Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-12-2013, 03:36 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
Hadassah's Avatar
 
1966 30' Sovereign
port o connor , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6
WH Pilot Light Not Staying Lit

The pilot light will not stay light on my 66' Sovereign. It will light when on "pilot" (and will hold it on "pilot" for 30sec), but the flame will die when the switch is let go and moves to the "on" position.

I have attempted to do research on this issue, but have not found anything that I have been able to follow as I am new to airstream trailers.

I know it may be the thermo couple, but do not know where to get a new one and how to replace it. Any help is appreciated. I live out of the trailer and no hot water is definitely a pain.
__________________

__________________
Hadassah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2013, 04:00 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Foiled Again's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5,883
Which pilot light? Oven, water heater, furnace?

If there's a thermocouple try holding the lighter in the pilot light for a minute or two to thoroughly warm the device.

If it's more than one pilot light - you may have some water in your propane lines - it happens over time. If you hear gurgling that's the ticket. Turn everryting off, drain the line and try again.

Replace the thermocouple if it's just one appliance.

Paula
__________________

__________________
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
Foiled Again is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2013, 05:47 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Lumatic's Avatar

 
1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Estancia , New Mexico
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,642
Images: 16
Blog Entries: 1
Yeah, sounds like the thermocouple. It can be checked but you need a meter that measures microjewels. Just as easy to put in a new one, they don't cost very much.

Which flame dies? the pilot or the main burner? You could also try a propane torch under the thermocouple to see if that will fool the thermocouple into turning on the main burner. Once the main burner ignites it should stay lit. If the pilot dies after the main burner turns off it is another reason to suspect a bad thermocouple, but at least you could get a little heat.

The way the thermocouple works is it sends a tiny electrical current to a solenoid that opens the burner valve. That is a possible trouble spot too. It is located in the body of the unit right under the thermocouple line. It is also a fairly cheap part to replace. You might want to do them both.

To replace the thermocouple look for a small diameter copper line. Simply unscrew it and take it to your nearest friendly RV store. They are pretty standard.

The other possible easy fix is dirt in the pilot or main burner orifice. Blow it out don't poke it out.
__________________
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
Lumatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2013, 06:02 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Condoluminum's Avatar
 
1988 25' Excella
Sunnyvale , California
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,858
Images: 13
Send a message via AIM to Condoluminum
Thought I'd add different description.. Thermocouple is 2" long brass-colored rod about the size of a Q-Tip that is at end of thick flexible copper wire and tip should sit in flame of pilot light. Other end screws into gas valve near controller of water heater. If it goes bad (end usually starts to crumble and split..) it won't send electrical signal to other end to keep gas flowing to pilot light..

There are articles and videos showing how to replace the thermocouple or test it, including one here: How to Replace an RV Water Heater Thermocouple | Trails.com Key advice is not to over-tighten the new one, or it will not work...
__________________
Condoluminum

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
Condoluminum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2013, 07:05 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
TG Twinkie's Avatar
 
1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,140
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 5
Most hardware stores carry thermocouples. There is nothing RV specific about them. Just get something long enough, but not too long.
__________________
Knowledge: "A gift to be shared. A treasure to receive."
TG Twinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2013, 08:21 PM   #6
2 Rivet Member
 
Helena , Central Montana
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 36
Sometimes the end of these get a build up of a little dirt and the pressure will not remain after holding the pilot button down. Try taking a small paintbrush and cleaning all around that area lightly. That is what fixed mine and I've never had an issue since.
__________________
Steve
Salsa Master is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2013, 06:28 PM   #7
1 Rivet Member
 
Hadassah's Avatar
 
1966 30' Sovereign
port o connor , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6
I know this is a late reply, but I really appreciate all the feedback.

I finally replaced the thermocouple today, but the pilot light still will not stay lit. And this is for the water heater. Any other suggestions to help troubleshoot this??
__________________
Hadassah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2013, 07:10 PM   #8
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
sandlapper's Avatar
 
1993 34' Excella
York , South Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,430
Images: 7
Try blowing out the burner tube and surrounding parts with compressed air. Crud can build up and keep things from working right.

John
__________________
John
WBCCI #3892
Region 3 , 1st VP

Go often to the house of a friend, for weeds choke the unused path........Emerson

Never pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight he will just kill you........a wise old man.
sandlapper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2013, 07:59 PM   #9
Site Team
 
Aage's Avatar
 
1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 11,204
Images: 25
If this is the original water heater, replace it, pointe finale. You don't want to mess with the danger they can present.

If it isn't, get a can of compressed air, and shoot it into the large opening behind the thermocouple and pilot. Be care not to get in front of the exhaust in the upper left corner, since you will likely get some pale grey dust out of it when you shoot it the air in. Spiders love to make homes in there, it's said they like the smell of gas.

Good luck!
__________________
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
...John Wayne...........................
Aage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2013, 09:51 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,941
If the thermocouple does not do it and there is a reasonable size flame when you are holding down the pilot light button, I would think about replacing the whole thing. The next most likely item to fail would be the main gas valve that is not responding to the thermocouple signal. The gas valve cost almost as much as the whole thing. If the flame is a little weak, you need to clean out the pilot gas nozzle and that is a little tricky. Blowing it out with air is preferable to poking a pin in it and making the hole too big. I guess you could buy another nozzle pretty cheap.
__________________
dwightdi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2013, 11:04 AM   #11
1 Rivet Member
 
Hadassah's Avatar
 
1966 30' Sovereign
port o connor , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6
So I got a Butane Torch to try and heat the thermocouple up and see if the pilot light would stay lit. It still didn't work.

It is an Atwood water heater, so must not be the original (I have had the trailer for about a year). New water heater is $300, or $100 for a new gas valve. Is it worth it to replace the entire water heater??
__________________
Hadassah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2013, 12:35 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
1977 Argosy 24
Currently Looking...
Milltown , Wisconsin
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,069
Yes replace it. You wouldn't keep a 20 or 30 year old water heater in your house, so don't do it in your trailer either.
__________________
ventport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2013, 12:42 PM   #13
1 Rivet Member
 
Hadassah's Avatar
 
1966 30' Sovereign
port o connor , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6
not sure of the exact age, but the water heater was replaced within the last 10 years according to the original owner.
__________________
Hadassah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2013, 01:00 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,941
The thermocouple did not have enough output to turn on the main valve. Replace the thermocouple. About $4 at your local hardware store.
__________________

__________________
dwightdi is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Water heater pilot takes FOREVER to light KYAirstream LP Gas, Piping, Tanks & Regulators 9 09-07-2011 02:20 PM
How to Light the Pilot in the Oven lcurrie Stoves, Ovens & Microwaves 3 08-01-2011 08:16 PM
Pilot Light Not Staying Lit vhariable Refrigerators 23 07-22-2011 12:58 AM
Suburban oven, pilot light issue mikeandnora Stoves, Ovens & Microwaves 3 06-14-2011 10:28 AM
looking for help with Magic chef oven pilot light jayg Stoves, Ovens & Microwaves 2 06-01-2011 05:18 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.