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My GE Gas Water Heater was working good then we turn off the utilities. When we turn the gas back on it will light but won't stay lit.

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Many times the pilot needs to be pressed for a longer time until the thermocouple reaches proper temperature. Please review these steps to light your water heater:

Posted on Apr 29, 2015

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: Rheem 40 gallon gas hot water heater, pilot light

To make a short story long (I need to include all details, sry)…

I got up one morning and realized that we did not have hot water. I re-lit the pilot light and as soon as the burner went out from heating the water up, the pilot light would go out. After reading several posts regarding this issue, it seemed apparent that the thermo-coupler was the problem. Since I am a little bit handy around the house and very tight when it comes to opening my wallet, I bought the device from Lowe’s ($8.98) that was recommended by my online advisors and after a few googles, figured out how to change it. No help. The pilot light still goes out.

I gave up and went to Home Depot to purchase and schedule the installation of a new hot water heater.

STICKER SHOCK

A new Direct Vent type water heater costs around $800 with an additional $450 for “special” installation. Add a few fees to that and the grand total came to about $1450.

I felt like I had no choice since my wife and 2 daughters refused to live their life without hot water and I had no clue about how to fix the dam thing.

The plumber assigned to the installation stopped by to evaluate the site conditions and quickly noted to me that the 8 year old water heater tank was in good condition and that the gas controller was probably faulty, which could be purchased online from the manufacturer. I quickly cancelled the Home Depot order and purchased the controller for about $120 after shipping and tax. Immediately after the installation it seemed that the problem had been solved. A few days later the pilot light went out.

I called the plumber and explained the situation and he recommended that I purchase another controller because the one that was shipped to me was probably bad. I searched around town and found a plumbing supply company that had the correct model in stock. Two days later the pilot light was out. I cleaned up the controller and returned it to the store and asked the plumber to please schedule a visit to repair this dam thing.

When the plumber arrived, he hooked up a gauge in several locations and confirmed that the correct amount of gas (cfm) was being delivered to the controller, pilot light and burner. He then proceeded to remove the fire box to make sure that the igniter, thermo-coupler and pilot tip were set properly. He inspected the pilot light tip and said that he found the problem. Using about a 1/64” tip drill (can be purchased at a welding supply store), he cleaned the tiny hole that releases gas to the pilot light. I felt a sigh of relief because I was certain that the problem had been solved. $65 dollars (plumber’s fee for an hour of work) and 4 days later the pilot light went out.

I called the plumber and he said that the controller that I purchased online must be bad. Too embarrassed to return to the first plumbing supply store, I found another one in a different town that had the correct model in stock. Three days after changing the controller the pilot light went out. I returned the controller and a six pack later I decided to do some extensive googling.

The key term here is “DIRECT VENT”. This seems to be a very common problem with direct vent water heaters and I was about to find out the reason for this phenomenon. I read a post by an individual who wrote that if the vent becomes detached that the inflow of air can become contaminated and extinguish the pilot light. I decided that before I spent any more money on a plumber that I was going to take the vent apart and find out what makes it tick.

My direct vent system has 2 parts to the venting, an inner pipe (3” nominal diameter) that serves as the exhaust and the outer pipe (5” nominal diameter) that serves as the internal flow of air which supplies the pilot light and burner with oxygen. On the outside of the house a vent hood helps to segregate the two by extending the exhaust about 3” beyond the intake. I looked into the hood at the end of the pipes and discovered that the internal pipe which consisted of a 2 piece slip joint had come loose from the elbow that sets on top of the water heater. This slip joint pipe was not attached at any point with screws or clamps and was loosely setting over the elbow on one end and into the hood on the other end, allowing it to detach. Apparently, when atmospheric conditions were right, the burner idled down from heating up the water and extinguished the pilot light because the intake was saturated with CO2 from the connection failure.

I purchased a section of 3” pipe that was long enough to be installed in one piece. I connected it to the elbow using a stainless steel hose clamp. I had to disassemble the pipe 3 times to make adjustments to the length and position before I got it right, but I should not have any more problems with the pilot light.

