Pilot won't light


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Old 05-09-08, 07:55 PM
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Pilot won't light

We noticed upon coming home tonight that the water wasn't running very hot, and wouldn't you know it, indeed the pilot light has gone out on our gas hot water heater (a FlameGuard, model number FG6150T403NOV).

We've followed the instructions to relight and can't get the pilot light to light -- in fact, we're not able to observe a spark from the piezo lighter, though we're not entirely sure whether this should be clearly visible without dismantling anything...

Can anyone suggest a "next step" for troubleshooting the problem ourselves? Should we be able to see the spark when we hit that ignitor button?

TIA!
 
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Old 05-10-08, 06:09 AM
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Hello,
What I would do next is remove the front access panel down at the bottom of the eater and try to light the pilot manually.
If this works and the pilot stays lit you just need to change the find out why the piezo is not working and clean, adjust, or replace as necessary. If you get no flame at all either you have no gas or a valve is shut off someplace. If you get flame at the pilot but it does not stay lit after holding down the pilot button for at least 60 seconds, then the thermocouple/thermopile is defective and needs replacement.
If the pilot stays lit, but burner does not light usually means a bad gas control, but some of the new water heaters are coming through with different sensors and one of them could be the problem.

But try to manually light it first, and if it doesn't work, write back.
 
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Old 05-10-08, 08:17 AM
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The user manual refers to an "outer door" (which we had already removed, but underneath everything is still pretty closed up -- there is no place to light the pilot manually, only a viewport for seeing if it's lit) and after that, if we remove anything, it would be the "manifold assembly", and I'm guessing you don't mean to remove that... can you clarify?

Incidentally, a call to American Water Heaters revealed that our water heater is covered under a class action lawsuit alleging issues with premature thermocouple activation. http://www.waterheatersettlement.com/faq.php3 We are pursuing that separately (there is a free upgrade kit that we're trying hunt down at Lowe's), but my concern is that that sounds like a different problem... shouldn't we still be able to light the pilot? I thought thermocouple issues manifested themselves by the pilot not STAYING lit.
 
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Old 05-10-08, 04:07 PM
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Solved (we think)!

We were able to get the free "upgrade" kit from an area Lowe's; just replaced the manifold assembly & reattached everything, and the pilot now lights and *seems* to be staying lit...

The instructions said to use an "approved noncorrosive leak detector solution" to check for leaks. We have no idea what this means... I'd always used soapy water to check for leaks on propane tanks in the past... my husband seemed to think this step was unnecessary. Are we inviting danger by skipping it? Obviously if we smell anything suspect we'd revisit this step anyway...

Thank you for your help -- I'm so grateful that we've been able to resolve this quickly without paying to involve a professional!
 
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Old 05-10-08, 04:11 PM
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Standard dish soap will work fine. Only thing is, it doesn't show leaks quite as well as leak detector.

Also just wipe off sprayed areas after testing.
 
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Old 05-10-08, 04:13 PM
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Standard dish soap mixed with water? Or just full strength? And how would you recommend applying it?
 
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Old 05-10-08, 04:15 PM
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Mixed with water and use a spray bottle. Spray slowly as not to create too many false bubbles.
 
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Old 05-10-08, 04:18 PM
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Thanks again. Any idea whatsoever on how long it will take a 50-gal tank to yield hot water for us? Or is that a factor of more than just the tank capacity?
 
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Old 05-10-08, 04:20 PM
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It should take about 20-30 mins.
 
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Old 05-10-08, 04:30 PM
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Yeah, looks like testing with soap was a good idea. The compression nut doesn't appear to be tightened down enough...
 
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Old 05-10-08, 04:32 PM
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Don't worry, even the pros have leaks sometimes.
 
 

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