Woman in a mans world

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  #1  
Old 11-10-04, 11:17 AM
romperroom4
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Woman in a mans world

Please Help!!! I am a woman in a mans world here. I have a whirlpool furnace and the pilot light won't stay lit. I can get the pilot lit and when I go to turn the knob to the on position the pilot light goes out. I had it going earlier and when the furnace reached specified temp it shut down and the pilot light went out again. Now I can't get it to stay lit!!!! Does my chimmney need to be cleaned? Or is it the thermal coupple? (however you spell it). LOL
The furnace is appx.24-25yrs old. YEAH I know I need a new one, but can't afford it at the moment. Please help!!!! I have 3 babies and it is suppose to get cold tonight. Hubby thinks he can fix everything but ends up making it worse Thank You in advance for any ideas.
 
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Old 11-10-04, 11:20 AM
T
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I would start with replacing the thermocouple first. That's the most likely culprit.
You may want to wait for an expert's opinion, I'm no furnace expert.
 
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Old 11-10-04, 11:57 AM
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Hello romperroom4. Welcome to the Heating Furnaces forum topic and the Do It Yourself Web Site.

Most likely the thermocouple is too weak to produce the current needed to keep the gas valve opened or the thermocouple is simply burned out from normal usage.

Replacing it should resolve the problem. The thermocouple is the part the pilot flame is in contact with. The opposite end of the thermocouple is threaded into the gas valve. This end must be carefully unscrewed out of the gas valves control using a small open ended wrench.

A thermocouple is generic except for it's length. Thermocouples are made in different lengths. Measure the removed part or take the one you remove to any hardware store and replace it with an exact duplicate in length. The parts cost is very nominal.

New thermocouple packages will contain complete do-it-yourself installation instructions and pictures. The package also contains additional clips of various assortments.

Not all the parts contained in the package with the thermocouple will be needed. The packages contain an assortment of holding parts and clips that are generic and designed to fit a wide variety of applications.

Read the other topics in this forum and those within the heating & cooling forum on the topic of heaters for additional information. Doing so will provide you with other problem possibilities and alternate correctional solutions to them.

Be sure the electrical power to the appliance is turned off, the thermostat is turned down and the gas control valve is in the off postion before attempting any repairs.

Check back on your question several more times. Heating professionals and other members posting replies in this forum topic may offer you additional advice, ideas and or repair methods.

If you need further assistance, use the REPLY button to add any additional information or ask additional questions after attempting the correctional method or methods offered.

Regards & Good Luck, Sharp Advice.
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Additional Possibilities:

Be sure the pilot flame is all blue and no yellow. If any yellow or doubt pilot flame is correct or maybe dusty, blow it out. Allow it to cool. Use can of computer keyboard canned air cleaner to blow out the entire assembly.

Relight pilot and note the result. Test the heater again note any changes. Also be sure the T-Couple is correctly installed in the pilot assembly. Only the tip of T-Couple or about top 1/3 should be heated. Must be glowing a bright cherry red color.

CAUTION:
CARBON MONOXIDE WEB SITE INFO:
http://www.carbon-monoxide-poisoning.com/symptoms.html
 
  #4  
Old 11-10-04, 12:42 PM
romperroom4
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romperroom4

Thank You for your advice. I finally got the thing lit and it has stayed lit thus far. I will still change out the thermal whatchamacallit. Thank goodness it will have pictures with the instructions. I will need them. I know the unit needs to be replaced but I am hoping to go one more year with it. Even thought it is staying lit right now, does not rule out the thermal thingy does it? ( I know what it is called just dont know how to spell it correctly.)
Thank You.
 
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Old 11-10-04, 02:19 PM
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It helps if you have a digital camera to take pictures before you take anything apart. The trickiest part is to remember how to put it back at the burner. You may have to reuse some of the old mounting accessories. The T-couple can be longer if you can't find an exact match (length wise).
 
  #6  
Old 11-10-04, 03:32 PM
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Hi: romperroom4

No. Just because the pilot is staying lit does not mean all is okay. Still very likely the thermocouple is weak and needs to be replaced. Cealning the entire pilot assembly would be a good idea at that time also.

When in that process of removing the existing thermocouple (TC) and installing the new (TC) cleanout the pilot assembly using canned computer keyboard cleaned.

Or do it before hand. Now would be a good time before installing a TC. Aim the plastic extension tube into the pilot assembly whereever possible and into every place possible on the assembly. Blow out the flame fist and allow a few minutes for the assembly to cool. Or wait until the next time the pilot goes out on it's own.

Than blast away dust which accumulates on and in the pilot assembly. Relit pilot and note if there is any difference. Pilot flame may now be partly yellowed tipped or have some yellow in it. Should be none. Will be none once cleaned properly as described. May help to keep pilot flame lit. And or on while furnace is being used.

Purchase a T-Couple anyway. Very likely to need it even after proper cleaning. Be aware, depending on make and models, replacing at simple T-Couple is not always easy. Common tools must be used and some mechanical skills needed and applies.

Cautionary Notes:
Once repairs are made, relight pilot, set control to ON position and turn up T-Stat and stay away from furnace until it light up. Do not approach furnace too closely until furnace is fired up and you are sure it has done so properly.

Install new T-Couple into pilot assembly exactly as the existing one is installed. Element end must be placed exactly the same height as the exiting one. Reinstall pilot assembly as found.

Gently thread nut end of T-Couple into gas control valve, starting threads by hand to insure threads will not cross thread and become damaged. Tighten nut snugly but do not overtighten. Tighten just snugly until bottoms out.

Be sure the electrical power to the appliance is turned off, the thermostat is turned down and the gas control valve is in the off postion before attempting any repairs.
 
  #7  
Old 11-11-04, 07:41 AM
romperroom4
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I just wanted to thank everyone that their advice on this matter. My hubby had a friend come over and replace the thermal thingy lastnight and we are staying roasty toasty.
I now know if I need anymore advice, I will come to this site first and spread the word to others about this site also. It is really great how there are still people out there that are willing to help others just to help!!!!! Keep up the good work everyone!!!!!
 
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