it. In the interest of safety, even though you have it working, I would not use your hwh until you get the correct thermocouple and get it checked out by a pro.

The pro will use the model/serial number located on the hwh to find the correct thermocouple for your hwh. As stated above, some hwh will not take the standard over the counter thermocouple, sometimes you have to buy the entire burner assembly. Your hwh may be one of them. You cannot modify this on your own. Thanks.

Last edited by jmon; 07-26-2013 at 08:58 AM. Reason: more information
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:55 PM   #13
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Gas Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps turning off


Found it online for $70. Better safe than sorry. Thanks.
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:39 AM   #14
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Gas Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps turning off


You may have additional problems. That thermal disc is a safety. May have a problem with your gas valve/thermostat.
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:50 AM   #15
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Gas Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps turning off


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Found it online for $70. Better safe than sorry. Thanks.
That's for sure, you can't put a price on you and your family's safety. Great, good job. Glad everything worked out for you spacecoast. Thanks.


Last edited by jmon; 07-26-2013 at 09:05 AM.
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