Reliance 501 water heater, pilot won't stay lit

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by jmjav, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. jmjav

    jmjav New Member

    Mar 18, 2006
    I have a Reliance 501 Gas water heater, approximately 6 years old, the pilot went out yesterday. When I try to light it, the pilot light will stay on until I release the knob, so I know there's no problem with the gas supply.

    I keep the knob depressed for a good two minutes, and the thermocouple glows red hot as well. As soon as I let go, the pilot light goes out. Any help please??? Thanking you in advance...

  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    There is a small chance that the gas valve is bad but it is most likely the thermocouple.

    Replace it and you should have hot water again.

    Have fun!!!!!
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  4. jmjav

    jmjav New Member

    Mar 18, 2006
    thermocouple replacement

    Thanks for the reply! I thought (and was hoping) that it might be the thermocouple. How hard is it to replace the thermocouple? Is there somewhere on the 'net to find the instructions on how to do so? Thanks again.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    You unscrew the nut from the gas valve, grab the thermocouple wire and pull it out if its bracket. Then you slide the new one into the bracket and connect it to the gas valve.
  6. cchw

    cchw New Member

    May 4, 2005
    I had the same problem with a 606 Reliance. Check this thread out for more detail: I ended changing out both the thermocouple and control/temp valve. I would try the TC first if you're off of warranty since it's less expensive.
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