Originally Posted by P B G
The pilot won't stay lit, I have not attempted to light the main heater with out the pilot, as it is mounted ~20 feet in the air. Is there a way to easily bypass the pilot needing to be lit in order to open main gas valve?
Hold the pilot button on the valve and propane torch heat up the thermocouple for a few seconds. This fools the valve into thinking the pilot/thermocouple is on. Then turn the valve to on position and torch light the burners. You should hear the gas coming into the main burners. If this happens adn the main burners light up properly, just let it burn until...usually the thermocouple will cool down (since the pilot is not on) and the heater will shut down.
If you cannot get the heater to light up in the manner then you either have a safety switch tripped or a bad valve.
Also, check to make sure that when you turn the valve knob from off > pilot > on that the underneath valve is turning and the plastic knob is not stripped/broken and just free spinning. I have seen this happen all too often with old heaters.