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Old 10-16-2007, 07:31 AM   #1
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Water Heater Pilot Won't Light

Anyone have any ideas on how to fix this? As the title says, the water heater pilot won't light, but if I hold the flame in there long enough to heat the thermocouple, the main burner will light and burn... so the burner is good, the thermocouple is good, and the valve is good (at least on the main burner portion).

Your thoughts?
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Old 10-16-2007, 09:50 AM   #2
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Mine will not light...unless I turn on a stovetop burner and let the gas flow through that for a minute. Then, I struggle but it lights eventually.

Have you tried that yet?

Scott
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Old 10-16-2007, 09:51 AM   #3
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Steve,

Sounds like the spacing between the pilot and the t/couple might be too large. Check your manual for the exact gap, but they usually are at 1/8". If the pilot is not providing enough heat for the t/couple to maintain the pilot, you might have a partial blockage in the gas burner tube also, or a partially defective gas valve.

Have you been holding the valve down after lighting the pilot for at least 30 seconds to allow for proper t/couple heating?
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Old 10-16-2007, 11:18 AM   #4
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Thanks for y'alls input, but please read the symtoms again....the pilot light will not light. The main burner works OK after I hold the propane match on the thermocouple long enough for it to heat up, but the pilot light never lights.
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Old 10-16-2007, 05:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH
Thanks for y'alls input, but please read the symtoms again....the pilot light will not light. The main burner works OK after I hold the propane match on the thermocouple long enough for it to heat up, but the pilot light never lights.
Sorry Steve,

I thought that the pilot would not stay lit. I would then check the gas valve, and disconnect the pilot LP feed tube from the valve and burner head and blow it out with a heavy shot of compressed air. It might be blocked, thus not allowing the LP to flow from the valve to thru the tube to be ignited. If it still wont work, I would then replace the pilot tube AND the gas valve, as the pioot function on the control knob may not be functioning, and the gas valves are not field serviceable.

Hope this helps!
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Old 10-16-2007, 06:55 PM   #6
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When I replaced my thermocouple it wouldn't stay lit either. Andy from Inland told me to tighten it "really hard". That was the problem. Not in tight enough (and I thought I tightened it hard enough the first time). I'd try that before anything. It was an easy fix!
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Old 10-16-2007, 07:01 PM   #7
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Sorry, read your post wrong----whatever Lew says, that's the ticket!
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Old 10-16-2007, 07:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
Sorry Steve,

I thought that the pilot would not stay lit. I would then check the gas valve, and disconnect the pilot LP feed tube from the valve and burner head and blow it out with a heavy shot of compressed air. It might be blocked, thus not allowing the LP to flow from the valve to thru the tube to be ignited. If it still wont work, I would then replace the pilot tube AND the gas valve, as the pioot function on the control knob may not be functioning, and the gas valves are not field serviceable.

Hope this helps!
Thanks Lew, I'll disassemble it tomorrow and see if there is an obstuction. If not, I guess it will be a trip to the RV store for parts.

Steve
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Old 10-19-2007, 01:41 PM   #9
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Just an Update

Lew,

You were right...the pilot light feed tube orifice was choked up. When I took it off, I couldn't even see the orifice it was so small, and maybe because it was choked up with whatever. I blew it out, reverse flow, and then I could see the tiny orifice and could even blow thru it with my mouth and feel a small flow.

Result is, it works fine now. Thanks again for your help.

Steve
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Old 10-19-2007, 01:51 PM   #10
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Lew's the man!
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Old 10-19-2007, 07:50 PM   #11
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Awe shucks............. Thanks gang!
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Old 10-20-2007, 07:50 AM   #12
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glad he got that fixed, also everybody keep an eye out for cob-web accumulation that can plug pipes and outlets too...
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