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Pilot light won't stay lit

My ageing Vulcan Quasar 40 gas wall heater stopped working yesterday - the pilot light went out. When I try relighting it, it goes out as soon as I release the button.

I have tried turning power off at the mains, waiting 15 mins and starting the process again, but the pilot still won't stay lit. I have a wall mounted Dayton gas furnace model 3E475B. The unit has worked well for 18-years. The pilot has been frequently going out but would relight fine. The pilot will light normally but when I release the button it goes out. I replaced the thermocouple but the pilot still will not stay lit when I release the button, even when I hold it in for 2 minnutes before releasing it.

Looking for a little help. Thanks.

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  • Anonymous Mar 11, 2014

    also it made the heater stop working some how

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3 Answers

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Hi
Have you checked to make sure it isn't a draught?

Posted on Dec 01, 2008

  • Lee Hodgson
    Lee Hodgson Dec 01, 2008

    The pilot light should stay lit once the thermocouple has warmed up, if its going straight out it could be defective safety valve.
    Personally I would have a Qualified gas service engineer to look at it, especially as it is ageing


    kind regards


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Everything is fine except the on-off swith. The entire switch can be replaced. Its a small part you will get in any repair shop and can be replaced easily.

Thanks

Posted on Dec 01, 2008

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It is in all probability the thermocouple has gone bad..

Posted on Dec 01, 2008

  • Legin Varghese
    Legin Varghese Dec 01, 2008

    Just a bit of expansion on what the others have said. The thermocouple
    is a safety device that turns off the gas if there is no pilot light.
    If you look closely at the burning pilot light, there is a small metal
    tube that sits directly in the flame, with wires that lead back to the
    gas valve. The thermocouple generates a small amount of electrical
    current when heated by the flame. This current keeps the gas safety
    valve open. If the pilot light gets blown out, the current stops and
    the gas valve closes. When you light the pilot light, you hold down the
    over-ride button for about 30 seconds. This allows the gas to flow long
    enough to heat up the thermocouple and generate current and then you
    can release the over-ride button and gas will continue to flow. If the
    thermocouple is defective, then as soon as you release the over-ride
    button, since there is no electrical current, the gas will stop flowing
    and the pilot light will go out.



    This is a pretty common failure on water heaters and furnaces.
    Replacement of the thermocouple is fairly simple if you are the
    handyman type. If not, the thermocouple is a cheap part -- about $10
    bucks, but the service call may run you $100 or so. Before you call a
    serviceman, get all of the brand and model information from the
    information plate on the heater so he can bring the proper replacement
    part.

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