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Sears Natural Gas hot water heater pilot light going out and…

Customer Question
Sears Natural Gas hot water...
Sears Natural Gas hot water heater pilot light going out and burner going out. New thermocouple new control valve. flame is eratic and orange . Tested thermocouple with voltmeter reaches 29 millivolts
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: HVAC
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Answered in 1 minute by:
6/22/2015
HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 2 years ago
airheatman
airheatman, HVAC Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 9,024
Experience: Furnace, A/C and heat pump specialist.
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Sound like either there is a blockage in the pilot tube orifice or gas valve is defective. I would start by removing pilot tube and cleaning the orifice.
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I've blown through orifice and it seems clear
HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 2 years ago
Do you have a manometer or pressure gauge to test gas pressure into the valve
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
No but when pilot ignites it looks as big as it always has but just will not stay lit now (was staying lit and able to fire up burner which flame did not have good shape or blue color
HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 2 years ago
OK so you are saying that the main burner flame is what is erratic, not the pilot?
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Yes when the burner was able to fire up yes the pilot shape was fine
HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 2 years ago
Let me ask you this. Is flame stable until blower starts and then jumps around?
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
There's no blower it's just a burner in hot water heater
HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 2 years ago
Duh. My bad. I am working with someone on a gas furnace also.THis may be a pressure issue then. Did it do exact same with old gas valve? And do you have other appliances that operate on gas and if so any issues with them?
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
yes old valve was going out also. Gas cook stove, refridgerator, freezer, are all working good.
HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 2 years ago
Does this model have an intake screen that may be dirty?
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HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 2 years ago
http://i.imgur.com/CsMepoi.png
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
have checked screens at bottom of heater and they r clean. when we light pilot, then turn temp setting up till burner lights, it burns blueish and fluttery, then both burner and pilot go out.
HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 2 years ago
Being that you have already replaced valve, thermocouple and cleaned screen and we are pretty sure pressure is good, not sure of what else may be causing this.I will open to other experts to see if anyone has more ideas.
If no expert can help and you are unsatisfied, we can request a refund of your deposit.
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
ok, but in mean time, could u please make some educated guesses and/or suggestions.
HVAC Technician: Rick, HVAC Supervisor replied 2 years ago
Rick
Rick, HVAC Supervisor
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 23,987
Experience: 40+ yrs. experience as a licensed oil & gas technician.
Verified
Did you pull the burner and vacuum the air intake port under the burner? did you actually remove the burner and make sure there's nothing floating in the main burner tube that could block the orifice?
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
is that the round opening directly under burner? or all the little square ones?
HVAC Technician: Rick, HVAC Supervisor replied 2 years ago
It's under the burner on the end of the tubing. It has an ~ 1/8" hole in it. Usually has a hex shaped top. The only possible culprits based on your description are: lack of air (clogged intake opening under the burner), something floating in the burner tube that rises to block the orifice opening once the burner fires up or gas pressure issues. You can check the first 2 with common hand tools. You'll need a (pricey) gauge that can read in inches WC (water column) to check the gas pressure. If you don't find anything in the burner tube and you still have the same problem after vacuuming out under the burner then try pulling the gas piping apart. There might be something floating in the gas line. The last one is more likely if teflon tape was used on the pipe joints.
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I replace thermocoupler then wife replaced valve, i will take apart and check lines. also just vacumed intake under burner and will check the 1/8 hole?
HVAC Technician: Rick, HVAC Supervisor replied 2 years ago
You have to pull the main burner completely out of the unit. It would be best to remove the orifice but that can be a challenge. If you can't get the orifice out then try blowing compressed air into the orifice hole.
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
have burner out. there is a 6" diameter hole with a fixed hard metal screen there of which i vacumed out. still not seeing orfice
HVAC Technician: Rick, HVAC Supervisor replied 2 years ago
Like I said before the orifice is on the end of the supply tube to the burner
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
i blew throght supply tube and there is no blockage, vacummed air supply opening and took off gas line to valve and found no blockages there either. should i now put it back together and see if maybe i sucked out impetimates and it may work?
HVAC Technician: Rick, HVAC Supervisor replied 2 years ago
It's worth a shot. Just to be clear, your description indicates to me that something could be floating around in the tube to the burner not a solid obstruction. When the gas flows enough gets to the burner to light it but then this possible culprit floats up to block that small hole in the orifice. There should be nothing in the burner tube. One other thing comes to mind but it's not very likely. Rheem (makes Kenmore heaters) has a device on some models between the end of the burner tube and the burner. If this device trips it blocks the gas flow but it's a positive shut off. I've never heard of one tripping partially (anything is possible). But if there's nothing between the orifice and the burner this does not apply.
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
its open
HVAC Technician: Rick, HVAC Supervisor replied 2 years ago
OK
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HVAC Technician: Rick, HVAC Supervisor replied 2 years ago
I'd put it back together and give it a try
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
lit pilot, adjusted temp, burnner kicked on pretty as ya please, then everything went out. ?????what is going on?
HVAC Technician: Rick, HVAC Supervisor replied 2 years ago
What's the model number of your unit? Did you hear a click when it went out?
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
yes there was a click. Kenmore###-##-####
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
now pilot won't light
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
note: while checking line for obstructions earlier, i also heard a popping like noise when i opened and closed main gas line valve to heater flex line. wondering if that little in line safety check coupling that is right after shutoff valve could be worn out and maybe partially closeing of something that is disturbing gas flow to heater ?
HVAC Technician: Rick, HVAC Supervisor replied 2 years ago
The click is the gas valve shutting down. You said you replaced the thermocouple but this unit has a TCO as part of the pilot assembly. Did you replace the entire pilot assembly part #9003540?
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
yes. ignitor line, thermocoupler, and a silver line which may be the tco. also finnally got pilot and burner to go again, but as soon as burner lit, it all went out again.
HVAC Technician: Rick, HVAC Supervisor replied 2 years ago
I've got nothing else. Except that maybe the reason the TCO tripped the last time is still in place and that caused the new one to trip as well. This could be due to a blocked vent or an over sized burner flame due to excessive gas pressure.
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