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I have a Whirlpool gas hot water heater. The pilot light will not stay lit: it ignites but as soon as I release the RESET button, the pilot goes out.

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Change your thermocouple. You can get one at any hardware store. the thermocouple is the small rod looking device next to the flame of the pilot light. It has a copper looking line about as round as a pencil lead that connects to the gas valve. Disconnect the line from the thermocouple from the gas valve and you may be able to just pull it out from the pilot assembly. take the old one in to the hardware store so you'll get the right length.

Posted on Apr 09, 2011

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There is whats called a thermocouple, this thermocouple sits in the pilot flame, and converts the heat to a small electric charge that keeps the valve open, which in turn keeps the flame on. (see picture below). I have a Whirlpool gas - mcneb_24.jpg You can find one at your local Home depot.


Posted on Apr 09, 2011

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Sorry to see you're having problems! Can you contact me direcly so I can help?
www.whirlpoolwaterheaters.com/help
Thanks ~ Chris

Posted on May 28, 2011

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1 Answer

The pilot light will only stay lit when you hold the pilot reset button in, as soon as you let the button out the pilot light goes out and the actual burners never come on. Any ideas?


Gas line is clogged if your pilot lite goes out - They got rid of pilot stoves because the pilot was always lit and using gas.

And without a lit pilot no way you can get the burner to ignite unless you use a match, assuming you have gas going to the burner!

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1 Answer

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

My whirlpool 50 gal natural gas water heater wont stay lit?


Are you sure the pilot is heating up the thermocouple? Make sure the flame is close enough to the thermocouple. Also make sure the thermocouple is seated properly in control valve. Try unscrewing and resetting it back into place.

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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.

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1 Answer

I have a Whirlpool gas water heater and the pilot light went out. When I light it it goes out as soon as soon as I release the RESET button.


if it keeps going out, its more likely the thermal coupling is bad and needs replaced. if the coupling goes bad it shuts gas of to heater as a safety precaution. it does not let any gas come out of the main regulator. it works on the principal when the end gets hot it opens the gas valve and lets gas through to burner. replace coupling. have a good day !!

Apr 09, 2011 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

I have a Whirlpool gas water heater. The pilot light won't stay lit. It ignites, but goes out when I release the RESET button.


replce thermal coupling. and be sure to hold down reset button for at least 60 seconds after it lights. then let it up slowly and turn knob to start. have a good day !!

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1 Answer

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The power pile (pilot generator) is defective. It produces a milivolt signal to ensure to keep the gas valve open. If it goes bad, the valve thinks the pilot is out, even when you are holding the button down, so when you release the button, it shuts the gas off to prevent excess gas buildup and a possible explosion.

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It sounds like a thermocouple has gone bad. this is a very common problem with gas powered things ie; water heaters, furnaces, hot tubs. The telltale sign is when you release the pilot light button it won't stay lit. This is a safety feature and is relatively inexpensive and easy to repair.

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1 Answer

Burner on new Whirlpool gass water heater will not stay lit


One of the proper ways to light a gas water heater, is to turn the black knob to Pilot, put a match to the end of the pilot light, while holding the match there, push the red reset button down and hold the match & the reset button down for one full minute. Then, release the reset button and turn the black knob to On. This should keep the pilot light on.

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I have a Williams top vent gravity wall furnace (model 5009622) and I had the same problem. I had to take the cover off the furnace -- screw on top and two at the bottom (open the access door and there is one screw on each side) to get to the reset button for the vent safety shutoff system. On my furnace it's on the left side toward the top of the unit. I pressed the little red reset button and it's been working ever since. If your furnace is properly installed and doesn't have bird's nest in the chimney, it should work fine. Good luck!

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