Re: Gas water heater pilot light goes out frequently
Posted by More on June 29, 19100 at 02:13:06:
In response to Re: Gas water heater pilot light goes out frequently
: Hi,

: Based on our research (especially on this web site), we had the Bradford White M-2-XR504T10
: propane-configured gas water heater installed in our newly-built house last summer. The unit has been
: great until recently.

: About 6-8 weeks ago, we started having trouble with the pilot light going out, and this has happened
: 5 times since. It re-lights fine and has stayed lit as long as 2 weeks before going out again. Most
: recently, it went out two days in a row (no hot water in the morning yesterday or today).

: We also have propane for our fireplace, which has a pilot light and which has not had any troubles
: during this timeframe.

: The water heater is installed in the attic and has a small recirculating on the water line to help save
: water (the furthest hot water drop loops back).

: While obviously still under warranty, both from Bradford White and also from our builder, we're
: curious what could be causing the problem.

: Thanks,

: Michelle


The propane flame burns against a small electronic temperature sensing device in the firebox, called a thermocouple. You can see it in there, looks like a little finger, it has a connaction looks like a nut and silver tube that comes to the gas valve. It has whats known as a millivolt generator in it that makes a small electric current thats strong enough to keep a spring loaded gas valve open to allow the pilot to stay burning. When the wind or something else blows out the pilot light, the millivolt generator doesn't stay hot, so it quits making electric current and the gas valve closes. Since your propane heater is only a year old, it's hard to suspect a faulty thermocouple, but thats where the trouble is. Sometimes the flame doesn't quite burn hot enough and causes soot of unburned carbon to build up on the thermocouple,and the temperature is erratic, so the thermocouple allows the gas valve to shut. When the thermocouple cools and shrinks, it cracks the soot and allows the pilot to be re lighted for a while, but then soot builds up again. Since its under warrantee still, ask the seller to schedule a service repair at no cost to you

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