We have a rheem 30 gallon gas water heater / rn 1094a16941 -- the pilot light keeps going out - we have replaced the thermol couplier then it worked for a while and now it lights but won"t stay lit for...
This covers the basics on no burner flame or pilot outage issues on
standard tank gas water heaters. As always, safety first; if you do not understand
what you are doing, do not attempt to make repairs on your own. This is
just a guide to help you figure out what may be wrong.
take care of the obvious things first. If you have a propane gas water
heater, make sure you are not out of gas! Go to the tank, lift the lid,
look at the % gauge. If it's pointing at 5% or less, you may be empty
or about to run out of gas. If it says you have plenty of gas, make sure
the gauge is not sticking and bang the lid down. If the gauge drops
down to 5% or less, order a gas delivery.
2) Remove the panel on
the water heater to view the burner. Is the pilot still lit? Yes, then
make sure the control knob is in the "ON" position. Also make sure the
temp dial is not on "Vacation" setting or set at a very low temp
setting. Typical dial settings are at medium "arrow" selection or "A"
3) Is the pilot flame out? If you smell gas, do not
attempt to light. Turn gas off at shut off valve on gasline to water
heater and call your gas co. Otherwise, follow the manufacturer's
lighting instructions on the water heater to relight. Pilot still won't
light? Then you may have a dirty pilot orifice that needs cleaned. Or
if you were out of gas and just got filled, you may have air in the
lines and lighting the pilot will take longer than normal to light. It's
best to have the gasman light this when he is there to fill your tank.
It's also possible you have a control that is locked out or defective,
which will require a serviceman to repair or replace the control.
say you get the pilot flame lit. When you release the button, does it
stay lit? No, then you might not have held the button down long enough,
Try again. Still goes out? Is the pilot flame a strong blue color and
actually making the thermocouple red hot? If so, and it won't stay lit,
replace the thermocouple. Or is it a lazy yellow flame? If so, it may
have burn't the tip off the thermocouple and it will need to be
replaced. This condition is caused by a dirty pilot orifice, which will
need to be cleaned with a broach to prevent it from ruining the new
thermocouple you install.
4) Ok, let's say you relight the pilot
and get the main burner to light as well, but later they both go out
again. This only happens, of course, after the service tech has left.
With it still off, get a flashlight and look inside the access panel in
the area above the main burner? Do you see a lot of black soot build-up?
If so, this make be causing your problem. Have your water heater
serviced. If no soot, then check for blockage in your vent. Look for a
bird nest or even a dead bird. Your vent cap is either going through
your roof or through a wall to the outside. You'll need a ladder to
check either. If it has bends and elbows, check those out for blockage
5) No blockage? Sometimes a vent is installed wrong (like
under an eave) or you are getting a strong down draft. Make sure your
vent cap is still attached on top of your vent too. Strong winds can
blow out the pilot flame.
6) Here's another test you can do, if
the pilot and burner shut down. Relight it as you did before and with
the burner lit, reinstall the access panel. Now light a match at the
draft diverter (standard water heaters have these on top which connect
the water heater to the venting) Blow out the match near the edge of the
draft diverter and watch where the smoke goes. (Shining a flashlight
there also helps you see the smoke better) If it gets pulled into the
draft diverter, it's working properly, pulling outside air in. If the
smoke gets pushed out, you have a drafting problem. To make matters
worse, you are also allowing carbon monoxide into the home. Have your
water heater serviced immediately. I also recommend having a carbon
monoxide detector located on every level in houses that have gas or oil
These are just a few ideas to help you figure out
your common lighting issues. There are other issues that I did not
cover, which may require a repairman. I hope you find these useful. If
you still have concerns, please ask away! That's why we are here! Douglas
Aug 17, 2010 |