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The thermocouple allows the pilot to stay lit. If your burner will not light but the pilot is lit, there is a problem with either the control or the control valve. Either the signal is not being sent to the control valve to open or the signal is being sent and the valve is faulty.
the pilot light serves to purposes. it is the source of ignition for the main burner and is a safety device that detects wether there is a flame or not. if the pilot light stays on when you stop pressing the pilot light button then you need to turn the knob to the on position to light the main burner. the pilot light is not the on position. if the pilot light goes out when you stop pressing the pilot light button then the thermocouple or flame sensor needs replacing. good luck
It sounds like a gas supply issue. The orifices feeding the burners may be obstructed, or maybe blockage in the screen on the gas valve. I'd start by verifying that you have proper gas pressure, usually 7 inches water column.
On these units, the pilot ignitor and the pilot rectefier are the same part. The pilot can be lit, but not be sensed by the rectefier/ignitor. This will keep your burner tray from igniting. You need to replace the ignitor assembley. If it is the same as the raypak digital 406a I charge about $75 for that part, and it takes about 20 minutes to install. Need the part or more help e-mail me. email@example.com
It is probably something much more simple than that...Turn it on and stand back until it finally ignites, then look, using a mirror, at the burner tray from below. You will probably find a lot of the tubes, especially those near the pilot area, are not working or are burning bright orange. If that is the case, something, probably spiders, are blocking the gas from getting into the tubes. That will cause the big burst at ignition as the gas builds up for a bit before it finally reaches the pilot area.
The thermocouple is the pilot's, well, co-pilot! It is the electronic device that senses if the pilot flame is hot enough to sustain burning the gas fuel from the burner. If the thermocouple thinks it's safe, then it keeps open the main gas valve located in the pilot assembly. If the thermocouple does not sense enough heat from the pilot flame (such as when the pilot is out), then the thermocouple shuts off the gas valve to the burners. How the Thermocouple Works So what is this thing and how does it work? Well the thermocouple (technically called a thermocouple junction) is a device that contains two metal wires welded at the ends and placed inside a protective metal case. The thermocouple sensor is found at the business end of the pilot flame and is designed to be placed in the hottest part of the flame. The other end is connected to the pilot valve body. As the thermocouple heats up, it produces a small amount of electricity and when it gets hot enough from the pilot, send a signal to open the gas valve by using a solenoid operated by a 24 volt transformer. The thermocouple calls the shots, and by converting heat to an electrical signal, it allows the gas valve to open or close.
Once the gas valve is open, gas is then constantly supplied to the pilot and as required for the gas burners (as called for by the thermostat). If the pilot goes out, then the thermocouple gets cold and produces no electric signal to open the gas valve's solenoid and the gas valve shuts off the gas supply to the pilot and burners
check for water run off from above or sprinklers directed at heater. A high wind stack may be needed due to heater location. Millivolt models have a thermocouple or pilot generator that may be faulty or weak. Loose or rusty connections of the thermocouple to the gas valve or loose coil connection, or short in these wires can shut off a pilot.