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Old 03-21-2011, 06:39 PM   #1
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LP Gas Water Heater Pilot intermittent...


Great forum, I'm glad I found it! On to my issue...

I have an LP Gas Water heater, 3.5 years old. Over the past year or year and half, I've had many problems keeping the pilot lit. I've read up a bit on it, and learned this can be the thermocouple because of over heating. So I keep as much of the dust, etc. as I can out of the vent area (it's in the laundry room) and I've even removed the burner assembly and cleaned all the debris off the top of the burner twice. After cleanings, sometimes I'll go a couple months without issue, and then it starts to occur again. I'll spend a week or more lighting it multiple times a day.

I haven't been able to correlate the instances of the pilot going out with any other, like clothes dryer running, hot/cold day, etc. It happens whenever it feels like it (at least that is what it seems, I know that's not true.)

Anyway, it's an off-brand from what I can tell, and the local ACE and Home Depot do not have parts, even though its new. I've considered replacing it outright with a GE or something just for that reason.

Can a thermocouple act "intermittently" like this?

Any help or ideas are greatly appreciated.

***Edit - sorry, the brand is AO Smith. Forgot to mention that.

BG
California City, CA

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Last edited by bretweir; 03-21-2011 at 06:44 PM. Reason: Added brand name
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:53 PM   #2
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LP Gas Water Heater Pilot intermittent...


AO Smith isn't an off brand.

It may be the gas valve. Call the 800 number on the side of tank. They'll ask you some questions, and probably send you a new one.

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Old 03-21-2011, 08:14 PM   #3
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LP Gas Water Heater Pilot intermittent...


is the water heater open combustion or a FVIR model? does it have a filter screen around the base? how is the air supply to the tank? take some pics if you can and let us know what model heater it is, you'll probably get a more complete answer.
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:53 PM   #4
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LP Gas Water Heater Pilot intermittent...


Here is my unit folks. What I did tonight is go under behind the lint/dust filter and cleaned out under the burner at the air intake. There was a layer of dust. I used a modified soft fingernail brush to get stuff loose.
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:40 PM   #5
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LP Gas Water Heater Pilot intermittent...


yep on those heaters you have to make sure the air screen is clear. use a small wire brush and a shop vac and clean the inside and the bottom
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:04 PM   #6
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LP Gas Water Heater Pilot intermittent...


So far so good. Thanks for the help. This forum sure helped.

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