Pilot need re-lit 3 times in a month

Old 02-21-18, 10:03 AM
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Pilot need re-lit 3 times in a month

I have a US/Craftmaster gas water heater that I bought from Lowe's and installed (with the help of a handyman neighbor) 7 years ago. About a month ago I woke up to cold water. I relit the pilot, and it worked fine for a couple weeks, then the same thing happened again. Then again a couple weeks later.

It has a gas valve/ignition device that looks like this one:

Questions: can I let this go for awhile, just re-lighting the pilot when it goes out, or is this somehow dangerous? (I never smell any gas, so I'm confident the valve shuts it off properly when the pilot goes out)

I may be out of my depth with this repair - do I call a plumber or a heating/ac guy?

Old 02-21-18, 07:00 PM
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They've built water heaters with restrictive safety devices to shut down the pilot/burner if explosive fumes are detected. These safety devices amount to restrictive screens under the water heater that get plugged with dust and lint.... especially if the water heater is near a dryer.

When the screens are plugged.... the water heater burner area overheats and shuts down the pilot/burner. After it cools it can usually be relit normally. This problem will usually get worse quickly. I have an AO Smith that had the problem.

The "fix" amounts to vacuuming the screen or disc under the water heater. It can be nearly impossible to get to. A piece of 3/4" copper with a elbow cut off close to the 90 can be used.

A model number of yours could be used to see if your unit is prone to this problem.

This thread will show you more about I'm talking about.

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