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Model Number BFG1F4040S3NOV Whirlpool gas hot water heater pilot won't stay lit. Stays lit for about one minute then goes out. Have called the ''help'' people in India, who are sending a new gas valve and thermo couple. Talk about a junk water tank. I have read endless problems with Whirlpools. Guess I shouldn't be surprised. In any case, not sure how to go about starting this. I saw one reply that said if I had a tank that had the window that you could see the pilot light, that you couldn't do the repair. Not sure why. Any assistance is much appreciated. Thank you. Larry

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  • lem_adm Feb 02, 2010

    Thank you for your quick response. Is there any special way to take the old one out and replace? I
    am pretty handy, but have never replaced one of these before.

    Thanks again for helping. With a family of 6, hot water is in high demand!

  • lem_adm Feb 02, 2010

    Thank you again. The instructions in the owners book says I need to remove the Manifold assembly. Appears that there are only two screws holding this.

    Does the thermocouple simple pull out after following the steps you describe?

    Sorry to be so dense about this...just want to make sure I follow the right process. Thank you again for your time and assistance.

  • lem_adm Feb 02, 2010

    Thanks again. I'll just take my time I think all will go well.

    Take care...

  • lem_adm Feb 02, 2010

    Wasn't sure if this was important or not, but the pilot stays lit and everything fires up and stays on for about 1 minute, then I here a "click" type sound and the flame goes out.

    Whirlpool was shipping the part last night, so hopefully when I get home from work the thermocouple and gas valve will be ready for installation. I'll try the thermocouple first as you suggest and hope that takes care of the problem.

    Thank you again for all of your answers last evening. Much appreciated.



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If it's not staying lit then it's not getting air and the air trap is clogged with dust (more than likely) as that's what happen to me.

On the bottom left under the unit is a air trap door that clogs with lent or dust. I used a Swiffer brush and wiped under the left side from front to back as far as i could reach.

Then try to light it. If that doesn't work then you need to reset the Thermal Switch.

At the bottom right there is a white circle connector about the size of a dime with two wires connected. In the center is a peg. Push and hold for 10 secs. It won't actually push in put push for 10 secs. Then give it a try.

This is what worked for me

Posted on Oct 08, 2013

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  • Yngsatchvai .Guitarplayer

    wow that worked! Been having trouble with this model. Thanks!

  • Scott Aly
    Scott Aly May 06, 2014

    Mine has a NOHV at the end, but this trick worked for me. Air intake wasnt real dirty so I guess the reset was what did it. See how long this last...

  • Scott Aly
    Scott Aly May 06, 2014

    Yng Satch Vai... I love it

  • Andra Conaty
    Andra Conaty Aug 10, 2017

    Awesome tip cleaning left side with swifter I tried everything & this worked! Thank you!!

  • Greg Cummings
    Greg Cummings Sep 22, 2017

    Worked for me as well. Many thanks!


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They are sending the right parts. I would first change the thermocouple. 9 out of 10 times it is the problem. If it still won't stay lit, then change the gas valve. The thermocouple can be swapped in about 3 minutes. Hope this helps...

Posted on Feb 02, 2010

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  • 1 more comment 
  • Mike Phillippi Feb 02, 2010

    It has a nut on the valve side. You need a small cresent wrench, or a good pair of pliers. On the other side it either threads in, or just pushes in. No small parts to loose, it really is easy, I promise.

  • Mike Phillippi Feb 02, 2010

    Some of them pull out of the manifold, some of them screw into it. I'm not sure of this particular model.

  • Mike Phillippi Feb 02, 2010

    The click sound is the gas valve shutting off. when the thermocouple goes bad, it loses it's electric charge when heat is present. When the thermocouple loses it's charge, the valve shuts off  because valve thinks the lack of an electric charge means the pilot light is out.


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Don't waste your time replacing any parts. This is, and has been, a known issue with this water heater. They insist that their latest and greatest part will "fix" it, but it doesn't. The only thing it does is make it a little easier to re-light the pilot light. But, it will continue to go out frequently. I bought mine at Lowe's and they won't help with a replacement, either. This brand is JUNK. I suggest you replace the water heater with another brand. By the way, they'll cover the price of the part they'll send, but try to charge you $15.00 shipping every time. Their "customer service" department in India is a joke, too. They have a script they read from and don't know how to answer any questions unless it's part of their script.

Posted on Feb 27, 2010

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FYI.. had a similar problem with my 2 year old hot water heater. Slomins services my appliances, so i called them first, they changed the thermocouple.. but it didnt solve the problem, they said it was the gas valve. BUT THEY COULDNT FIND THE PART.. so I called whirlpool .they said it was a thermosensor safety valve.FIst they made me bypass it which seemed to work... got 3 AMERICANS during this process !!!!!. they did use a cookbook to solve the problem, but they did solve it, sent me the part overnite, and there was no charge. so maybe they learned by all the negative posts....

Posted on Oct 10, 2011

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