Pilot light will not stay lit when water is hot


  #41  
Old 05-15-12, 10:21 PM
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A.O.Smith model GCV 50 101, Serial #: K0J060493 , installed in garage on 10/25/2007, in new AZ home @ 4000' above MSL. (Uses LP gas; tank maintained @ 30%-80% full.)

1. In cold months (temp in garage 30-60 degrees) seems to function OK. Cycles, maintains thermosated water temperature.

2. In warm months (temp in garage 70-95 degrees) pilot will not stay lit. Manual re-light of pilot starts burner, which heats for 10-15 minutes; does not achieve thermostated water temp; pilot and burner shut down again.

There is only light demand on the unit.

I emailed with "Courtney" of A.O.Smith's. She sent a dust filter skirt for the bottom air intake, and a brush to clean the air intake filter, and an online video. Have performed this procedure many times, with little or no improvement. I can't believe the number of users suffering this defect, and AOS's lack of support!

Any help greatly appreciated.
 

Last edited by the_tow_guy; 08-14-12 at 05:14 AM. Reason: Removed email.
  #42  
Old 06-05-12, 08:31 AM
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Another AO SMITH water heater...

After reading all the post I see we all have similar issues with the pilot light going out. I followed the instructions as fas as cleaning the dust and debris, my heater is in the garage, not next to a dryer but close to the door. So after cleaning it now it wont turn on at all anymore
heater info:
Model: GVR 50 100
Serial#: H05J048035
Bulid date: 08/22/2005

I just want this too work again, I see that the thermacouple seems to be all one piece with the burner, can I just replace the whole thing and that will make it work?Can anyone please give me the correct part number if I'm able to replace? PLEASE HELP
 
  #43  
Old 06-05-12, 10:41 AM
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Sorry I missed this one.

Tommitchell, try a vacuum as I describe in this post. I have not read through all the old posts here but I think I remember addressing this.

You have a 100 series so have the corderite disk. Also AO smith should send a new pilot assembly. The old one trips at 180C. The new assemblies trip at 200C. Cleaning and a new pilot assembly should alleviate the issue.

Elizondo, If you cant get the pilot to stay lit check that the t couple nut at the gas valve is inserted correctly and tight.

Is the flame engulfed in the t couple?

Could be the whole pilot assembly, but it could be the gas valve also.

Explain your issue better and we can help further.





Mike NJ
 
  #44  
Old 06-05-12, 04:21 PM
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thanks for getting back to me,
Ok so at first the water heater would light up, and then turn itself off. Now after we cleaned the dirt and dust (with a vacuum like we read in the older post) it wont turn on at all anymore. All we get is one flame and it's not the pilot flame. It didnt look safe so I turned off the gas, I'm not sure if it just remains on or it goes off after a while
 
  #45  
Old 06-05-12, 07:25 PM
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All we get is one flame and it's not the pilot flame


This is a sealed burner with a small inspection window correct?

I dont understand your sentence in quotes. You light it and get a flame but not from the pilot? Where are you getting the flame from?

You did the correct thing turning the gas off. If it seems dangerous to you then it probably is. I would suggest a pro be called in.

Call AO smith to find a service rep in your area. Just don't call anyone. An AO smith rep are plumbers that are trained on these water heater specifically. Sales and service.

Mike NJ
.


 
  #46  
Old 06-05-12, 08:49 PM
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I apologize for not being technical I dont know all the terms. Ok so after double checking with my husband he says that the pilot does turn on, that the water heater USE to heat the water then shut itself off, he would relight and it would heat up the water again and shut off. Now the water heater wont turn on at all BUT the pilot does light up. I hope I explained it a little better...
 
  #47  
Old 06-05-12, 09:28 PM
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So the pilot is lit but the main burner will not light?

Ok after he released the button for the pilot light on the gas valve, did he turn the gas valve from pilot position back to the on position?

Also did he turn the temperature control back up to the desired setting?

This are easy to forget if you don't do it all the time.

Let us know.

