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My gas water heater pilot light does not stay lit? What would the problem be?

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Probably it's the thermocouple. You need a gas technician. Best off to call a certified repair company such as Sears.

Posted on Oct 16, 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

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...

1 Answer

Reliance 606 natural gas water heater - model #640YORT - water does not stay hot. pilot has to be clicked to heat and then u can use hot water til tank empty and it will not continue to heat water.


If I understand correctly, the pilot light is not staying lit.
You light the pilot and water in the tank reaches temperature.
Once hot water is gone, then pilot light has to be lit again.

Gas pressure is good, and gas is flowing.
Thermostat is working at high end because it cuts off heating.
Vent is working because tank heats up.
Air intake is working.

Gas control thermostat might not be reading low temperature. Replace gas control valve.
Pilot tube might be dirty. Clean burner parts and combustion chamber, and air intake, and vent.
Backdraft might be blowing out pilot. Check for constant updraft by running water heater 5 minutes, and then light match under vent hood and see if smoke goes up.
Very hot air can put out pilot, especially when water heater located in attic. Add ventilation.
Improper vent might have water dripping back down into combustion chamber and putting out pilot light and rusting out the parts. Inspect for rusted parts and water.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-install-gas-water-heater.html#troubleshoot
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Pilot-light-will-not-stay-lit.pdf

Aug 09, 2011 | Reliance Natural Gas Water Heater Control

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

Pilot wont stay lit on waterheater. I replaced Thermocouple and that did not fix it. It will stay lit on vacation setting.


Most gas water heater problems can be fixed with yearly service that cleans burner and burner parts, checks gas pressure and bleeds air out of gas line, cleans air intake, and checks for venting and air intake problems.
Open following links for resources:
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Pilot-light-will-not-stay-lit.pdf
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Attic-Ventilation-and-Pilot-Outage-in-Gas%20Water-Heaters.pdf
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-install-gas-water-heater.html#troubleshoot

Jul 27, 2011 | Water Heaters

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

I don't know how to restart my old bosch water wizard 10p, pilot light has gone out.


get a long stick match, a flashlight remove lower inspection cover, find thermocouple and pilot light will be next to it,turn gas valve to pilot light and hold down,stick the match in by thermocouple till the pilot lights and hold valve down till pilot stays lit,this may take a minute or more,then release gas valve and see if pilot stays lit, if not retry,if it wont stay lit,the thermocouple is defective and needs replacement

Jul 12, 2009 | Bosch & Tankless LP Hot Water Heater

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