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Question DetailsAsked on 3/10/2018

My thermocouple and pilot light are glowing red hot when burner is on.

I just replaced my gas valve/thermostat on my whirlpool water. When i relit the burner, I noticed the pilot and thermocouple were glowing red hot. I've never noticed it before but never checked before either. Is that normal?

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1 Answer


When you say the "pilot" is glowing red - if you mean the orifice the gas comes out of, that is bad - could mean you have a gas leak there which is causing buring gas (would be almost invisible blue) is flowing up past the orifice. If you mean the "finger" - the draft shield - behind the pilot, then the tip of that will commonly glow red, but the whole thing definitely should not be.

If you mean the flame itself is red, though I have never seen that (usually yellow if not thoroughly burning properly), that would be bad - should be a steady blue flame (not flickering or making noticeable sputtering noise nor "lifting up" off the orifice because of too much gas flow), and a "pleasant blue", not a harsh intense purplish blue.

The tip of the thermocouple will commonly glow dull red - but should nto be 'cherry red" or "orange red" - that would be too hot and can melt the thermocouple, causing failure. And only the tip 1/3 to max 1/2 of the solid thermocouple tip should be in the flame - not the full length - owner's manual usually has pictures of how it should look, otherwise look on manufacturer's website - they usually have a video showing proper pilot orientation and color.

Check the installation manual for how the pilot shield should be oriented relative to the main burner flame, and how close - could be you are too close to the burner flame with the pilot housing.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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