Cannot Remove Thermocouple

Old 02-24-07, 11:17 AM
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Cannot Remove Thermocouple

I have a Reliance water heater - Model # 5 40 N5RT6. The pilot will not stay lit so I am attempting to first replace the thermocouple. I am unable to pull the thermocouple away from the burner assemble toward the manifold door nor am I able to pull it out the other way. It really is not moving at all in either direction. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Old 02-24-07, 12:15 PM
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Did you take out the entire burner-pilot-thermocouple assembly? If not, that makes the job a whole lot easier. It's easy to remove that whole assembly. I just had one out of a newer powervent A.O. Smith, in seconds, recently when changing out the "smart valve"....and have taken them out of old free standing pilot w/h's for years. Thermocouples can be sort of fish-hooked in place when they are inserted, as this is what keeps them from falling out of place once installed. Pull the whole unit out and you will see what needs to be done, I'm sure, to get it out.

Oh. Just make sure if you aren't familiar with this removal process to make sure when reinstalling the asembly, to turn off the gas valve before commencing work... to make sure you hook the end of the burner in the female recepticle for it under the middle of the water heater tank when you are done (will be some kind of hole or slit in metal) inside the water heater, and not to strip any of the 3 male fittings (main burner gas line fitting, pilot tubing fitting, and thermocouple fitting) to the gas valve. Make sure you can freely start tightening them by hand before even putting a wrench to them! Then turn the gas on and purge the pilot a couple seconds. Then wait a minute, let's say. Then smell your fittings you just rehooked up at the gas valve for any presense of gas by smell or use soap/water, or that spray you can buy for detecting gas leaks. For what it is worth, and I've done this procedure a lot over the years...I never have issues with gas leaks when doing this job.

Last edited by DaVeBoy; 02-24-07 at 12:26 PM.

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