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No gas going to my water heater

Water heater in basement of home. Purchased new approx. 2 years ago. Home is empty and the appliance worked fine until one day I found that the pilot light had gone out. I tried to relight but I'm not getting any gas to the system. I checked the shut-off and it is open. The furnace works fine which is also gas and next to the water heater. What is causing the gas to not get to my system? Thank you.

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A bad/dirty thermocouple or pilot safety sensor will prevent the main gas valve from opening up and allowing gas to the main burner and will prevent the pilot from STAYING lit.

A bad thermocouple indication is the pilot will light while you are holding down on the pilot start button (thermo-couple is over ridden) but as soon as you release the button the pilot goes out.

If your description of the problem is correct and you cannot even light the pilot even while holding down the pilot light button AND you have followed all the proper relight procedures I would suspect
a dirty pilot orifice or condensation build up in the gas trap.

If you can NEVER LIGHT THE PILOT follow the steps given below: if it lights and goes out when you release the button and you have a nice blue pilot flame the problem is the thermocouple or gas valve (most likely the thermocouple).

If the pilot is yellow and weak looking and the pilot shuts off when the button is released follow the following instructions also as a weak pilot indicates a blocked/dirty orifice and will not get hot enough to activate the thermo couple and presents as a thermocouple problem.

Turn off gas and remove the cap on the bottom of the trap (little stub of pipe that hangs down below the gas line usually on a tee). Drain any condensate out, reinstall cap being sure to seal threads with dope or teflon tape. Then remove pilot tube from the heater and scrub the small pilot tubes orifice. It is very small and plugs easily with debris, rust scale etc. You may need to probe it with a tiny wire to get it clear, if so do not damage or enlarge the hole by going gorilla with it. Once you are sure orifice is clear and clean re-install, turn gas back on and attempt relight sequence, you may need to do it several times to purge air out of system. While you are at it you should also give the thermocouple a good scrubbing, steel wool or scotch brite nylon pads will do just fine for this, you just want to clear it of carbon or any corrosion.

You should get a nice blue flame on the pilot>

If you still cannot get the pilot to light AT ALL you most likely have a gas valve problem and need professional help to diagnose and fix.

Posted on Oct 24, 2009

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The probable cause is the thermocouple, or pilot safety. It can be replaced easily, and is a common problem. The thermocouple bulb is next to the pilot. Trace its copper tube to the gas valve and remove it. Turn off gas first. Measure its length and a replacement can be found at any hardware outlet.

Ray

Posted on Nov 16, 2008

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