Question about RTO W4 A.O Smith Gas Hot Water Heater Draft Inducer

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Pilot will light, goes out when button let go,

Pilot will light, goes out when pilot button let go, replaced the pilot / thermocouple assy, same issue, also cleaned the flame aresstor, same issue ?
This is a GCV-50-101 propane unit.
I started going out for two weeks, but was able to restart, until it wouldn't stay lit all together.
My propane tank has 500 gallions with 80 PSI showing - i also ohmed out the gas valve checking for no open in the 2 leads.

OK- want to advise while I was posting this I removed my thermo, reinstalled, no help then noticed the RED GAS KNOB had a slight crack in it allowing it depressed enough to start the pilot but not far enough to enguage the thermo. removed the knob used small plyers to push down shaft-hold-let up and BAM works fine knobless.

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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.

Posted on Jul 20, 2010

Testimonial: "it was related to the gas valve but the actual control knob itself- thanks"

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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We have an atwood lp gas water heater 6 gallon g6a7 white rogers control. The pilot lights but when we turn it to on it goes out, even after holding it up to a minute. It was running fine, we thought we...


If pilot stay lit, then thermocouple is working.
If pilot will light, then you have gas. If pilot goes out when pilot button is released, then thermocouple is next suspect.

Thermocouple tip must sit in pilot flame.
The pilot light heat applied to two different metals inside thermocouple causes small current.
The current travels back to gas control valve through copper line.
If the gas valve receive this current, then a magnetic switch stays open and allows gas into the gas control valve.
The magnetic switch is on the end of the red button you push down when lighting pilot. Essentially the red button is an override to the magnetic switch.
If the gas control valve does not receive the current, then the magnetic switch does not stay open when you release the red button.
When replacing thermocouple, note that it is not screwed very tight into the gas control valve. Finger tight + 1/4 turn. If it is overtightened, then the small thermocouple current shorts out against the gas control body.

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sounds like the thermocouple:
The thermocouple is a safety device that turns off the gas if there is no pilot light. If you look closely at the burning pilot light, there is a small metal tube that sits directly in the flame, with wires that lead back to the gas valve. The thermocouple generates a small amount of electrical current when heated by the flame. This current keeps the gas safety valve open. If the pilot light gets blown out, the current stops and the gas valve closes. When you light the pilot light, you hold down the over-ride button for about 30 seconds. This allows the gas to flow long enough to heat up the thermocouple and generate current and then you can release the over-ride button and gas will continue to flow. If the thermocouple is defective, then as soon as you release the over-ride button, since there is no electrical current, the gas will stop flowing and the pilot light will go out.

This is a pretty common failure on water heaters and furnaces. Replacement of the thermocouple is fairly simple if you are the handyman type. If not, the thermocouple is a cheap part -- about $10 bucks, but the service call may run you $100 or so. Before you call a serviceman, get all of the brand and model information from the information plate on the heater so he can bring the proper replacement part. And sorry for your trouble. hope this helps:)

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Pilot light will not stay light


Check to see if the thermocouple tip is in line with the pilots flame, if its not heating the tip then carefully adjust as necessary. If the tip is in the flame and still wont stay lit then the thermocouple is due for a replacement.This task may require that the burner assy. be removed, so as to access the fasteners that attach thermocouple tip, hence disconnecting the gas line that leads to the burner, and must be properly reinstalled and leak tested. This item can be found at most hardware stores and home centers (Home depot/Lowes) be sure to gently remove the old one and take it with you (for comparison) when you are ready to purchase the new part.
Note: As with any repair of this nature, safety must come first, quality gloves and eye protection should be warn. also do not attempt any repair that is outside of your ability and knowledge.

Good luck...

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