Mike NJ
 
  #48  
Old 06-19-12, 07:02 PM
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Better cleaning tool

I made a simple vacuum cleaning tool using an 18 inch piece of PVC (sched 40) pipe then I attached a 90 elbow on the end. I then cut off about 1/2 of the elbow so it would fit into the air vent. Duct tape the pipe to your shopvac hose and clean away. Worked Great!
 
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  #49  
Old 06-19-12, 07:20 PM
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I made a simple vacuum cleaning tool
Good illistration. In post #19 I descibe this. I use copper because to get at the disk you need to put a slight bend on the pipe to reach.

I usually use 1/2" because the ell fits in there. I also used 3/4" but like you, I had to cut some of the ell off to get it to fit.

Back in 2005 the techs were only using compressed air to clean these units.

Good job.

Mike NJ
 
  #50  
Old 06-21-12, 04:02 PM
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Same problem with A.O. Smith pilot light going out

Hi, I've been having problems with my A.O. Smith Promax GCV 40 100 water heater. Same thing seems to be happening with the pilot light going out after about 15 mins.
Little background on the problem & where the water heater is located: I live in a condo & my water heater is located in the closet on my balcony, & there's an A/C unit which is blowing hot air in the vicinity of the closet door. It seems to be doing this the last 3 summers, the first year it happened I called in the plumber who installed it. He cleaned the burner, and then had to return a week later & replaced the burner. The following summer it happened again, however after continuously relighting the pilot for a week & vacuuming under the burner it stayed lit.
This passed 2 weeks its been happening again. I cleaned it with a long dryer vent brush & vacuuming, & it stayed lit for 4 days. However, these past 2 days its been 100 degrees & the A/C has been on continuously & I tried cleaning & vacuuming with no luck.
Could it be that I haven't cleaned it enough? Seems like its not getting enough ventilation & is being suffocated; I even tried leaving the closet door open.. Next thing I'm going to try is attach a u steel utility brush to an extension & try cleaning it with that & vacuum.
BTW I had the water heater installed in December 2005. Thanks in advance
 
  #51  
Old 06-22-12, 05:46 AM
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A.O. Smith FPS 50 216 -- Need Help (burner won't stay on)

I have an FPS 50 216, Serial ML91-0058045-216. The pilot stays lit, the burner fires up for a few seconds, the exhaust fan kicks on. Then the burner goes out. The heater just keeps going through this cycle where the burner lights then goes out. I've cleaned the burner, replaced the thermocouple and checked the exhaust line (just a thin coating of dust). What can I do or check?
 
  #52  
Old 06-22-12, 05:56 AM
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The thermocouple is a whole assembly. Its actually a hot surface igniter.

You changed that?

Is the flame fully engulfed around the flame sensor rod?

The is a way to test with a multimeter. Do you have one and know how to use it?

If that does test good then the next place to look would be the pressure switch on the fan assembly. Make sure the hose going to it is intact, and the barbed fitting the hose attaches to are not broke/cracked.

Next check the condensate line. If there is no line attached pull the little rubber cap off. Does water come out?

If so you need a condensate line attached regardless. ( You must put a loop in this line to act as a trap for CO leakage).

The pressure switch hose that hooks to the barbed fitting on the fan side, not the switch side may be clogged with sediment/rust. Pull the hose and run a paperclip in that barbed fitting to clear.

Thats all I have for now.

Mike NJ
 
  #53  
Old 06-22-12, 06:42 AM
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Lawrosa, if you were replying to my post from 8:46am today, then thanks! On mine, the thermocouple is one piece of copper. The entire burner assembly is 3 pieces (see photo). I checked the pressure hose. It was fine. I don't see a condensate hose or any place for one. When the burner kicks on, the flame looks normal. Can I email you some pics? I can't seem to get the files small enough to fit into this system.
 
  #54  
Old 06-22-12, 07:50 AM
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Greystone

You need to post pics to a place like photobucket.com then post a link to those pics here. Its free.

If you have a fan on the water heater then I dont think you have a standing pilot, correct?

