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Water heater pilot won't turn on
August 28, 2014 8:34 AM   Subscribe

Pilot light of one of the two water heaters installed side by side won't come on ....

We have two identical water heaters (40 gals each) installed side by side and in parallel (plumbing and gas lines). They are both same model and brand, installed probably at the same time (we are second home owners). One of them is fine, but for the other one I see that the pilot light is not on. Tried to light it as per the instructions on the heater, but it doesn't light. Searched through askmetafilter and found this Answer. But I guess my problem has more to do with gas flow than thermocouple as I cannot light the pilot. The same gas pipeline branches over the heaters to feed both the heaters.
posted by SunPower to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
 
Yeah, my first thought was the thermocouple, but if you can't light it at all then...

There should be two valves: A shut-off somewhere around where the flexible hose meets the rigid gas line in the wall of the house, and then the valve that has 3 positions, one of which is the "override the thermocouple to light the pilot" position.

If both of those are on, my best guess is that for some reason the nozzle is plugged.

As much as I'm a "rewire the whole house for fun" sort of home improvement guy, if you're asking this question on MeFi and it isn't obvious to you how to replace that nozzle as a next step, this is where I'd call a pro.
posted by straw at 8:47 AM on August 28


Before calling in the pros, make sure you're doing the re-lighting correctly. Usually, there is a twist and push combination, where the knob has to go to the pilot position, then be pushed in, and held there while you light the gas and long enough for the thermocouple to heat up, then you return the knob to the On position.
posted by beagle at 8:57 AM on August 28


Thanks a lot beagle and straw. The problem is resolved.

I had tried the push and turn combination over a dozen times for over an hour. Then gave a break and went back. I had been perfectly aligning the turn knob to pilot position to the indicated mark. There is a small edge on the turn knob that was preventing the push button from going all the way down. I had to turn the knob enough for the push button to go all the way down (it was only going half the way down previously). This did the trick. Sigh! Didn't have to call the pro.
posted by SunPower at 9:51 AM on August 28 [2 favorites]


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