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Water heater will not stay lit even after replacing thermal coupl

I asked a question the other day and my wife deleted the return email before I could read it. So I'm going to ask again. My Kenmore propane hot water heater will not stay lit. I depress the red button to light pilot and it lights, but when I release the red button to allow it to stay lit on it's own, it goes out. It's about 6 years old. I've replaced the thermal coupler, but it still will not stay lit. I've blown out the two tubes that carry propane to pilot and the burner thinking maybe they were clogged, but still the pilot would not stay lit. Does this sound like the control valve?

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The pilot must encompass the thermocouple "bulb" in order for the thermocouple to generate enough current to keep the pilot valve on. You must also hold the red button down for a long enough period to get the thermocouple hot. If the pilot is not large enough, it could be due to a clog in the pilot orifice at the pilot itself. Sometimes a couple of passes over the end of it with fine steel wool is all it takes to clear it.

Hope this helps. Feel free to share what you found. Thanks.

Posted on Jul 16, 2009

  • Bruce Volkers
    Bruce Volkers Jul 16, 2009

    After I posted to this I went and read your original question. You obviously know to hold the red button. Something I forgot to mention though, you do need to put enough torque on the thermocouple connector nut to assure good electrical contact. If the brass tip of the thermocouple connector button is tarnished, try steel wool to brighten it up for good contact. It is a very small voltage at that point, any loss will make it not work.

  • Bruce Volkers
    Bruce Volkers Jul 20, 2009

    Did you get your issue resolved?

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