The problem here is time. It takes a lot of time to get this right. When the plumbing contractors installed this unit during the construction of the house, there was no one around to make sure that they got it right. It is probably common to use a 2 piece slip joint type connection, but I feel like it should be attached with screws or clamps. In my opinion it is not rigid enough and can detach easily, especially if it is not installed properly. A one piece connection that is attached at one end with a hose clamp and then held in place at the other end by the hood is fool proof.

Posted on Sep 27, 2009

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: i have a richmond gas hot water heater model

resetting your lock out for richmond power vent

Posted on Nov 26, 2009

kel1guy2002
  • 3740 Answers

SOURCE: pilot light on water heater wont stay lit

The thermocouple has failed. It is the temp probe that goes from the pilot lite burner area to the control valve. Go to your local plumbng repair shop and buy one. Most appliance parts stores have them also. Take the old one with you and they will hook you up with an exact replacement. They are not that hard to change. Usually a nut or 2 screws in the temp bulb area at the burner end and a nut that threads into the control valve.
Make sure before you install the new one that the area where it mates to the gas valve is clean. Should be about a 20 min job including clean up with replacement parts in hand.

Posted on Jan 23, 2010

Testimonial: "exactly what I wanted yo know. thank you"

  • 454 Answers

SOURCE: I have a Rheem 50 gal. natural gas water heater

The most common reason a pilot light will not stay lit is a bad thermocouple. How old is the water heater? If the pilot light will light, but then go out when you release the safety button, that is a sure sign the thermocouple is bad. You can buy a replacement thermocouple at your local home improvement store. There is a small chance that the control valve has gone bad, but that is highly unlikely.

Posted on Feb 23, 2010

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Pilot won't stay lit in Reliance 606 gas water heater

The Reliance 606 has an enclosed thermal couple. Before you try taking that assembly apart take a wire brush to the bottom opening directly under the burner. There is a metal filter on the very bottom of the water heater. It could be that the filter has gotten filled with dust or animal hair. It took a serviceman 2 days to figure this out for me. The water heater has to have good airflow through that filter to work well.

Posted on Sep 29, 2010

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Reliant 501 Natural Gas won't stay lit


Reliance water heater?
Thermocouple is good if the pilot stays lit continuously.

501 is older model. Unknown if this unit has FVIR protection and sealed combustion chamber or open air intake on front of unit.
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Reliance-2006-Service-Handbook.pdf

With FVIR protection:
Get more fresh air to the unit.
Clean the flame arrestor screen.
Test and replace the thermocouple:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-thermocouple.html
Inspect and clean burner and combustion parts
Test gas pressure, bleed air out of gas line.
Replace gas control valve.
Test draft air by lighting match and see if smoke is pulled into the vent pipe at draft hood on top of tank.

Aug 20, 2012 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

The pilot won't stay lit on gas hot water tank.


Make sure thermocouple tip is seated inside the burner flame.
Make sure thermocouple is not overtightened. Finger-tight + 1/4 turn.
If the pilot lights, then ECO energy cut off is not tripped, but gas control valve might be bad.
Check color of pilot flame: it should be strong and clear blue.
If pilot flame is weak, or color of flame is yellow-orange: Clean pilot orifice and burner and combustion parts on yearly basis.
Clean air intake screen if applicable.
Increase air supply to water heater. Open a window and see what happens.
Check for adequate draft going up chimney using match under vent hood to see if smoke drafts immediately upwards.
Bleed air out of gas line.
Check gas pressure.

Open following links for troubleshoot resources:
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Pilot-light-will-not-stay-lit.pdf
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Pilot-outage-troubleshooting.pdf
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Vent-spillage-test-atmospheric-gas-water-heater.pdf
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-install-gas-water-heater.html#troubleshoot

Sep 21, 2011 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

Pilot light won't stay lit on new water heater


1) Get more air to the water heater and see if problem continues.
2) Read the following pdf-s for things that might apply to your situation.
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/Negative-pressure.jpg
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Attic-Ventilation-and-Pilot-Outage-in-Gas%20Water-Heaters.pdf
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Pilot-light-will-not-stay-lit.pdf

3) Read pdfs above first, and then Add a comment with missing information below, for possible do-it-yourself help.
Does this water heater have a blower?
Is gas valve electronic? Or does gas valve have a dial?
If gas valve is electronic, have you checked outlet with circuit analyzer?
Did pilot light work correctly for a while? If so how long?
Where is water heater located? Hot attic? Closet? Garage? Is area dirty and dusty? Has air intake been cleaned?
What color is pilot flame? Clear blue or yellow-or-orange?
Have you inspected inside of combustion chamber for dripping water?

