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Gas heater never kicks on above unit/pilot on situation

Everything seems fine in terms of starting the unit, pilot is on and stays on, thermocouple was changed recently... but after lighting unit with temp dial on low like always, I then turn temp dial up to any position 2,4,6,8... the heater never kicks in and starts cranking out heat! Again, pilot is on and stays on without a problem and nothing changes from that. No heat at all!

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  • Imconfused Dec 19, 2007

    Thanks Soleman, you ROCK! Blew the heck out of the thing (I know there is a joke there, but will let it float away like a little bubble in the breeze!), put everything back together, and fired it up. It works! Must have been something stuck in the system. I thank you, my girlfriend thanks, & so do her cute, littles toes!



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Hi Imconfused,

Usually with gas Heaters the main problem is a blockage in the jet. They usually blow them out with compressed air. This can be done from the top near the flame and with luck it will clear it. If not then you need to go looking the main pipe to the jet which will involve removing the outer covering to get to it. Remove the pipe and blow it out and blow out the jet too. Make sure you put the pipe back on properly. Hope this helps.

Posted on Dec 17, 2007


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U can light the pilot lite,turn 2 ON it will stay lit 4 a couple of minutes then go out? If u turn the knob 2 low,med. It goes out pretty much immediately?I changed the thermocouple,blew the lines ou

Is the thermocouple secure, routed properly, no kinks, no sharp bends? Is the end of the unit properly aligned so the hottest part of the pilot flame is hitting the unit. Did you hold pilot switch in the light position for at least 30 seconds, before you set the gas valve to on? If all above OK, try this. Light the pilot using barbeque lighter once it lights keep the lighter on the t-couple for 30 seconds, then set the valve to ON and keep the lighter where it is. Once the main burner lights, remove the lighter. If the burner and pilot go off, your gas valve is bad.

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Zarma, there could be air in the gas line to the heater or the Thermocouple or Thermopile is failing. Which also will mimic gas not getting to the pilot. As both are safety features, that shut the unit off, if the pilot flame does not heat them properly to keep the pilot burning.

Troubleshooting these issues first, will more than likely reveal the problem.

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Hopefully just the thermocouple. The thermocouple is the small rod right next to the pilot light. The flame on the pilot heats up the thermocouple and keeps the gas valve on. You can replace it yourself. The thermocouple will be connect by a small nut on the underneath side of the valve, and you will have to pull the thermocouple out of the pilot assembly. Not an expensive part, you can get it at any hardware store. Hope this helps you .

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I have a few issues with an old probably dinosaur Coleman Presidential III 7995a-856 Heating unit. I've had 3 different repairmen look at it and they're clueless. The main pilot will light and stay lit...

if the pilot is clean and and strong then this should play on to the thermocouple , i take it you have changed the thermocouple , and the connection is good at the gas valve , then if this going out could be 1, powerunit on gas valve not holding at thermocouple connection

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I take it the pilot stays on untill fan comes on and keeps going out , I would think about not putting any more money in to this and get new if sounds as the heater has had its day ,

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Pilot will light, goes out when button let go,

A long time ago, in a place far away, I saw an old gas valve, might have been on a water heater, might have been off an A/C unit. I took my 10" adjustable wrench and unscrewed the coil that the thermocouple screws into. Now, when I have the problem that you describe I take the threaded end of the suspected thermocouple and put it into my spare. I light the pilot and hold the button down. Then, after a minute or two, I press the button on my spare, which now has the thermocouple attached. If the spare stays in the "ON" condition, I have just proven my gas valve to have faulted.

I suspect you main gas valve has failed, if you can find another valve, you can test as above, before buying a replacement valve.

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Check the following:

See if your heater has a pilot gas adjustment valve. It should be on the gas control valve somewhere. Not all heaters have these. It will be a screw on the valve that can be turned.

Make sure the thermocouple sensing bulb is squarely in the pilot flame and also check that the fitting where the other end of the thermocouple connects to the main gas valve is tight.

Check the pilot gas orifice (where the pilot gas comes out) for carbon build up - you may need to remove the pilot gas line and thermocouple assembly to get to this. This problem is pretty common.

Check the gas pressure to the heater. Run the hot water in the dwelling until the hot water heater starts. Check the flame on the main burner and see what color it is - it should be blue with possibly some yellow-tipped flames. If not, there could be a problem with the gas pressure at the heater or venting. If the heater has a gas pressure regulator, it may be out of adjustment or defective.

Finally, and this isn't very common, the pilot light can be extinguished if there is a draft problem, usually associated with an issue with the flue pipe venting system for the heater or another nearby gas consuming appliance.

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This can be two common things:

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2. The thermocouple is either bad, displaced or it too is carboned up like the pilot assembly described above.

If you clean everything and the pilot still keeps going out, replace the thermocouple. Make sure the thermocouple is squarely in the flam path.

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