Pilot won't stay lit on boiler

Old 10-30-07, 04:59 AM
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Pilot won't stay lit on boiler

have a 9 year old gas fired Utica boiler. The pilot light went out and I am following the directions for re-lighting it, but it won't stay lit. I suspect it may have to do with the metal tube that connects the gas control to the pilot, because when I bought the house a year ago, that tube had been replaced and the old one was lying next to the boiler. Maybe this tube has a short lifespan? Any ideas? If anyone thinks this tube is the problem, any doubts that an amateur could replace it? Our gas company wants $105 for the first 30 minutes, plus parts, so I want to try to repair it myself as long as it isn't too complex.

Thanks for helping out.

Old 10-30-07, 04:32 PM
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That part is _probably_ a "thermocouple" and should be within the skills of an average DIY'er to replace. It's a safety device intended to prevent the gas valve from opening in the event the pilot goes out.

When you light the pilot, and hold the button or lever, you are waiting long enough for it to get hot, right ? It can take like 60 seconds or more... If it's not hot enough (or defective) the pilot will go out as soon as you release the button/lever.

How does the pilot flame look when it is lit ? Nice blue flame ? engulfing the bulb on the existing thermocouple ? If not, there might be dirt in the pilot orifice, even spiders webs.

If your system hasn't had a 'check-up' and cleaning (any dirt on the burners?) in a while, it might pay you to have the guy in and look it over.

Take a pic and show us the part, post it on photobucket.com and provide a link here. That way we can be sure to give you the best advice.

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