Aug 28, 2011 | American Standard 40 G Natural Gas Water...

1 Answer

Rheem 22V50F1 pilot won't stay lit. Changed thermo couple & it lit, ran then went out. Let it sit overnight & it lit, ran then went out. What next? p.s. The unit is 5 years old. Thanks


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

Aug 16, 2011 | Rheem 50 Gallon FVR NATGAS Water Heater...

1 Answer

Reliance 606 natural gas water heater - model #640YORT - water does not stay hot. pilot has to be clicked to heat and then u can use hot water til tank empty and it will not continue to heat water.


If I understand correctly, the pilot light is not staying lit.
You light the pilot and water in the tank reaches temperature.
Once hot water is gone, then pilot light has to be lit again.

Gas pressure is good, and gas is flowing.
Thermostat is working at high end because it cuts off heating.
Vent is working because tank heats up.
Air intake is working.

Gas control thermostat might not be reading low temperature. Replace gas control valve.
Pilot tube might be dirty. Clean burner parts and combustion chamber, and air intake, and vent.
Backdraft might be blowing out pilot. Check for constant updraft by running water heater 5 minutes, and then light match under vent hood and see if smoke goes up.
Very hot air can put out pilot, especially when water heater located in attic. Add ventilation.
Improper vent might have water dripping back down into combustion chamber and putting out pilot light and rusting out the parts. Inspect for rusted parts and water.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-install-gas-water-heater.html#troubleshoot
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Pilot-light-will-not-stay-lit.pdf

Aug 09, 2011 | Reliance Natural Gas Water Heater Control

1 Answer

Pilot light will not stay lit on GE 40 gal. gas water heater tank


You have tank-type gas water heater:
Gas water heaters need working thermocouple, adequate incoming fresh combustion air with no trace amounts of chemical, open vent to outside that drafts poison combustion product upward, clean burner tubes and combustion parts, correct gas pressure with no air in line, working gas control valve thermostat, no lockout condition such as tripped ECO caused by runaway heating and dirty combustion parts, and no lockout condition such as exposure to flammable vapors.
Open following links for troubleshoot resources:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-install-gas-water-heater.html#troubleshoot

http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Pilot-light-will-not-stay-lit.pdf
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Attic-Ventilation-and-Pilot-Outage-in-Gas%20Water-Heaters.pdf

http://waterheatertimer.org/images/Water-heater-in-attic-800.jpg
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/Test-water-heater-vent-1400.jpg

Jul 30, 2011 | General Electric Water Heaters

1 Answer

I can light the pilot and the burner will come on, but it won't stay lit. I bought a new pilot assembly and installed it. the burner and the pilot light still won't stay lit. This is the unit that...


Most gas water heater problems can be solved by having service technician perform yearly maintenance. Or by doing maintenance yourself.
This maintenance includes cleaning burner parts and combustion chamber, checking gas pressure and supply, bleeding air out of gas line, checking vent draft, making sure air supply is adequate and not exposed to chemicals, cleaning air intake. Also adjusting flame sensor so it is positioned correctly. If water heater is connected to electric circuit, the outlet must have correct polarity.

You can get gas to appliance indicates the gas control valve and water heater are not locked out. But the gas control valve thermostat can still be bad.

Open following link for illustrations, typical service manuals, and maintenance information, and images of gas control valve thermostats.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-install-gas-water-heater.html#troubleshoot

Jul 20, 2011 | Reliance & Pilot Assembly for Natural Gas...

2 Answers

Natural gas hot water heater not stying lit


Probably a bad solenoid in the gas valve. Higher voltage of a new thermocouple keeps it open longer but it still fails over a period of time. Look into a new gas valve for the water heater.

Dec 17, 2009 | General Electric GE SmartWater Household...

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