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Pilot will not stay lit

Heater is less than one year old. I think it needs a new thermocoule but don,t know how to change it with new enclosed panel

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Brand might help evaluate problem. Thermocouple with FVIR housing is hard. Might try the original installer and Mfr too as for some (Whirlpool esp) the pilot connector is dedicated and won't take the universal Honeywells). Also be sure what type you have..Powerpile, etc.. Mfr may send you one under warranty but it'll take a week to arrive.
Good news is if it's a Whirlpool from American, you'll be changing it yearly. Do and online search and you find out it's a common problem with some brands

Posted on Mar 03, 2009

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Rheem rp4036m


Under the gas valve is a removable panel. On models of that era there should also be a second panel behind the first. remove both.

the pilot light should be clearly visible.

If no pilot, turn the gas valve to OFF. wait 60 seconds. locate the tubes from the gas valve to the pilot location. turn the valve to pilot, and with a long match or grill lighter lit, place flame at the pilot location and press down on the pilot button beside the main valve.

pilot should light. If not shut off the gas and call a technician. If yes, hold the pilot button for 60 seconds, then slowly release. Pilot should stay lit. If not, shut off gas and replace thermocouple, start relight sequence over. If pilot stays lit, replace inner cover and adjust temp to 120 deg. If heater fires up, replace outer cover. Done.

If heater does not light, replace gas valve or entire unit. Water heaters have a limited life expectancy, and if my recollection is correct your unit is 10yrs past warranty.

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If pilot lights and flame is robust and clear blue, and pilot goes out later, then some suspects can be excluded: air in gas line, low gas pressure, thermocouple is overtightened (finger-tight + 1/4 turn), thermocouple not positioned correctly in the flame, dirty pilot tube.
If flame is yellowish and small: then clean pilot tube and combustion parts.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-install-gas-water-heater.html#clean
Remaining suspects can include: air in gas line, low gas pressure, bad gas control valve, tight house so household vent fans pull air down water heater vent that blows out pilot, hot attic with inadequate ventilation, water dripping down vent.

Open following links to read troubleshoot resources.
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Pilot-light-will-not-stay-lit.pdf
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-install-gas-water-heater.html#troubleshoot

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