It should just be a piece of ceramic that glows. Then there is a small bar next to it. Thats the flame sensor.

Towards the bottom of the fan assembly there is a rubber cap. That has a nub on it that should have a condensate hose attached to it.

Post the s/n of the unit and I will check warranty status for you. It may be repaired at no cost but a labor charge under warranty.

Mike NJ
 
  #55  
Old 06-22-12, 10:12 AM
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Same problem with A.O. Smith pilot light going out

Hi, I've been having problems with my A.O. Smith Promax GCV 40 100 water heater. Same thing seems to be happening with the pilot light going out after about 15 mins.
Little background on the problem & where the water heater is located: I live in a condo & my water heater is located in the closet on my balcony, & there's an A/C unit which is blowing hot air in the vicinity of the closet door. It seems to be doing this the last 3 summers, the first year it happened I called in the plumber who installed it. He cleaned the burner, and then had to return a week later & replaced the burner. The following summer it happened again, however after continuously relighting the pilot for a week & vacuuming under the burner it stayed lit.
This passed 2 weeks its been happening again. I cleaned it with a long dryer vent brush & vacuuming, & it stayed lit for 4 days. However, these past 2 days its been 100 degrees & the A/C has been on continuously & I tried cleaning & vacuuming with no luck.
Could it be that I haven't cleaned it enough? Seems like its not getting enough ventilation & is being suffocated; I even tried leaving the closet door open.. Next thing I'm going to try is attach a u steel utility brush to an extension & try cleaning it with that & vacuum.
BTW I had the water heater installed in December 2005. Thanks in advance



Lawrosa,
Any advice on my post? Im at wits end, please help.
 

Last edited by DZuke; 06-22-12 at 10:29 AM.
  #56  
Old 06-22-12, 11:06 AM
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Lawrosa, again thanks for your reply. Here is a link to the pics: Pictures by Greystone26508 - Photobucket

The Model is FPS 50 216. Serial is ML91-0058045-216. Yes I have a standing pilot and it stays lit when the burner goes out (which happens after 20-30 seconds). I'm wondering if the problem is the gas valve or solenoid. Airflow isn't blocked inside or outside. I don't see any condensation nor do I see a drain. Pressure tube looks fine. This heater is 18 years old but if I could keep it going until I can get it replaced that would be great.
 
  #57  
Old 08-13-12, 09:44 PM
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Lawrosa:

I know this is an old thread, but I stumbled upon it in my efforts to help my landlord fix my hot water heater.

Model: A.O. Smith FVR 40 100

The pilot light would go out after the main burner turned off every time. Landlord removed the burner assembly and proceeded to (as my father playfully puts it) use "brute force and ignorance" to try and remove the pilot from the burner assembly. He was not successful, and decided he would come back tomorrow. I did a lot of research, including reading this thread, because I simply did not believe that the pilot was the problem being that it's such a simple part and it doesn't look sooty.

I then examined the burner assembly again, and one of the leads to the thermistor is broken, so clearly that's part of the problem, if not THE problem (I have entertained the possibility that my landlord broke the lead off during his attempted repair).

Another part of the problem (and what was probably what was making the darned pilot go out due to overheating / a downward facing burner flame as you described) is that the intake vents are clogged, bad. I didn't know I needed to clean them, and in fact they were covered by a plywood panel so that I could not even see they existed. Cleaned those.

Now, about that thermistor. From what I've read, it sounds like I need to replace the entire burner assembly ( PART 183222-20 # 9003558005 ). The lead is broken off at the thermistor, not at the copper end, so I don't believe I could simply re-solder it. I tried to remove just the thermocouple, but even though I can disconnect it at both ends, I don't see how I can remove it from the orange rubber gasket in the removable metal door and then replace it. So, new assembly?

Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated. You seem very knowledgeable when it comes to these A.O. Smith HWHs. Thanks in advance for any insight you may have.
 
  #58  
Old 08-14-12, 04:53 AM
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The orange gasket pops out. You need the whole pilot assembly.

