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Old 07-12-2015, 12:11 AM   #1
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A.O. Smith water heater pilot light STILL won't stay lit


I have a rental house with an A.O. Smith water heater, where the tenant has now been without reliable hot water for a week and a half. This is a model GCV 40 100 built in 2006.

First I made a vacuum attachment and tried to clean the largely inaccessible air intake screen below the burner. That didn't work.

Two days ago I replaced the pilot assembly, and the pilot light has gone out at least twice since then. In several tests I have seen the pilot stay lit when I turned off the burner by lowering the thermostat setting or by waiting for a cycle to end. It's not reliable, though.

I cleaned the intake screen more today, but there wasn't much dust and I fully expect the pilot to fail again tomorrow.

What's next? Do I have to get a whole new water heater just because of this pilot light? I certainly wouldn't buy A.O. Smith again. This water heater came with the house.
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Old 07-12-2015, 06:43 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by bhucker View Post
I have a rental house with an A.O. Smith water heater, where the tenant has now been without reliable hot water for a week and a half. This is a model GCV 40 100 built in 2006.

First I made a vacuum attachment and tried to clean the largely inaccessible air intake screen below the burner. That didn't work.

Two days ago I replaced the pilot assembly, and the pilot light has gone out at least twice since then. In several tests I have seen the pilot stay lit when I turned off the burner by lowering the thermostat setting or by waiting for a cycle to end. It's not reliable, though.

I cleaned the intake screen more today, but there wasn't much dust and I fully expect the pilot to fail again tomorrow.

What's next? Do I have to get a whole new water heater just because of this pilot light? I certainly wouldn't buy A.O. Smith again. This water heater came with the house.
i will thro a couple things out, is the pilot light adjustable ?? may not be turned up high enough ?? than when the burner try's to come on the gas come's in to much before the pilot lite can ignite's it ?? is their 2 gas flames in their ?? if so the one that lite's the burner may be to low ?? than when it ingite's it does a poof like and would blow the pilite out ??don't know about that unit , maybe to much air on the burner , should burn blue and the flame should be on the burner not blowing off the top any , just a few guess here good luck

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Old 07-12-2015, 08:45 AM   #3
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When you say you replaced the, "pilot assembly", did that include the thermocouple?
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:01 AM   #4
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Moved to plumbing
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Old 07-12-2015, 12:33 PM   #5
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When you say you replaced the, "pilot assembly", did that include the thermocouple?
Yes, it did.
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Old 07-12-2015, 12:44 PM   #6
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Does the gas pipe going to a the heater have a dog leg under the pipe that goes to the unit?
Other issue could be the control box itself.
How old is the unit?
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Old 07-12-2015, 12:56 PM   #7
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Does the gas pipe going to a the heater have a dog leg under the pipe that goes to the unit?
Other issue could be the control box itself.
How old is the unit?
No, there is no sediment trap in the line.

The heater is 9 years old.
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Old 07-12-2015, 03:47 PM   #8
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No trap could be the issue. Pipe debris could be causing an intermittent blockage. Her there is always a sediment trap installed.
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Old 07-13-2015, 03:10 AM   #9
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At 9 years old the water heater is worn out. Replace it ASAP.

It is inexcusable for you to let a tenant go without reliable hot water. Do not be a slum lord.
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