Gas Water Heater Burner


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Old 07-08-06, 08:21 AM
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Gas Water Heater Burner

Hello, I had no hot water heater yesterday morning. Went to inspect and pilot was out, I relit which was tough to do at 4:00 am with no java. Took a cold shower then went to work. This morning I had no hot water, went to inspect, pilot was on. I turned the temperature up and the burner kicked on. The heater will heat water, but will not re-heat the water. Ideas? I want to take care of this myself as I have 5 kids in the house and they are expensive.

Thanks in advance for any help that can be provided. I have learned a lot from boards such as this.
 
  #2  
Old 07-08-06, 08:42 AM
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jet64155, Welcome to the DIY Forums.
Could be a couple of problems but lets start with the easiest and cheapest. Change the thermocouple. This is the part that goes from the gas control valve to the burner. It has a metal tube that trasmits a signal from the pilot to the gas valve to let the valve know the pilot is on. This should be under $10 and not really hard to install if you watch how the old one was run. Good luck and let us know if you need more help.
 
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Old 07-08-06, 09:45 AM
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Thanks for the advice Dragon. Went down to look at the thermocouple and the burner had re-lit. Does the problem I described mean that the thermocouple was going bad?

Thanks again.
 
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Old 07-08-06, 09:56 AM
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Normally, a thermocouple is good or bad. They give no hint of going bad. Could have been a fluke that caused the initial problem. You could wait and see if it happens again. May want to consider buying the part just in case. Make sure that the burner cover plate (on the outside of the tank) is in place. You may have a wind problem that is blowing out the pilot. This could also happen with the flue pipe. Wind coming back down it.
 
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Old 07-08-06, 06:06 PM
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It happened again. I went and got the part and installed. When I turned the temp up to start the burner it did not start until it was past HOT. It wasn't doing that before. Could I have installed the part incorrectly?
 
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Old 07-09-06, 07:19 AM
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As long as the tip of the thermocouple is "in" the pilot light flame, it should work. I am starting to wonder if your gas valve is bad. If the flame lit by using the temperature setting on the unit, the thermocouple IS working. It could also be the temperature sensor inside the tank that tells the heater it needs heat.
You did not say how old the heater is. If over 6 years old, it is probably time to consider replacement.
 
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Old 07-09-06, 02:10 PM
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Well, since I replaced the termocouple, the burner has been kicking on and off like it should. It just needs to be set at a much higher temperature and our water is a lot hotter. I am not sure how old the heater is. We had one quit working on us last year and this was given to us by my wife's uncle. I am sure it is at least 6 years old.
 
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Old 07-09-06, 02:24 PM
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As long as you don't have younger children who might get scalded, I guess you could limp along with this for a while. At least you have time to look for your best value on a new one. Temperature setting should have no bearing on the burner lighting UNLESS, the temp probe inside the tank is covered with deposits and not sensing the decrease in water temp. You could try draining and flushing the tank. Might help.
 
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Old 07-10-06, 11:14 PM
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I think he said that he has 5 kids in the house. I would hazard a guess that the gas valve is starting to fail. Unusual, but not unheard of. The tank will normally fail before the gas valve.

You can get the age of the WH from the serial # (you may have to call the mfg). It may make more sense to replace the water heater than the gas valve if it's fairly old.
 
 

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