A.O. Smith 9003542005: FV Pilot 190 Deg C Nat

This is only for reference and you should get the 200C degree unit 183824-200
 
  #59  
Old 09-02-12, 07:11 AM
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What I do is get 2 ft of 1/2" copper. Put a ellbow on the end. Get your shop vac and insert the copper end in the vac hose and duct tape it good. What you made is a vac tool. Turn on the vac, and make sure you got good suction from the ellbow. Stick it in the air vent, get the ellbow facing up and vacuum that disk real good. Its about 10" round and you should feel the edge as you vacuum.


I've got the same issue where the pilot light won't stay lit.

I've got an A.O. Smith GCVL 40 100 dated from 2004. I looked at the bottom of my tank and I don't see a 10" round disk? It appears the entire circumference minus maybe an inch from the edge has some different ceramic feeling material. Did they just start making them larger? Maybe my enitre bottom is the filter?

Am I wasting my time trying to vacuum underneath? Maybe AO Smith changed things?

I had a plumber out yesterday who said that my tank appears to be in great shape and he thought things looked very clean. Still he quoted me $179 in labor + $80 trip + burner assembly part cost. Not sure if this is the going rate or I am getting ripped. FWIW it was Roto-Rooter.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 
  #60  
Old 09-02-12, 07:26 AM
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Mynym

It the burner sealed on your model?
 
  #61  
Old 09-02-12, 08:58 AM
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Yup completely sealed.

FWIW, to confirm it wasn't the Thermocoupler, I loosened the two 3/8 bolts on the door to let some air in and after doing this had no problems igniting the pilot and then the burner. It stayed on as long as the door was proped open just slightly. As soon as I tightened down the screws again, it went out.

Sound like a blocked flame arrestor? FWIW It appears my hot water tank utilizes a Corderite flame arrestor based on what I am seeing around the internet and the service manual for my tank.

Thanks.
 
  #62  
Old 09-02-12, 09:19 AM
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Yes a corderite disk. Vacuum it from the underside as described and you should be fine.
 
  #63  
Old 09-02-12, 11:28 AM
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Okay, Got some 2' of 1/2 PVC pipe and a 90 degree friction fit elbow. Also got a long flexible cleaning brush.

First just vacuumed the corderite disk with this newly made attachment for about 15 min. The duct tape trick worked perfectly. Then turned on the pilot light and it stayed lit.

Had a hot shower. Waited some time and went down and the pilot light was out again

Decided then to use the flexible cleaning brush and a tiny bit of dust came off, sucked it up into the vacuum with the attachment I just made.

Tried to turn the pilot light on again, It wouldn't stay lit. As soon as I let go of the gas button the light went out.

So undid the 2 3/8 screws on the cover to guarantee air gets in. Tried to ignire pilot light once again, and sure enough it lit.

So right now I have the 2 screws off the cover, with the cover slightly pulled out to give the pilot some air. Just testing to confirm it is indeed an oxygen/airflow issue and not something else.

As I can't keep the cover open forever, got any ideas what I should try next?

Thanks again.


 
  #64  
Old 09-02-12, 01:03 PM
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If you vacuumed all the dust from the underside you should not have an issue. You need to physically touch the ell to the bottom of the corderite disk.

When the gas/pilot goes out its a thermal switch on the thermocouple. Only when this switch cools and resets itself you can relight the pilot.

Other cause of gas/pilot out could be the thermocouple itseld.This comes as an assembly with the piezo ignighter, and pilot tube.

Tet another cause could be the gas valve itself. If the t stat does not turn off the gas at set temp, it goes into runaway mode. When the water temp reaches the high limit it will shut down the gas.

Are you experiencing super hot water?

Oh and last thing, if that disk got wet at all , its my understanding that it permanently clogs, and the heater should be replaced.
 
  #65  
Old 09-02-12, 03:58 PM
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So looks like with the cover even proped open a bit the pilot light still goes out

It was working for a bit but after the wife got home and as soon as she started having a shower, the pilot light went out.

It is however easier to restart the pilot light with the cover open versus closed. I have absolutely no luck restarting the pilot with the cover on.

