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Sounds like the thermocouple needs replaced. When ever the couple doesn't make enough electricity the gas valve is shut down automatically. Sounds like your thermocouple is right at the threshold of minimum voltage and doesn't generate enough voltage to keep valve open.
It may may be the safety system for pilot light is maladjusted. There is a sensor which has to be heated by the pilot light or the valve shuts down altogether. If the pilot light stays lit then you check to see if it is positioned to light main burner.
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.
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.
Suspects include bad thermocouple, thermocouple slipped down and not in pilot flame, dirty combustion parts and pilot tube, dirty air intake, backdraft caused by other vent fans pulling air down water heater vent, water dripping down vent because of poor venting, air in gas line, low gas pressure, bad gas control valve, hot attic environment, tight house not allowing enough air:
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.
Check that the pilot is lit., If not, light it after gas is shut off for 10 minutes. Then turn to pilot, hold down, light, keep holding down for exactly 1 minute, then turn gas knob to ON and you should be good. If gas shuts off, then valve is bad.
Dryer does not have pilot light. There is an ignitor that glows when the dryer is started and lights the flame when the gas begins to flow. With the front of the dryer off start it up and look for the glow. when it glows hot enough (or on a newer model it might be a spark) the gas should ignite. When the flame sensor sees that the gas is ignited it shuts off the ignitor and keeps the gas valve open until the temperature sensor gets high and shuts it off. When the temp sensor cools down the cycle repeats.
If no glow or spark-->bad ignitor
If no gas flow-->bad flame sensor or bad gas valve coil
If gas comes on and goes off quickly-->lint filter and/or vent pipe or outlet may be clogged or bad flame sensor.
If you have a pilot light (small flame) you can try to re-light it by turning the knob on the gas valve to the pilot position and pushing the knob down while lighting the pilot, you may have to hold the knob down for up to 30 seconds before releasing it. The pilot should stay lit and then turn the knob to the on position. If the pilot will not stay lit or the main burner will not light it could be the gas valve or the temperature sensor.