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Posted: 3/4/2006 6:26:54 AM EDT
Just woke up and no hot water. Gas heater, only 2 years old. Went throught the re-lighting the pilot process and no luck. The pilot will not light, let alone stay lit. In fact I'm wondering if the gas line is plugged or restricted somehow as there is no sound of gas when I push the pilot button down. We just had a good bit of rain and that has caused some problems in the past but the basement (and the bottom of the water heater) didn't show signs of flooding although there was a very small amount of water in the lower area of the heater, just a trace really.

Will the gas company check supply? I'm guessing they will.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 6:33:53 AM EDT
The gas company will probably check it out, but it may take them a week or so to get to you. Personally, if you're not to familiar with water heaters, I would call a plumber for quicker results. Or go get one of those fix books at a local book store.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 7:27:30 AM EDT
thermocouple
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 7:35:27 AM EDT
Put some dishsoap on the end of your finger and hold it over the end of the pilot while holding in on the button,if you see bubbles you have gas.If you do have gas to the pilot you need a thermocouple,easy 5 minute job.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 7:46:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FITTER:
thermocouple



Even with a bad thermocouple the pilot should still lite,
but won't stay lit after releasing the red button.

Could be a clogged orfice or bad gas controll valve.

GM
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 7:49:17 AM EDT
Thanks everyone. Got it going. Just let it sit for a while and then was able to light the pilot.

Link Posted: 3/4/2006 7:51:32 AM EDT
Go look at your meter. If it has a big red bolt or a lock on the valve, you forgot to pay your bill. If not, turn the valve off, disconnect the line at the W/H, have someone turn the valve on for just a second to see if you are getting gas to the W/H. If you are getting gas to the unit and it wont function, check your warranty. If it's under warranty stop right there and follow that course of action. If it's not under warranty, call Dr. Frige. Let him advise you.

I just re read this and there are a lot of if's.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 8:03:59 AM EDT
Is this a newer sealed combustion unit with click/spark or an older style type with an open door/light pilot setup? To check for gas to unit.

1. shut off fuel line valve to appl.
2. You DO have one right?
3. loosen cap on the botton of the drip leg.
4. The installer DID put one in right?
5. Open fuel line valve, and make sure there is gas blowing. There will be [if nat gas] about 7 inches [1/4 pound] it won't blow very hard.
6. If all other gas appliances work it's your reponsibility to repair.
7. If no other gas appl work and no gas blows out call in a NO GAS call to your utility. As an A gas man I can tell you it WON'T take a week, we hit those pretty quick, 99% in one day, usually in a few hours.

If you cant even get a pilot flame while holding down the pilot button [old style] I would suspect you have a clogged pilot orifice. Pull the entire burner assy out. All you have to do is take off the pilot tube, the burner tube and the thermocouple tube off the thermostat/gas valve. Pull the whole assy out and take apart the pilot assy at the burner. There should be a hole the size of a hair thru the pilot orifice. We use a dental drill to clean them OR we replace the with the proper size one. You can try to find a piece of copper wire stranding small enough also.

If you get pilot flame but it goes out when you release the button, probably thermocouple.

If it ends up being the thermostat/valve, Well, my opinion is unless it's new and under warrenty, f-it, I can buy a new water heater and install it myself for about the same price I could pay someone to replace the thermostat/valve. [my opinion only]

[Gas utility appl repair last 15 years here]
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 8:08:11 AM EDT
I managed to get the heater going again.

I think maybe there was a small blockage in the supply. I turned the valve on and off a few times, went to breakfast, came back and got the pilot lit and the unit back on.

Link Posted: 3/4/2006 8:31:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/4/2006 8:48:56 AM EDT by Orygunman]

Originally Posted By nightstalker:
I managed to get the heater going again.

I think maybe there was a small blockage in the supply. I turned the valve on and off a few times, went to breakfast, came back and got the pilot lit and the unit back on.



Plumber here, glad you got it going. Do you know if the gas supplier ever did any repairs on the mains at the street? It will take awhile for the gas to purge the line of air, residential gas system pressure is usually a low pressure system, 14 inches water column, which is about 1/2 PSI.
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