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Rick
Rick, HVAC Supervisor
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 20541
Experience:  40+ yrs. experience as a licensed oil & gas technician.
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I have a AO Smith FSG 50 224 water heater. Recently I have

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I have a AO Smith FSG 50 224 water heater. Recently I have had to relite the pilot on a daily basis. I notice that the pilot burner is not in direct line with the thermocouple. I also cannot figure out how to remove the thermocouple as it is mounted really close to the bottom. Can I remove the complete burner assembly so I can work on it?

Rickheatdoc :

Welcome, I will do my best to help you with your issue

Rickheatdoc :

Yes you will need to remove the entire burner assembly if you can't reach in and pull out the thermo couple. Is sounds like you need to clean the pilot burner anyway

Rickheatdoc :

The pilot burner and possibly the pilot orifice should be cleaned since there is no other likely explanation for the pilot flame to miss the thermo

Customer:

I see that the assembly is sort of held in place with what looks like a simple rod that the assembly slides over. Is that correct? If so I should be able simply lift the unit up after disconnection from the gas valve?

Rickheatdoc :

I don't remember specifically the arrangement for the FSG. The burner either slides straight out in a kind of slot in the bottom of the chamber or you lift it slightly ans slide it out. There are on bolts or any fasteners holding it in place

Customer:

The pilot flame is really just to the side of the thermocouple not really directly hitting the thermocouple. Is this proper?

Rickheatdoc :

No it's not and likely due to a dirty pilot burner or pilot orifice

Rickheatdoc :

The orifice is a small thimble shaped object

Rickheatdoc :

To get to it you disconnect the pilot tubing from the pilot burner

Rickheatdoc :

it will either be on the tip of the tubing or it will stay in the burner

Customer:

Actually, I have a strong pilot flame but the directional shroud seems to be not in line.

Rickheatdoc :

Pass a very fine wire (hole is ~0.01") through the hole. You must do this even if you can see daylight through the hole. Unless the pilot burner is real dirty an orifice obstruction could cause a misaligned pilot

Customer:

I will see what I can do. Thank you.

Rickheatdoc :

You're welcome

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I actually ended up physically moving the thermocouple so that it is now in the direct path of the pilot and it is working fine now. It really boiled down to not have anything to lose.

Glad you worked it out.