When I light the pilot light, the heater comes on, but when it reaches a certain temperature and turns off, the pilot light goes out. Please explain very simply, I am not mechanical.
It could be a number of problems, so let's start with the easiest! When you light the pilot, is the pilot flame a strong blue color or a lazy yellow color? If it's yellow, it may not be heating the thermocouple sufficiently to keep it lit after the burners reaches temperature, so it shuts off with the burner. The solution is to clean the dirty pilot orifice using a can of compressed air with the straw attached (the kind you use to clean computer keyboards) With the heater pilot turned off, blow air down the flange where the pilot flame burns. If it has an air hole on the side of the pilot assembly, blow air through that too. Then relight it and if you have a blue pilot flame, see if that solves your problem and stays lit through the entire cycle. If not, go to the next problem:
You may have a dirty flame sensor bar. if your heater is so equipped, there is an small "L" shaped bar that protrudes near the end of one burner and senses the burner flame. carefully clean it using a small piece of sandpaper, being careful not to put too much pressure on it which might break the porcelain piece on the other end. Then wipe it clean with a dry cloth or paper towel and try lighting it again and see what happens. If that doesn't fix it, then try this:
It is also possible you have a defective thermocouple. Typically when they go bad, they won't stay lit at all, but sometimes they do light and go out later. Solution: Replace the thermocouple. It is the skinny metal bar that the pilot flame is heating. It is screwed into the gas control on the other end. Make sure it is cooled down before pulling it out of the pilot assembly. Don't worry, it doesn't have gas coming out of it and there is no electricity connected to it. Remove it and measure it and take it with you to the nearest hardware store or do-it-yourself center and they will match one up for you.
Other possible problems could be a strong draft blowing in the vent and blowing out your pilot, so make sure you have a vent cap outside. Or it could also be a blocked outside vent that is causing it to shut down, so check for blockage via a bird nest, dead bird, wasp nest, etc. Hope these help!
Let me know if you need more info or if one of these works for you! Douglas
Nov 22, 2010 |
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