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Andrew Harris
Andrew Harris, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 107
Experience:  Over 2 Years of appliance repair experience.
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My ge smart water heater is only 2 years old and the pilot

Resolved Question:

My ge smart water heater is only 2 years old and the pilot light won't stay lit. Can the thermocouple just be replaced or does the whole burner unit have to be replaced?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Andrew Harris replied 6 years ago.
The thermocouple may be the problem. There may be a problem with the gas valve. There may be dirt under the water heater blocking the air intake. The thermal limit switch may be bad as well. Since this is a new water heater I would may sure the air intake is clear as consider the gas valve a possible source of the problem.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
A few times I was able to relight the pilot but once the tank was heated the pilot would turn off again. Now I can't get the pilot to stay lit at all. Is this a gas valve problem or a thermocouple problem?
Expert:  Andrew Harris replied 6 years ago.
I strongly doubt the problem is with the thermocouple. This will probably require a licensed technician to repair.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Why do you say that? What do you think it is if it is not the thermocouple? I would hate to pay all that money for a technician and have him tell me it is the thermocouple. Based on what I have read, if the pilot won't stay lit it is primarily due to the thermocouple.

Expert:  Andrew Harris replied 6 years ago.
Just based on experience. Thermocouples are fairly easy to install but the area to work in may be tight. You can remove your old thermocouple and take it to the hardware store and have it tested. If it is broken they can give you the replacement part. You can also test the thermocouple yourself.

To Test the Thermocouple

1 Turn off the gas using the manual shutoff located before the water heater and set the gas valve to off.

2 Unscrew the thermocouple from the gas valve, attach the thermocouple adapter and then attach the thermocouple to the adapter.

3 Set the multimeter to millivolts and attach one crocodile clip lead to the side of the adapter and the other to the screw that extends out of the adapter.

4 Turn the gas back on and light the pilot while holding down the pilot knob for 30 seconds. Older systems may require the removal of the faceplate while newer models will have a piezo igniter button on the gas valve. The multimeter should read between 12 and 15 millivolts if the thermocouple is working properly and the pilot should stay lit.

5 Turn the gas off again, disconnect the adapter, attach the thermocouple to the gas valve and light the water heater again.

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