FIXED 9G50-3851 Rheem Water Heater, Richmond heater pilot will not stay on.

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AWSHandy

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9G50-3851
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This water heater is made by Rheem. (I think for Home Depot) It is Richmond brand. A few days ago the pilot went out and could not be relit and stay lit after pushing down on pilot button. It lights...gas flow ok. Igniter ok. Just will not stay on. I replaced the thermocouple...same issue. I have read in other threads that Rheem has some gas valve issue. Any help on where to go from here would be much appreciated. Thank you.

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rickgburton

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If you already replaced the thermocouple correctly the gas valve is the only thing left. Make sure the flame is on the thermocouple.
 

AWSHandy

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The flame was directly on the thermocouple. I took it apart again to see if I missed anything. No. The tip of thermocouple was hot. I had held the prime button down for over 90 sec. Has there been an issue with this valve?
 

rickgburton

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I don't know about the valve. Hot water heaters are usually serviced by HVAC or Plumbers. I've only worked on about a handful. Sorry.
 

rickgburton

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Glad you found that. I didn't know your model had a thermal device. That might be the problem.
 

AWSHandy

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Rick...I am so damn frustrated. After replacing the thermocouple (universal) the pilot light would not stay on. I reported it to Rheem, they sent out Fedex a new gas valve. I installed it today...not done that before...it took me a long time. After all put together..AGAIN...The pilot would not stay on. The TVIR device seems to be ok. It is not broken..still intact. I am at my wits end. Do you have any resource that might inform me? I may not be able to sleep tonight. Thanks much.
 

rickgburton

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OK, you have the valve set on pilot, hold the button in and use a propane or mapp gas torch to light the pilot and hold the flame from the torch on the thermocouple for about 15-30 seconds and see if it stays on.
 

AWSHandy

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Ok, after much consternation, I finally got ahold of someone at Rheem who straightened me out. I explained the whole thing as I have to you. It turns out....YOU CANNOT REPLACE THE RHEEM THERMOCPOUPLE with a UNIVERSAL THERMOCOUPLE FROM HOME DEPOT. You MUST install a new PILOT ASSEMBLY which Rheem fedexed for free. Once that was installed, everything worked. WTF??? What is the point of a universal thermocouple? Why would Rheem make a proprietary thermocouple? FIXED
 

rickgburton

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That's what I was thinking. The torch on the thermocouple would have confirmed it. Glad you got it fixed!
 
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