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Ask Suzanne Your Own Question
Suzanne, Owner/ Appliance Technician
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 232
Experience:  14 yrs in home experience - Appliance Service Field Technician
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my pilot light stays lit but main burner wont ...

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my pilot light stays lit but main burner won't light and i have already changed the main control valve is there anything else that controls the main burner
Hi! Is this your stove or your furnace?
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
it is my hot water heater

When you turn up the temperature of the tank does the pilot increase in size?

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
no it stays the same   the flame is about tne size of my thumb nail and blue in color the thermocoupler is in the middle of the flame

The pilot should increase in size to accomodate lighting the burner and yes I am aware that the pilot is fed by the new valve you installed. Is this what was happening to cause you to change the valve? Do you hear or smell gas?

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
the pilot would always stay lit with old valve , but main burner wouldn't light a friend of mine told me needed to check line to burner to see if it was plug which i did and it was fine if not plugged to change control vavle so i did that is why i changed the control valve hoping he was right
no i don't hear or smell gas

Have you recently done any plumbing water or gas repairs?

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Do you have any other gas appliances in the house?
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
my furnace
Check all of the gas shut offs that they are full on and try turning up the furnace to make it light and tell me what happens?
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
it is blowing hot air
I would follow my gas shut off valves back from the hot water heatervalve, turn all of them all the way off then all the way on. Something is stopping the gas pressure to the valve (old and new). You may need to get your hands on a manometer and test the pressure at the new valve and work your way back to each of the shut offs. I believe you have a blockage and if this unit has run continuously and you replaced the valve immediately I don't think it's a spider since it wouldn't climb into free flowing gas or flame. I am wondering if (oddly as it may be) one of the valves has disintegrated and has reduced your gas pressure. If you don't own this tool you can try to see if the gas company can pressure test the line and if not you will need to call a plumber. We know you have gas the furnace comes on and the burner lights. Depending on how close they are they may tee off the same line close to each other. I would also check to see if the pilot is free of ash buildup especially if it is a "Y" pilot. Shut it off let it cool for a few minutes and brush the pilot assembly with an old toothbrush to eliminate any ash. Also verify that your pilot tube is nice and round with no kinks.
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