Pilot Goes Out After Few Minutes, Removing (Clean) Filter Fixes


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Old 06-17-10, 03:28 PM
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Pilot Goes Out After Few Minutes, Removing (Clean) Filter Fixes

I'm having a problem with a Kenmore gas water heater of the sealed-combustion type, 4 years old on a 9-year warranty. The pilot suddenly started going out. I can light the pilot and the burner will kick on, typically heat for a few minutes, then quit with the pilot out. I can re-light the pilot and it will heat for a few more minutes and turn off again.

The interesting thing is that if I remove the "filter" (the plastic grate at the bottom of the unit), then it will work fine, even though the filter is perfectly clean. The filter had a small amount of cobwebs when the problem started, but not anymore.

I'm thinking that since the filter would naturally restrict the airflow a bit, the pilot must be weak and the restricted airflow puts it over the edge? So what would make the pilot marginal besides a partially occluded supply line or low gas pressure? How does one determine if the gas pressure is low?

Any suggestions on what to do next would be appreciated.
 
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Old 06-28-10, 09:01 AM
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Any ideas about why removing the perfectly clean filter would make my water heater start working? Should I just leave the filter off?
 
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Old 06-28-10, 08:28 PM
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The most common reason for pilot outages is a pilot burner and orifice that need to be disassembled and cleaned.

A clean pilot burner is like a small blowtorch, and relatively resistant to being blown out. As the pilot burner and pilot orifice get dirty, they burn more and more like a candle flame, susceptible to being blown around and being blown out when the burner shuts off.

So routine maintenance would be to remove the pilot burner and disassmble and remove the pilot orifice. Clean both and reassemble. It's pretty likely that will solve the problem. If not, you've eliminated the most common problem.
 
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Old 06-30-10, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Patriot Act
Any ideas about why removing the perfectly clean filter would make my water heater start working? Should I just leave the filter off?
I would suggest the "arrestor plate" is restricted with lint.
 
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Old 06-30-10, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Patriot Act
Any ideas about why removing the perfectly clean filter would make my water heater start working? Should I just leave the filter off?
I would suggest the "arrestor plate" is restricted with lint.
 
 

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