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#410066 - 10/27/07 08:36 PM gas hot water heater pilot light keeps going out
terry_gwin Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 3
my hot water heater pilot light keeps going out. I was told to change the thermocouple. I changed it and still keeps
going out. then i was told to change drip valve. just curious what it is and where it is located, and is this the \
solution. Thanks for your help


terry gwin

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#410067 - 10/27/07 10:43 PM Re: gas hot water heater pilot light keeps going out [Re: terry_gwin]
RCovell Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/26/03
Posts: 6002
Loc: Jayhawk Land
Welcome to the Forum!

Can you light your pilot and keep it going for a while before it goes out?
Or will it just not stay lit when you release the button on the gas control?

Typically, if replacing the thermocouple doesn't solve the problem, your gas control valve is likely the culprit. They're much more expensive than the thermocouple so you need to take into account the age of the heater and it's condition and weigh total tank replacement against the cost of a new valve.

Bob.

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#410068 - 10/28/07 08:37 AM Re: gas hot water heater pilot light keeps going out [Re: terry_gwin]
cpo86 Offline
fanatic

Registered: 11/30/02
Posts: 401
Loc: Chicago
Questions to ask yourself, which may help diagnose the problem.

How often does it go out and what is going on when it does?

Is frequency increasing?

Does pilot light stay lit after releasing the pilot button and turning knob to "ON"?
If "yes"-- Probably not the thermocouple.

Is heater a power vent model that vents out a sidewall versus up the chimney?
If "yes"--- Could be wind blowing out the pilot. (Have a client who started having this problem right after he built a fence near the vent. Problem went away when I installed a metal wind deflector on the vent.)

Is heater vented up the chimney and problem only happens on very windy days?
If "yes" -- Could again be wind and you may need a chimney cap, some type of wind deflector, or maybe it's just something to keep an eye on when weather is very bad.

Are children playing near the heater?
If "yes" -- Could again be wind. Doesn't take much to blow out the pilot. (Have another client who had this problem. He roped off an area four feet around heater, told children that was off limits, and problem went away.)

Is a fan or any other type of appliance being used that could be blowing on the water heater? (Had this one too. Cleints dryer vent came apart and air was blowing at the heater. Every time they used the clothes dryer, pilot light went out.)

Is there a lot of clutter around the heater?
If "yes"-- Could be the pilot is starving for oxygen.

How old is the heater?
Maybe a bad gas valve. May not be economical to repair heater and time to just replace it.

Look for the simple things first.

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#410069 - 10/28/07 10:43 AM Re: gas hot water heater pilot light keeps going out [Re: RCovell]
terry_gwin Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 3
thanks for your reply. it will stay lit when i release the button. as soon as the burner kicks of the pilot light goes out again, i relight it and the burner goes on, but once again when the burner kicks of the pilot light goes out. the heater is about 4 years old. how much does one of those gas control valves unually run. thanks

terry gwin

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#410070 - 10/28/07 10:48 AM Re: gas hot water heater pilot light keeps going out [Re: cpo86]
terry_gwin Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 3
thanks for your comment. the heater is about 4 years old. the heater is secluded it a closet in my hallway. it vents through the roof. it stays lit when you release the button, but as soon as the burner kicks back off the pilot light
goes out. i can relight it and it does the same thing. there is no clutter around the heater. just started doing this about 3 days ago. i was told the gas control valve may be faulty. any help would be appreciated. thanks

terry gwin

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#410071 - 10/28/07 10:16 PM Re: gas hot water heater pilot light keeps going out [Re: terry_gwin]
RCovell Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/26/03
Posts: 6002
Loc: Jayhawk Land
Try leaving the gas control valve in the pilot position for a while and make sure the pilot light stays lit.

Is the pilot flame 'strong' or weak?

If the pilot flame stays lit until you turn the gas control to 'on', then, I'd suspect a vent problem. Possibly the exhaust duct or lack of combustion air getting to your secluded closet. If those things check out, I'm really out of ideas. I'm just not sure at this point that your problem would warrant replacing the gas valve.

Prices on valves vary, but, I've done a few that were about $40.

Bob.

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