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Question DetailsAsked on 10/3/2016

Water heater won't stay on. Pilot lights and it runs then shuts off.

Replaced thermocouple. Light pilot and stays on when button is released I turn up them temp and burners start. Runs about ten minutes then it all shuts off. Clicks when that happens. I try to relight it and pilot won't stay lit when I release the button. When it cools down it will stay lit. It will run the ten or so minute then shut off again. When it's hot it won't stay lit. Thanks

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Sounds like an overtemp sensor kicking out because the firebox is getting too hot - or some models now have an self-resetting airflow or oxygen sensor that kicks out the gas when the firebox is not getting enough combustion air - due to being in too tight as room without adequate inlet grates or vents; or in some very poorly designed water heaters these days, due to an air filter or grating in the bottom of the water heater (under the burners, virtually impossible to get at without tilting the tank) which fills up with lint and dust, cutting off the airflow. That type has a relatively tight-fitting front inspection panel.


Check owner's/parts manual for where it has sensors and safety shutoffs - can be several on some models.


I would guess the click is probably a sensor opening up - would not be hard with a cardboard tube (don't set fire to it) to locate general area it is coming from, or determine if coming from the gas control valve - many of the sensors on gas furnaces lead to the GCV to shut it off when they trigger. Here are links to a couple of related questions with answers which might also help - http://answers.angieslist.com/The-pil... http://answers.angieslist.com/Have-wa... Other possibility - new thermocopuple is bad (hear a lot about that these days, people buying off-brand thermocouples from Asia - I swear by Honeywell sensors and thermocouples. Or could be it was not properly seated up into the recess it goes into before the screw fitting was screwed into the hole - straighten the end few inches of the tubing and insert first with the nut slid back, because putting it in with it seated down in the nut can result in failure to reach the bottom of the recess. Put the thermocouple tip straight up in first and bet sure it is centered and all the wal seated, then thread in the nut. However, since running 10 minutes and sounds like pilot keeps going OK indefinitely, that should not be your issue in this case.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD




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