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Old 07-26-2019, 07:09 PM   #1
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Hot Water Tank Pilot Issues

Its been getting worse all Summer. I light the pilot, wait till it energized the thermocouple, and then switch to run. The burner lites right up, but then in a few minutes the unit shuts down. It might take 3 or 4 tries to get it running consistently.

I notice that the initial pilot seems small. Although I haven't sat there and watched it continuously, I am assuming that the pilot goes out and then the TC shuts the unit down.

When it finally runs OK, the pilot size is now normal size.

Before someone asks, yes I purge the gas thru the stove before I light the HWT. The pilot and burner light right away so I know there is an ample gas supply. Also, I cleaned the pilot tip with a brush.

I would assume if the line were plugged it would be a small pilot ALL the time, not just at the beginning.

Any ideas?
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Old 07-26-2019, 08:33 PM   #2
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I assume you have read some posts on pilot lights using the search function. If not, give them a look.

I would clean the pilot tube, just in case there is an obstruction that swells up with the heat to block the flow of gas. Many posts on how, tooth brush, small wire to scrape inside, even disassembly to clean. Pluss blow out with canned air or air compressor.

If this fails my guess is that your thermocouple is failing. Normally more like a light bulb, works or dead but this could be the odd one out. Another idea is to bend it a little closer to the flame to get more heat.

Never heard of pilot size changing, so keep us informed of the final fix!
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Old 09-04-2019, 12:49 PM   #3
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Here's the solution.

I found that I was not running the stove long enough to clear the propane line. After lighting the water heater an air bubble would come thru the burner and blow out the pilot light. After that was resolved, the height of the pilot also corrected itself.

What I don't understand is that my procedure hasn't changed and it never did it before.

Thanks for the comments.
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