HWH - I think we got lucky given what COULD have resulted..
Saving you all the details of the week long drama...
In short my mothers HWH pilot went out and I could not get it re-lit. Service guy came out and had to order parts.
Parts replaced, pilot lit for 6 hours, then it went out again. Service guy noted that the plastic platform/pad the HWH was sitting on was much to close to the bottom of the tank hence restricting air flow/breathability.
He nailed it.. 2 years ago this HWH tank was relocated by a well known company who replaced her furnace. They placed the HWH up on a plastic pad. Pad is about 2" high. Well, the weight of the HWH was finally too much for the plastic pad. The feet broke through.. the tank now rested on the floor and the top of the pad was flush with the bottom of the tank essentially choking out the pilot.
When I actually stepped back and thought about what could have happened I freaked... When the tank dropped, it could broke the copper (FLOOD)...the gas line (BOOM).. the exhaust pipe had shifted (CARDON MONOXIDE DEATH)...etc.. This situation could have been disastrous.
I will be placing a call today to the company who relocated the HWH. I simply want to make them aware of what happened so they stop using this plastic hollow core pad as a platform for HWHs (maybe they have since then).