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Posted: 7/13/2012 9:17:51 PM EDT
So like the title says, my water heater burner wont stay lit. Yes, I payed my gas bill and all my hoses are open and on. I can lite the pilot, and then get the burner going, but after about 10 minutes the flames die and the pilot light goes out. I have to turn it on about 15 minutes before I want to use the shower to get hot water and I can't wash any whites in hot until I get this fixed. Any suggestions/ideas? Thank you.
Link Posted: 7/13/2012 9:30:34 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/13/2012 10:20:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By vbfg135:
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_does_a_thermal_couple_work



Thermal coupling needs replaced.


Maybe, depends if it has a internal combustion chamber or not, if it does it could be a clogged vent on the bottom of the heater, snuffing out the pilot light. If that's the case, get a new gasket assembly first, take it apart and use a spray bottle with water and dish soap to clear the debris on the vent, put back together and fire it up.
Link Posted: 7/14/2012 9:48:25 AM EDT
Is it possible there is a high limit safety switch that shuts down heater if it gets near boiling point, that would mean thermostat has gone bad. May be if you lower thermostat to low it may stay on

GOOD LUCK
Link Posted: 7/14/2012 5:10:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/14/2012 5:11:29 PM EDT by TheTacticalCoyote]
So my water heater is in an utility closet and I lit the pilot light again and I left the door open to the utility closet to check on it occasionally and now it has been running just fine. Once I closed the door it snuffed out the pilot light again. But I re-lit it and now running fine again.

Thoughts?
Link Posted: 7/14/2012 5:13:31 PM EDT
What kind of water heater? Make and age of it. Is it a Whirlpool?

If it has a flame anti roll out screen, it's likely plugged and overheating.
Link Posted: 7/14/2012 5:49:32 PM EDT
It is a State Select made in 2004. I just checked it again and the pilot light was off. And the door was left open.
Link Posted: 7/14/2012 5:51:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/14/2012 5:56:12 PM EDT by MrHold]
Cut a hole in door, or is there a way to get outside air to closet for heater to have combustion air. I have this problem when customers put there pool heater in a shed or garage and screens get clogged up with dust and lint.

P.S. Get a CO2 detector right NOW your life may depend on it!
Link Posted: 7/14/2012 6:08:52 PM EDT
There is a vent that goes from the closet to outside. I live in a condo on the top floor. If I do have an opening to the burner will there be any adverse effects?
Link Posted: 7/14/2012 6:15:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TheTacticalCoyote:
There is a vent that goes from the closet to outside. I live in a condo on the top floor. If I do have an opening to the burner will there be any adverse effects?


picture would help
Link Posted: 7/14/2012 6:34:17 PM EDT


Link Posted: 7/14/2012 6:43:33 PM EDT
Screen on he bottom is plugged with dust or animal fur, you'll need a flexible brush that can get under it to clean the screen off. It's possible that it may also need a thermocouple also.
Link Posted: 7/14/2012 7:07:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/14/2012 7:08:02 PM EDT by TheTacticalCoyote]
Air filter has been cleaned (it was pretty clogged) and I am going to see how this does before I switch out the thermocouple. And there is a label on the water heater that says I should clean the air filter once every six months. I will start doing that now.
Link Posted: 7/15/2012 8:27:36 AM EDT
Originally Posted By TheTacticalCoyote:
Air filter has been cleaned (it was pretty clogged) and I am going to see how this does before I switch out the thermocouple. And there is a label on the water heater that says I should clean the air filter once every six months. I will start doing that now.


Yep, if it's not that screen there is another one the inside of the burner chamber under the burner.
Link Posted: 7/15/2012 8:49:29 AM EDT
I know little about gas water heaters, but had this exact experience when I moved into this house a year ago. I dicked around with it for weeks, thinking there was just air in the gas line from it having been shut off. Then I called the landlord who called the mfr (GE in this case) and found out that there's a glass "fuse" in there. If the gas is turned off, the fuse will often break. The first time it happens (as it did for the previous tenant), the mfr will send a free replacement fuse assembly. The second time, they replace the entire water heater. I now have a new water heater.

There should be an 800 number on the unit somewhere. Find it and call that number. Anything else is just wasting time.
Link Posted: 7/15/2012 9:47:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By BlammO:
I know little about gas water heaters, but had this exact experience when I moved into this house a year ago. I dicked around with it for weeks, thinking there was just air in the gas line from it having been shut off. Then I called the landlord who called the mfr (GE in this case) and found out that there's a glass "fuse" in there. If the gas is turned off, the fuse will often break. The first time it happens (as it did for the previous tenant), the mfr will send a free replacement fuse assembly. The second time, they replace the entire water heater. I now have a new water heater.

There should be an 800 number on the unit somewhere. Find it and call that number. Anything else is just wasting time.


State water heaters don't have that.
Link Posted: 7/15/2012 12:34:15 PM EDT
If the humidity is high, when you fire up the water heater the cold water in the tank will cause condensation on the outside of the inner tank that holds water. The condensation runs down the outside of the tank and drips on the burner and the pilot light.

That MIGHT be your problem.
Link Posted: 7/15/2012 12:45:39 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AR-10:
If the humidity is high, when you fire up the water heater the cold water in the tank will cause condensation on the outside of the inner tank that holds water. The condensation runs down the outside of the tank and drips on the burner and the pilot light.

That MIGHT be your problem.


Humidity is pretty low here in Utah. Thanks though.

The burner is still running strong.
Link Posted: 7/15/2012 8:06:58 PM EDT
change thermocouple if you haven't already
Link Posted: 7/18/2012 6:03:09 PM EDT
My water heater has still been working great and all I did was clean out the air vent. Thanks to all for your help.
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