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FDP Forum / Moe's Tavern (_8^(I) / Water heater thermocouple question

HeavyDuty
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Northeast IL

Not very bright but does lack ambition
May 17th, 2019 10:12 AM   Edit   Profile  

I know a bad thermocouple will keep a pilot light from staying lit, but can it also prevent it from being lit in pilot mode?

thumbpicker
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St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
May 17th, 2019 10:43 AM   Edit   Profile  

I’m no expert but I’ve never seen this. Someone else more in the how and why these things work would need to advise you but I always thought the thermocouple simply lets the gas in through the valve only when heated so as to keep tabs on the pilot light so as not to allow unlit pilot lights gas from building up in a space.
I know just enough to be dangerous!

Peegoo
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Planet Peegoo

Rhythm & Lewd Guitarist
May 17th, 2019 10:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

No.

When you're trying to light the pilot, make sure you're pressing the mode switch in (or the little button next to it) to light the pilot and keep it lit.

Hold that button in all the way for at least one minute to keep the gas flowing to the pilot (and get heat through the thermocouple) so when you release pressure on it, the gas continues to flow and the pilot stays lit.

Peegoo
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Planet Peegoo

Rhythm & Lewd Guitarist
May 17th, 2019 10:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

The above is general in nature.

As always, RTFM. There should be lighting instructions on the unit itself; gas control valves do vary, so there are differences in lighting and operation.

Peegoo
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Planet Peegoo

Rhythm & Lewd Guitarist
May 17th, 2019 10:50 AM   Edit   Profile  

AND remember to rotate the mode switch from PILOT to RUN once the pilot is staying lit.


Don't'cha forget!

HeavyDuty
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Northeast IL

Not very bright but does lack ambition
May 17th, 2019 12:03 PM   Edit   Profile  

Ok, that’s what I thought - the thermocouple only keeps the pilot lit. I won’t get a chance to look at this until after work, but the GF wasn’t able to get the pilot relit this morning.

In theory, with a defective thermocouple the pilot should stay lit as long as the pilot button is depressed. I suspect the piezo lighter went out which is why she wasn’t able to get it relit since she did smell gas when she tried. We had big winds yesterday, I think they may have knocked the pilot out.

Peegoo
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Planet Peegoo

Rhythm & Lewd Guitarist
May 17th, 2019 12:42 PM   Edit   Profile  

Could be. If the piezo lighter is not clicking, you can use a grill lighter (link). Remember to hold that button down for a full minute.

This

HeavyDuty
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Northeast IL

Not very bright but does lack ambition
May 17th, 2019 05:15 PM   Edit   Profile  

Hoo boy. Never seen one like this before. Thermal switches, a “thermopile” instead of a thermocouple, lots of other parts. The pilot and thermopile are one assembly.

budg
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ohio

Home of the Goodyear blimp
May 17th, 2019 05:33 PM   Edit   Profile  

Yeah a thermopile is actually several thermocouples connected together. You can identify it by having 2 wires . It’s top is usually flat. The thermocouple usually is dome shaped on top and has a copper tube coming out with a fitting that screws into the gas valve.

HeavyDuty
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Northeast IL

Not very bright but does lack ambition
May 17th, 2019 05:42 PM   Edit   Profile  

Well, she has a spare new one from when it went out in 2016. The instructions are pretty clear, I just hate opening gas lines.

HeavyDuty
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Northeast IL

Not very bright but does lack ambition
May 17th, 2019 05:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

It’s an entire assembly. You pull the whole manifold out, remove the burner and swap it out. What a PITA.

Peegoo
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Planet Peegoo

Rhythm & Lewd Guitarist
May 17th, 2019 05:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

Put a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle and squirt all the fittings when you're done.

No bubbles is good.

Bubbles is bad.

HeavyDuty
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Northeast IL

Not very bright but does lack ambition
May 17th, 2019 06:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

Yeah, I’ve worked with gas before.

I used a few choice Enochian cuss words and tried lighting it one last time. This time it worked.

I’ll have her keep an eye on it.

Thanks, y’all!

Peegoo
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Planet Peegoo

Rhythm & Lewd Guitarist
May 17th, 2019 08:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

Outstanding!

FDP Forum / Moe's Tavern (_8^(I) / Water heater thermocouple question




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