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We had the insulation replaced at our house this past week. Unfortunately, now the pilot light won't stay lit for the water heater, so we don't have any hot water. :(

After looking online, it appears this is most likely the thermocouple that's not allowing the pilot light to stay lit. It seems to be an easy fix, once I can find a replacement. Does anyone know where I can purchase one of these? Are they different for different brands of water heaters?

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If its an older (pre-2005) heater the thermocouple should be pretty easy to get to and change out. Well stocked hardware stores and home centers have these. Bring the old one with you so you get the right length and type. Note that you are working with gas and if you don't know what you are doing then you could have a gas leak and fire etc that would spoil your whole day.

If you have a sealed burner type FVIR heater (2005+), you will need to get a plumber as the burner area has a seal that has to be replaced for proper safety operation.

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Grainger has everything that no one else has...

Thanks guys... I guess I didn't think they were that accessible. I found one at Lowe's and swapped it out. Unfortunately - the pilot light still won't stay lit. I'm going to take it off, clean it, and try again.

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Just an odd suggestion. With many of the water heaters I've had over the years, you had to hold down a gas valve bypass button for almost a minute or so for the thermocouple to warm up. If I didn't, the pilot would not stay lit.... Just saying....

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Just an odd suggestion. With many of the water heaters I've had over the years, you had to hold down a gas valve bypass button for almost a minute or so for the thermocouple to warm up. If I didn't, the pilot would not stay lit.... Just saying....

Yep - this is the same style. Even while I'm holding that down I can see the pilot light gradually get smaller and smaller. I guessing this is a problem with the gas flow in the main control unit(not sure of the official term)? Not sure how much that costs to replace relative to replacing an entire water heater...

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Yep - this is the same style. Even while I'm holding that down I can see the pilot light gradually get smaller and smaller. I guessing this is a problem with the gas flow in the main control unit(not sure of the official term)? Not sure how much that costs to replace relative to replacing an entire water heater...

Not sure if replacing the entire water-heater would be necessary, but if it should be, go tankless.

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Not a good sign.

You can buy just the gas control unit separately. Larger plumbing supply houses have these. Even at $100 its cheaper than a new FVIR heater.

Yep - this is the same style. Even while I'm holding that down I can see the pilot light gradually get smaller and smaller. I guessing this is a problem with the gas flow in the main control unit(not sure of the official term)? Not sure how much that costs to replace relative to replacing an entire water heater...

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We had the insulation replaced at our house this past week. Unfortunately, now the pilot light won't stay lit for the water heater, so we don't have any hot water. sad.gif

After looking online, it appears this is most likely the thermocouple that's not allowing the pilot light to stay lit. It seems to be an easy fix, once I can find a replacement. Does anyone know where I can purchase one of these? Are they different for different brands of water heaters?

This is rather bizarre. What do you mean you had the insulation "replaced?" ... What insulation? And how would that even affect a water heater?

Did you blow-in cellulose or fiberglass - and some of it got blown down the exhaust vent of your water heater?

Maybe it was dusty all inside the house, and up where the pilot light is?, following the blown-in insulation job?

Did you turn off the gas, at any point, for any reason? Why would you even need to do that?

...I've also insulated my home... with blow-in cellulose... and some of that stuff got down into the water heater - from above, via the exhaust vent. I turned off the water heater. I took off the vent pipe... and then proceeded to remove a 2-inch wide by ~5 foot long piece of metal (looked like a giant lasagna noodle) from the middle of the water heater... and then proceeded to put a shop vac hose - down the middle of my water heater - and vacuumed out of all the cellulose. I then re-inserted the long metal lasagna noodle, attached the vent pipe - and light it back up. Am I crazy? Yes.

No problems, so far.

So what kind of insulation job did you perform that has you concerned? And screw trying to fix the broken part. Just buy a new one.

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There were a few things done to our house before we moved in. We had it fumigated and the insulation removed and new cellulose insulation blown in.

I'm going to call around today to see who might have a gas control unit. If I don't have any luck, it looks like I'll be finding a plumber to check it out.

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Well, it turned out to be a much simpler problem than we thought.... The fumigation company never turned the gas to the house back on. We turned the stove on a few days ago and it burned for a little while - so we assumed we had gas coming into the house. That must have been gas that was still in the pipes. We tried to use the stove last night and it wasn't working. Fortunately, Centerpoint came out right away and fixed the problem!

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