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Question DetailsAsked on 12/29/2017

pilot stays lit on Whirlpool gas water heater but burner will not light, less than 2 years old, light flashes 4x

the whole burner assembly was replaced 3 weeks ago, pilot light went out 2 days ago, lit right back and stayed on but now the burner will not light

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1 Answer


Evidently this is becoming chronic with some Honeywell gas controllers - used on Rheem, Whirlpool, Kenmore, AO Smith, State and some other brands. The 4 blinks mean overtemp condition was detected - or at least it thinks it did - that the unit thinks the watre heater got too hot (one source said 160 degrees is the design trip point).

Supposedly can happen if a lot of sediment is allowed to build up in heater, and of course if it is not full of water - but happens randomly too, according to several maintenance blogs. Normal cause is probably overheating in the firebox (where the sensor is) - previously they had problems with dust accumulation blocking the fresh air intake so it overheated. If it has not been serviced annually that could be the cause.

I could find a LOT of complaints about this but no recall - only solution recommendation other than replacing gas control valve (for another of same model which will likely fail the same way) is to keep the water temp down so the overly sensitive sensor does not think it has gotten too hot.

There are blogs and Youtube videos online telling how to remove the gas controller printed circuit board and dissipate the charges on the capacitors, or to just let it sit for a day to natuarally dischaerge - but you won't find me suggesting people of unknown mechanical ability do that.

Part can run from over $125 to about $250 bill-out rate - plus typically minimum trip charge of about $75-150 (up to $300 range in a very few high-priced uban areas). Of course, if still under warranty then call the warranty repair number. Might be covered at least with regard to the part - even possibly labor depending on design life of the heater - current (not sure 2 years ago was same - check yours owners manual) -

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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