h/w pilot light not staying lit?

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by JPBBlue, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. JPBBlue

    JPBBlue New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Illinois
    Hello all,
    I have an old Richmond Miser mod#5V40-7
    I have to re-light the pilot after every use . . . showers etc.
    I follow the instructions, light the pilot and turn up the temp, the (burner) kicks in and heats up the water for the next use . . . but once again, the pilot light will need to be re-lit? Do I have any repair options or am I all wet?
    Thanks for any HELP!!!!!
  2. new thermostat gas valve

    depending on the age you either need to get

    a new water heater or go get a new gas thermostat

    that matchesn what is on your water heater


    teh high limit sensor in the t-stat is fried and


    will constantly keep doing this till it just stops completely


    they cost about $75 for the part
  3. JPBBlue

    JPBBlue New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Illinois
    old h/w heater

    Thanks for the responding . . . I looked at the heater in question and found:
    ANSI Z21.10.1B-1989 sooooo yikes, 1989!

    We have an 8 & 10 year old and a very limited budget, any sugestions as to what to replace with? Are the tankless water heaters as good as the advertising?
    Will I be throwing $75 down the drain based on the age of this heater? This is all new to me!!!

    Thanks again!!!!
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,341
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Stay away from tankless. They cost a ton, often have no one that can repair them, don't work worth a darn in a cold climate, and cost a lot to operate. Other than that, they're great!:rolleyes: If you can repair it for $75, that will buy you some time to budget for a new heater. A new one is in your fairly near future.
  5. JPBBlue

    JPBBlue New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Illinois
    DIY question then

    Thanks for the tankless feedback . . . can the repair/replacement needed on my current unit be fixed by a non plumber such as myself? (I'm pretty handy . . . well kind of sometimes :-(
    Thanks again!!!
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2006
  6. JPBBlue

    JPBBlue New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Illinois
    life of a water heater?

    Can anybody give me an idea as to how many years a w/h will give . . . lake MI water family of 4? Are there measurable savings for bigger or smaller sizes? Again, I appreciate your responding to my many questions!
  7. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    For the cost of a thermocouple I would replace that B4 I bought a new gas thermostat. It is most likely the thermostat but I would replace the thermocouple with the new stat anyway so it is worth a try.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2006
  8. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    It's important to know whether the pilot flame is full force or if it is weak. If it is weak, then you can fix the problem simply by cleaning out the pilot orifice with a wire. If the pilot flame is as strong as it always was, try pushing the thermocouple right into the middle of the flame using a screwdriver, and see if that solves the problem. If not, you probably need a new thermocouple. At worst, you will need a new gas valve.

    I think people are confusing an electric water heater with a gas one. There is no upper limit that can pop on a piloted gas tank; thus the problem cannot be in your thermostat.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2006
  9. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    No confusion at all. The gas valve controls the water temp (thermostat), pilot, and thermocouple.
  10. JPBBlue

    JPBBlue New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Illinois
    gas vs elec

    I did notice that the pilot light that burns from the 2 gas tubes appears to be pretty weak (hardly glowing after a couple attempts to light?) sometimes after holding the red knob down longer in the "pilot" position before turning to on the pilot flame seems stronger?) The burner part always kicks in strong when I set the temp to hot and we have ample hot water . . . but then the pilot light once again needs to be lit . . . If I could buy some time on this h/w tank through the upcoming holidays, nuff said, thanks again for everyones help!!
  11. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    You probably have some rust or other crud in the pilot orifice or the lines leading to the pilot. Try taking it apart and cleaning it with a wire or whatever else you can think of and reinstalling it. Don't forget to position the thermocouple right in the middle of the flame when you are done.
  12. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    Why don't you just change the thermocouple. That's probably it. They are not expensive.............
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