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Hot water heater won't stay lit

Hot water heater. ge smart water model gp40t06avg00. pilot light works. when temp is dialed up flame goes out.heater sits on the floor and was in about 4 inches of water.

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  • Brad Zeigler
    Brad Zeigler May 15, 2008

    Exaxt same issue with exact same product...40gal GE smart water heater which sat in about 3-4 inches of water. I replaced the pilot assembly, put everything back together, but seems not to be getting sufficient air for combustion. I'm wondering if the water somehow blocked the air intack of this sealed burner type water heater.

  • timothy-curl Jun 27, 2008

    Same water heater submerged in about the same amount of water with the same problem.

  • rwc1375 Jan 01, 2009

    I have the same problem with GE hot water heater. Pilot will light, but when main burner comes on the flame does not stay lit more than a few seconds. This unit was also under water for a couple days. I hooked up the burner assembly outside the heater and it works just fine.

  • Anonymous Mar 17, 2014

    Hot water smell when first turn on hot water I have a state select hot water heater

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Brad Z - you are absolutely correct!
Mine is a sealed burner type and was flooded with 4 inches of water and after I pumped the water out of the basement, the pilot wouldn't stay on for a long time and also when I turned the thermostat on burner went out after few seconds.
The problem was that the air intake screen under the burner had water on it and air canot make it through. I used a paper towel and wiped as much as I could and it started right up, I could feel the air sucked in when I turned the thermostat up.
Hope someone finds this helpful, I had 3 plumbers that wanted to replace the unit and couldn't figure out why it was not starting.

Posted on Mar 20, 2010

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Hey did anyone find a solution to the above problem? I have the same water heater and same problem. I see the spark but no combustion or flame. Please advise. You can email me at gdle310@yahoo.com. SOMEONE HELP PLEASE!!!

Posted on Feb 12, 2010

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Rheem rp4036m


Under the gas valve is a removable panel. On models of that era there should also be a second panel behind the first. remove both.

the pilot light should be clearly visible.

If no pilot, turn the gas valve to OFF. wait 60 seconds. locate the tubes from the gas valve to the pilot location. turn the valve to pilot, and with a long match or grill lighter lit, place flame at the pilot location and press down on the pilot button beside the main valve.

pilot should light. If not shut off the gas and call a technician. If yes, hold the pilot button for 60 seconds, then slowly release. Pilot should stay lit. If not, shut off gas and replace thermocouple, start relight sequence over. If pilot stays lit, replace inner cover and adjust temp to 120 deg. If heater fires up, replace outer cover. Done.

If heater does not light, replace gas valve or entire unit. Water heaters have a limited life expectancy, and if my recollection is correct your unit is 10yrs past warranty.

Dec 04, 2013 | Water Water Heaters

1 Answer

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...

2 Answers

Pilot light will not stay lit.


More than likely the thermal couple is defective. The thermal couple is a safety device that shuts the gas off if the pilot goes out. If it is defective the pilot light will not stay lit. The thermal couple is the device that the small copper line goes to. It is mounted beside the pilot flame and the flame much touch the TC for it to work. If the flame is not touching the TC bend it until it is in the flame. If it is touching the TC then replace it.

Jul 28, 2011 | Whirlpool Water Heaters

1 Answer

I have a GE smart water heater model GG40T6A. the pilot light will not stay lit. what can i do?


The pilot light jet may have got a little bit of dirt or grit in it which is preventing it from keeping alight. Try probing the jet with a fine piece of wire to see it the blockage can be dislodged. You may have to unscrew the jet to clear it by blowing air through it. Make sure gas is turned off first before removing any parts.

The pilot light also has a thermocouple that allows gas to the pilot light while the flame is burning. If flame goes out it shuts gas off to the pilot jet. The thermocouple is bypassed by a switch during the initial ignition and once the thermocouple warms up after a minute or two of holding in the bypass switch, it should maintain the pilot. If, after cleaning, the pilot light keeps going out, it would seem that your thermocouple is faulty and needs to be replaced

Oct 08, 2010 | General Electric GE SmartWater Household...

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...

1 Answer

GE Smartwater Heater model# GG40T6A won't stay lit


Look and see if your pilots flame is touching the themocoupling ,if it isnt then cleane your pilot orfice.If that dosnt work replace thethermocoupler.I would also check the draw. Hold alit match or a cigerett up to the draft diverter (the air space between your heater and the vent. If it dosent draw the smoke up the vent it meanes your vent is stoped up or you need to raise it.

Dec 02, 2009 | General Electric GE SmartWater Household...

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