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Water heater won't light. Replaced the Thermocouple and when I light the pilot light it turns off when I turn the gas valve to On

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You will need to replace the gas valve

Posted on Jul 09, 2008

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Water heater burner wont light


Problem is not thermocouple:
Thermocouple should be finger-tight plus 1/4 turn
Overtightening will short thermocouple against gas control valve, and solenoid switch will not open, and no gas will reach pilot once red button is released.
Tip of thermocouple has to sit in the pilot flame.
If pilot flame will stay on, then thermocouple is good.

Problem is not solenoid switch.
The gas control valve solenoid opens and closes gas supply to gas control valve.
On mechanical gas control valve, when you push down the red button to light pilot, then you are opening the solenoid and letting gas flow into gas control valve.
When heat is applied to thermocouple, a small electric current travels to gas control valve, and this causes solenoid to stay open.
If you extinguish pilot, then no current travels to gas control, and solenoid clicks off.
You can hear it click, and this is how you test it.
However, since you are getting gas to pilot light, then the solenoid is not the problem.

This leaves 4 possible problems:
1) Bad gas control valve thermostat.
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/How-to-replace-water-heater-gas-valve.pdf
2) Inadequate gas pressure. Call gas company.
3) Dirty combustion parts. Clean the burner with wire brush and water.
4) Clogged air intake on FV water heaters: Rheem FV gas water heaters have glass vial that will break if combustion is slowed by clogged air intake.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-repair-Rheem-TRD.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-gas-water-heater.html

Oct 06, 2012 | Rheem 40 Gallon FVR NATGAS Water Heater 6...

1 Answer

Hot water heater pilot will not light


You have red wires connected to bottom of gas control valve?
Is this a power vent model?
What model, what brand water heater?
Is new thermocouple is finger-tight plus 1/4 turn and not shorted against gas control valve?
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-thermocouple.html

Copy following link for safety magnet:
Magnet will click closed when pilot is turned off. Put butane lighter on end of thermocouple and listen for clicking sound.
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Safety-magnet-Gas-control-valve.pdf

Copy following link for troubleshoot by type of gas control valve:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-gas-water-heater.html#intellivent

Bad gas control valve:
Low gas pressure, air in gas line, inadequate air supply, clean the air intake, tripped FVIR system, etc.

Aug 28, 2012 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

Pilot light is lit but won't turn on water heater


What band and type water heater do you have? And about how old is the water heater? Add a comment with more information.

Following general information applies to tank-type residential water heater.
If pilot light is working, then thermocouple is good. Otherwise, if thermocouple was bad, or fallen out of place, then there would be no pilot flame.
Carefully read instructions for lighting water heater located on front of tank ... make sure you have the gas control valve set to ON.
At this point, troubleshoot varies widely depending if your water heater is older and air enters front of heater, or if water heater was made after 2007-9 and has sealed combustion chamber and FV system.'
Troubleshoot also varies widely depending if you have power vent and which type of gas control valve.
Copy following link for troubleshoot by type of gas control valve:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-gas-water-heater.html#intellivent
Also post detailed question on pro water heater forum.
http://www.thetankatwaterheaterrescue.com/forums/forum3/

Aug 16, 2012 | Whirlpool Water Heaters

2 Answers

My water heater won't light. The pilot light works. But, when I try to swtch the pilot to regualr, the flame goes out.


You probably have a defective thermocouple. The thermocouple sits in the flame of the pilot, and the heat generates a small electrical current conducted back to the gas valve, keeping the pilot gas line open after you switch it to the "on" position. That's why you have to manually hold the gas valve depressed (on) during lighting in the "pilot" position, allowing the thermocouple time to heat up enough to generate its current. A defective thermocouple will not generate the holding current.

Jan 06, 2012 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

Believe I need to buy a Rheem Water Heater Thermocouple. Where do I find them?


