pilot light keeps going out

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    • #276383
      Avatar photocatherine matos

        I have a gas water heater (who knows how old it is). I also have another water heater that “seems” to be working. The two water heaters are connected in series (as the plumber told me).

        My problem is that I have a pilot light on one of them and it keeps going out. I get hot showers but not long enough for another person aferwards. So, I’m assuming the pilot is the problem since I’m using the water in the one tank and the other I’m just getting cold water.

        If so, what can I do? Is it simply replacing the thermocouple – what is it anyway? is it the main gas knob thingamajig? If so, how much do these things cost and what is the labor charge? In total what am I looking at? Or is it easy to replace it myself? (I’ve never done this kind of replacement).

        Thanks in advance..

      • #294037
        Avatar photoRetired plbg1

          It looks like a little rod about 1-1/2″ long +or – and the piolet light flame burns on it and when it is bad it turns off gas, you can replace it, it connects under the gas valve but get the right one.

        • #294038
          Avatar photoSelgas

            Thing is here – if your problem was a faulty thermocouple (and retired plumber should know better!) you would not be able to light the pilot light and keep it going once it had gone out. The thermocouple is a sensor device that when heated generates a very small electrical current which is sufficient to hold open a magnetic valve that allows gas to flow to the pilot light burner. When and if the pilot goes out for any reason the sensor cools down and as a result does not generate any electric current and as a consequence it shuts off the gas flow to the pilot burner.
            From the description you have given I believe your problem lies not with the thermocouple lead itself but with the pilot burner which sounds like it is partially blocked up and not burning large enuff to heat the sensor probe of the thermocouple lead end.
            If however, you check the pilot burner and it is burning with a clean blue kinda flame and is steadily playing on the themocouple lead head firstly check that the thermocouple nut end is firmly screwed into the gas valve – do not overtighten!!
            It is possible but the problem although very rare may be caused by a faulty overheat device fitted into the internal workings of the gas valve itself – if this was to fail it would allow the main burner to heat up initially and reach temperature then click out the overhead device and shut down the gas supply to the pilot, which in turn would turn everything off, although the valve poisition would still remain in the “on” position.
            Hope this helps you to understand the problem and I would suggest you get the services of a suitably qualified gasfitter to attend to your water heater – remember gas can kill!!!

            Selgas Services Ltd
            Craftsman Gasfitters, Plumbers, Electrical Service Technicians

          • #294039
            Avatar photoakoo1

              How much does this cost to fix do you think? If what you say (Peter) is correct?

              How do I find a qualified technician for this kind of a job? I hate being cheated by some crook.

              Thanks in advance

            • #294040
              Avatar photoSelgas

                Depends on what Country you are in I guess but down here where I am costs would be round $45 all up unless it is the gas valve that requires attention in which case costs would be here anyways round $200 to fix.
                Look up your yellow pages for a qualified gasfitter in your area or ring your nearest gas supplier and ask for a recommendation on who they would suggest do the work for you.
                Hope this helps.

                Selgas Services Ltd
                Craftsman Gasfitters, Plumbers, Electrical Service Technicians

              • #294041
                Avatar photoracefanone

                  I would have to agree with you peter,retired plumber should know better.Might also clean the end of the thermocouple lead that fits into the gas valve.Just my two cents worth. Have a good one.

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