Re: New Pilot Light Question
Posted by e-plumber on March 10, 2004 at 06:59:17:
In response to Re: New Pilot Light Question
: I've searched the archives and found several posts about pilot lights that don't stay lit. Familiar with thermocouples and common failure. I've got a new question that I haven't seen on the web yet.

: I have a Ruud 40 gallon natural gas water heater in my home (model # is P40-38). It has a Robertshaw pilot and thermostat. The pilot must be manually lit (not electronic ignition like my furnace). Pilot went out Sunday morning. I went through the re-lighting procedure, but the pilot would not stay lit. One strange thing I saw was the pilot tube had a hole, about 1/8" diameter, about 1/2" back from the end of the pilot, through which gas was escaping. From time to time, this would ignite while I was trying to light the pilot. This looks like an intentional, drilled hole (not a kink or rupture). It is not tapped for a screw. There is no screw or metal plug lying on the bottom of the pan or anything. However, I've never seen this in the few pilot lights I've lit before, and I don't recall ever having this "extra" pilot light when lighting this heater before either. I think this "extra" pilot flame is either:

: 1). so close to the thermocouple that it is making the pilot trip on high temperature (I don't know if this model heater has a high temp trip) OR

: 2). its robbing the "real" pilot of gas, so that the t-couple isn't sensing enough heat, shutting off the gas as soon as I release the red button.

: Why would this hole be there? Is this normal for a pilot light? It seems there should just be one hole at the outlet of the pilot tube. Thanks,

Reply:
The hole in the pilot tube does not belong there, it is not a second pilot light. The pilot tube needs to be replaced from the gas control valve to the pilot assembly. The pilot may stay lit after this repair, if not the thermocouple safety needs replacement as well.
Good Luck. e-plumber


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