If thermocouple is from ordinary tank-type water heater, then it is a generic part with different lengths 15" 17" 21" 24" 30" available at hardware of home center.
I suggest reading manual for installation information, advisories, and required maintenance.
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Rheem-Ruud-water-heater-parts-guide.pdf
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-install-gas-water-heater.html#clean

There are good utube videos on replacing thermocouple.
Tip of thermocouple has to be positioned in the pilot flame.
The heat on tip of thermocouple causes millivolts of electric current that travel back to the gas control valve and the electrical signal causes gas control valve to keep gas flowing down the pilot tube to the pilot light.
If pilot light blows out or if pilot tube is clogged and needs to be cleaned, or if gas valve has gone bad, then tip of thermocouple cools down and electric signal back to gas control valve causes gas control valve to shut off gas going to pilot.

When attaching thermocouple to gas control valve, it is finger tightened.
Be careful and do not cross-thread thermocouple. Just use your fingers to start the nut.
Finger-tighten thermocouple and then add 1/4 turn using small wrench.
The end of thermocouple has a small piece of insulation that isolates the electric current from body of gas control valve. If thermocouple is overtightened, the insulation is crushed, and electrical current millivolts short out and no signal reaches gas control valve, so gas control valve keeps gas turned off to pilot tube.

If this is a tankless water heater, then open following link with troubleshooting resources and contact information for Rheem.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Troubleshoot-Rheem-Tankless-water-heater.html

Upvote the help.
And take advantage of fixya expert assistance live.
For a price, expert works with you while you work on water heater or any do-it-yourself project.
Fixya is always less expensive than a service call.

May 20, 2011 | Rheem 36" Water Heater Thermocouple Kit

1 Answer

Pilot won't stay lit, replaced thermalcouple but


I would remove pilot light assembly and clean orifice and blow out gas line to pilot. Check to see that thermocouple is centered in pilot flame. It is possiblethat your gas valve is bad but it is also possible that you got a defective thermocouple. I would change the thermocouple again as they are much less expensive then the gas valves. The next time when you are sure you have the thernocouple mounted as close to the center of the pilot flame hold the pilot button down for several mins. If none of this works then you may have to change your gas valve.Thank you.

May 06, 2011 | Rheem Water Heaters

3 Answers

Pilot light on water heater goes out frequently and thermocouple has been replaced 3-4 times. Richmond 30 gal, gas, model 5V30T. Thank you


Check the following:

See if your heater has a pilot gas adjustment valve. It should be on the gas control valve somewhere. Not all heaters have these. It will be a screw on the valve that can be turned.

Make sure the thermocouple sensing bulb is squarely in the pilot flame and also check that the fitting where the other end of the thermocouple connects to the main gas valve is tight.

Check the pilot gas orifice (where the pilot gas comes out) for carbon build up - you may need to remove the pilot gas line and thermocouple assembly to get to this. This problem is pretty common.

Check the gas pressure to the heater. Run the hot water in the dwelling until the hot water heater starts. Check the flame on the main burner and see what color it is - it should be blue with possibly some yellow-tipped flames. If not, there could be a problem with the gas pressure at the heater or venting. If the heater has a gas pressure regulator, it may be out of adjustment or defective.

Finally, and this isn't very common, the pilot light can be extinguished if there is a draft problem, usually associated with an issue with the flue pipe venting system for the heater or another nearby gas consuming appliance.

Dec 31, 2009 | Audiovox Richmond 6G40-36F 6-Year Tall Gas...

3 Answers

Pilot light won`t stay burning on my hot water tank. I replaced the thermacoupler;no difference. It is a Rheem Gauardian system ''Fury''. 40 gal in a wellsite skid trailer. Thanks


The thermocouple is a screw in type or 2 wire. You can check the dc MILI volt output with a multimeter. It should probably make 500-750miliVDC when heated. Be sure no plastic from the thermocouple wrapper was on the threads, will not work like that. To light did you push and hold the valve for 30 sec after lighting the pilot then turn to run after the pilot was burning? There is a slight chance the gas valve is bad but not likely. Check the wireing on the thermocouple to the gas valve.

Oct 19, 2009 | Rheem 40 Gallon FVR NATGAS Low WATER...

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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