Pilot light on Water heater

Submitted: Thursday, Aug 16, 2012 at 02:07
ThreadID: 128215 Views:1545 Replies:1 FollowUps:1
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Fitted new control unit and thermocouple May 2011 as pilot light would not stay on when lit. All OK 'till about 2 weeks ago when pilot would not stay on again. Have replaced thermo couple again but pilot will light but will not stay alight when button is released. Would not expect control unit to be defective again, can these units be checked easily? Have held the control knob down for a considerable time with the pilot alight to purge the gas lines in case that was the problem.
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Reply By: Maitland Bushies - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 06:28

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 06:28
Hi Greyburger & Maggie,

As you said you can light the pilot and it won't stay on, I don’t know if this is your problem or not but it may help.

I have found after travelling on outback roads for long periods, that dust goes down around the button and prevents it from being pushed all the way down. This makes it hard to light the pilot and if there is enough dirt under the button it is impossible to light the pilot.

To remove the dust I flush it out with running water with a hose and push the button up and down at the same time, continue until water is clear. This pumps the dust out and allows the button to go all the way down.

The black button has the world PILOT vertically etched on it. On my unit when you press the button down the main bar (not the top) of the letter T is level with the top of the control box. I keep an eye on this every time I press it down to light the pilot and if it won’t go all the way down I give it a flush out.

I have been doing this for years and water does not seem to upset the unit. I hope this helps.
AnswerID: 584637

Follow Up By: Greyburger & Maggie - Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 03:19

Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 03:19
Thankyou for your help Maitland Bushies I washed the button out as you suggested and it helped to push the knob right down. I eventually tracked down the problem with the thermocouple, it must have come a little loose during the last trip up the Darling and the electrical contact was dusted ( this is why the new thermocouple did not solve the problem of keeping the pilot light on when lit) I removed the thermo and sprayed electrical contact cleaner on the contact points, replaced the thermo and hey presto it all worked. Took me some time to think it out so have a good slightly used themo if I ever need one!
Thanks again
Ian and Marg
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FollowupID: 854615

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