Water heater pilot flame won't stay lit

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by Billschartiger, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. Billschartiger

    Billschartiger New Member

    Mar 27, 2017
    So I'm having some troubles here. I have a GE smart water tank from 07. The flame went out so I tried to re light it. Well the pilot lights up just fine. As soon as I turn on the burner it lights up fine for about 5 seconds then turns off like its running out of gas and after I try to re light the pilot it takes about 5 mins to get the pilot back on. New gas control valve, thermocouple, whole burner assy. Still no change???
  2. Billschartiger

    Billschartiger New Member

    Mar 27, 2017
    Also all my other gas appliances work just fine
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  4. workingtoohard

    workingtoohard New Member

    Oct 7, 2019
    Bumping this because I am experiencing the exact same thing too. While showering, usually towards the tail end, we will lose hot water. When I go to check the gas heater, the flame is gone. I can spark the pilot light again, but like the guy above, the flame slowly shrinks and dies off after like 5 seconds. It is a new gas heater too replaced few days ago.

    I am guessing nothing wrong with the thermocouple, else the pilot light would extinguish immediately? And because it only happens after a while showering, I am starting to lean towards the lack of ventilation problem. It is in an area with poor ventilation but the area is quite large like a bedroom size, so didn't think there would be such a ventilation problem. I have also lowered the heat setting from the max high to medium, hoping it will consume less combustible air.

    Hopefully this problem will go away. But nonetheless, still curious if any experts here have other opinions. And if this is really a ventilation problem, how do people solve it in a space not built for ventilation, forced to break a hole in the wall? Add some fan somewhere?

  5. PlumbNuts

    PlumbNuts SC Licensed Plumbing Contractor

    Feb 11, 2021
    Owner, Plumbing Repair Service
    Fort Mill,SC
    Make sure that your vent is not obstructed; the exhaust needs to escape atmosphericaly.
    Just because the room is large does not mean it has adequate fresh air, make sure there is plenty of intake air available.
    It may be possible that you have a gas regulator that is not working correctly.
  6. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

    Aug 13, 2013
    Using a shop vac, try to clean the area around the vent, the floor and walls around the WH, as suggested.
    You mentioned that you replaced the thermocouple and the burner assembly - is that correct ?
    If that's the case, what's left ? The gas valve.
    Your problem is that your WH is from 2007. Expected life for these WHs is 6-10 years. Sure, every once in awhile you see a homeowner that brags about a 30 yo WH, but this never happened to me and to most folks.
    Therefore, investing another $150-$300 for a new gas valve is not a smart idea, because don't forget, your tank could leak soon.
    I would replace the WH, some of the basic gas WHs have gone down in price in recent months (around $400 for gas 40 gal), and if you can DIY you can have hot water today and save money.
    If you DIY, also replace the cold water supply shut off valve, gas shut off valve and flex (if needed) and vent (if needed).
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