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How to replace pilot assembly A.O. Smith propane water heater?

Replacing the pilot assembly on an A.O. Smith propane water heater is a task that requires some mechanical and basic plumbing knowledge. If you are not comfortable with gas appliances or do not have experience in handling them, it's essential to consult a qualified technician or professional for assistance. Working on propane appliances can be dangerous, and incorrect installation can lead to gas leaks or other hazards. However, for informational purposes, here's a general guideline on how to replace a pilot assembly on an A.O. Smith propane water heater:

Warning: Gas appliances can be hazardous. Ensure the gas supply is turned off, and take necessary precautions before attempting any work on the water heater.

1. Safety Precautions: Safety should be your top priority. Turn off the gas supply to the water heater. This typically involves closing the gas valve that supplies gas to the unit. Additionally, make sure the water heater is disconnected from the power source and that it has cooled down.
2. Identify the Pilot Assembly: Locate the pilot assembly on your A.O. Smith propane water heater. It is usually found near the bottom of the tank, inside the combustion chamber. The pilot assembly consists of the pilot burner, pilot orifice, and the thermocouple.
3. Access the Pilot Assembly: You may need to remove the outer and inner covers or panels that provide access to the pilot assembly. Use appropriate tools, such as a screwdriver or wrench, to remove these covers. Ensure you're wearing safety gear, such as gloves and safety goggles, as you may encounter dust and debris.
4. Disconnect the Thermocouple: Carefully disconnect the thermocouple from the gas valve. The thermocouple is usually connected to the gas valve by a threaded fitting. Use an appropriate wrench to loosen and remove it.
5. Remove the Pilot Assembly: The pilot assembly is typically secured in place with screws or mounting brackets. Carefully remove any fasteners holding it in place. Be cautious not to damage any surrounding components during the removal process.
6. Install the New Pilot Assembly: Place the new pilot assembly in the same location where the old one was removed. Secure it using the screws or brackets provided with the new assembly. Ensure that it's properly aligned and seated.
7. Connect the Thermocouple: Reattach the thermocouple to the gas valve, threading it into the same location as the old one. Use a wrench to tighten it securely. Ensure there are no gas leaks around the connection.
8. Reassemble: Carefully reattach the inner and outer covers or panels that provide access to the pilot assembly. Ensure all parts are securely in place.
9. Gas Leak Check: Before restoring the gas supply, conduct a gas leak check. Use a solution of soapy water and apply it to all gas connections, including the thermocouple connection. If you see bubbles forming, there may be a gas leak, and you should not proceed. Instead, contact a professional to address the issue.
10. Gas Supply Restoration: Once you are confident that there are no gas leaks, you can turn the gas supply back on by opening the gas valve.
11. Pilot Lighting: Follow the manufacturer's instructions for lighting the pilot. This usually involves turning the control knob on the gas valve to the "Pilot" position, pressing and holding the knob down, and using a long lighter or match to ignite the pilot burner. Continue holding the knob down for about 30 seconds to allow the thermocouple to heat up and keep the pilot flame lit.
12. Test: Test the water heater to ensure it is functioning correctly. Monitor it for any unusual behavior, such as the pilot going out repeatedly or any gas odors.
13. Monitor and Adjust: Keep an eye on your water heater for a period after replacement to ensure it is maintaining the desired water temperature and functioning properly.

If you encounter any problems during the installation process or have any doubts about your ability to safely replace the pilot assembly, it's strongly recommended to seek assistance from a qualified technician or professional. Working with gas appliances can be hazardous, and incorrect installation may lead to gas leaks or other safety hazards. Always prioritize safety when dealing with propane water heaters.

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