If you vacuumed all the dust from the underside you should not have an issue. You need to physically touch the ell to the bottom of the corderite disk.
Regarding your question on the vacuuming. I pressed the 1/2 PVC nozel directly against the ceramic disk.

Other cause of gas/pilot out could be the thermocouple itseld.This comes as an assembly with the piezo ignighter, and pilot tube.
This an easy thing to replace?

Tet another cause could be the gas valve itself. If the t stat does not turn off the gas at set temp, it goes into runaway mode. When the water temp reaches the high limit it will shut down the gas.

Are you experiencing super hot water?
Nope, not at all, Normal temps.

Oh and last thing, if that disk got wet at all , its my understanding that it permanently clogs, and the heater should be replaced.


Never has gotten wet ever. Only thing I can think of that has changed is about a month and a half ago we bought a freezer and put it down there. We did a ton of sweeping before hand to clean things up and the area where we sweeped was right next to the hot water tank. Maybe it effected it, maybe not.


In this document www.hotwater.com/lit/fvirtechbulletin.pdf at the bottom it discusses advanced cleaning which involves removing the door and cleaning the flame arrester from the top. Do you think there is any value in me trying this or do you think it will make it even worst?

Huge thank you again.

 
  #66  
Old 09-03-12, 10:01 AM
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Just another update.

I removed the outer door this morning and removed the burner assembly. Used my compressor and blew out the dust and used that vacuum attachment (it's really coming in handy). to vacuum in and around the chamber and the top of the flame arrester. Also used a vacuum on the burner assembly as well.

Put everything back and now even with the completely sealed door the pilot light was able to be lit. It's been about an hour and a half so far it seems to be working. We shall see how long it lasts.

If it doesn't solve the issue do you recommend I buy the Burner Assembly Kit and install it myself? I suspect the installation of the kit is similar to the steps I took this morning, removing the burner? Do I also have to replace the Gas Control Valve as well? Also do you have any recommendations on where to buy the parts? I found Water Heater Parts E Store which allows you to simply input your serial number and build date and it lists out the available replacement parts. They show part # 9003379005 - KIT, BURNER ASSY NAT @ $77.80. Wasn't sure if there was a better place you recommended.


For other home owners that may be interested, these are the two resources I referenced for cleaning inside of the chamber, replacing the burner assembly:

http://www.hotwater.com/lit/fvirtechbulletin.pdf

Starts on page 15:
http://www.hotwater.com/resources/li...ook-(tc049r2)/


Huge thanks again. Glad I found this awesome forum
 
  #67  
Old 09-03-12, 10:12 AM
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IMO I would not put a dime into that heater. I would replace. But that's up to you.

If you were able to remove the burner what I do is reverse the vacuum so it blows out. Then blow out the top of the disk down. IMO why try to suck the dust up through the disk.
 
  #68  
Old 09-09-12, 09:28 AM
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Just wanted to report that it's coming up to a week since I cleaned the burner assembly and inside the combustion chamber and so far the pilot light has remain lit

Huge thank you again for all of your help.
 
  #69  
Old 09-10-12, 04:10 AM
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Guess I spoke to soon. Woke up this morning with cold water :/
 
  #70  
Old 10-19-12, 11:00 AM
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replace the igniter

I had the same symptoms of the burner not staying lit on my AO Smith FPSH-50. Cleaning it only made it last for a few more days to weeks. I finally took out the igniter (small white ceramic rod with metal rod sticking out (that lights the gas flame). Any good plumbing supply will be able to find this part for you. Likely $10-15.

After replacing the igniter.. no more problems of it not staying lit. The real kicker is how licensed plumbers want to charge several hundred dollars for this very, very simple fix.
 
  #71  
Old 10-19-12, 04:40 PM
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I ended up just replacing the entire burner assembly (cost $55 and 10 mins of my time).

Pilot light has yet to go out (been about a month).
 
  #72  
Old 10-19-12, 07:54 PM
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I am closing this thread.Original post has been answered. Please post new for heater issues.
 
 

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