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Why does the light blink on Whirlpool hot water heater but pilot light does not stay lit?

When the light on your Whirlpool hot water heater blinks, but the pilot light does not stay lit, it typically indicates a problem with the ignition system or a related component. Here are some common reasons why this issue may occur:

* Gas Supply Issues:
If the pilot light fails to stay lit, one of the first things to check is the gas supply to the water heater. Ensure that the gas control valve on the water heater is in the "On" position.
Verify that the main gas supply valve to your home or the gas line supplying the water heater is also open. Sometimes, gas supply interruptions can prevent the pilot light from staying lit.
* Air in the Gas Line:
Air in the gas line can disrupt the pilot light's ability to stay lit. When the gas supply is initially turned on or restored after a disruption, it may take a few moments for the air to purge from the line.
To address this issue, follow these steps:
* Turn the gas control valve on the water heater to the "Off" position.
* Wait for a few minutes to allow any trapped air to dissipate.
* Turn the gas control valve back to the "Pilot" or "On" position.
* Attempt to relight the pilot light following the manufacturer's instructions.
Thermocouple Malfunction:
* The thermocouple is a safety device that senses the presence of the pilot flame. If it doesn't detect the flame, it prevents the gas valve from staying open.
* Over time, the thermocouple can wear out or become dirty, affecting its ability to function correctly. A malfunctioning thermocouple is a common reason for pilot light issues.
To check the thermocouple:
* Ensure the pilot light area is clean and free from debris.
* Carefully inspect the thermocouple for signs of corrosion, damage, or loose connections.
* If you notice any issues with the thermocouple, it may need to be cleaned or replaced.
Pilot Orifice Blockage:
* A clogged orifice can restrict the flow of gas to the pilot light, making it difficult to maintain a stable flame.
* If you suspect a blockage, you can try carefully cleaning the pilot orifice with a soft brush and compressed air. However, this task is best performed by a qualified technician if you're not experienced with gas appliances.
Faulty Gas Control Valve:
* A malfunctioning gas control valve can prevent the pilot light from staying lit. If other troubleshooting steps do not resolve the issue, it's possible that the gas control valve is defective.
* Replacing a gas control valve is a complex task and should be performed by a qualified technician to ensure proper installation and safety.
Improper Pilot Light Ignition Procedure:
* Make sure you're following the correct procedure to relight the pilot light. Typically, you should:
* Turn the gas control valve to the "Pilot" position and hold it down while pressing the ignition button or using a long lighter to ignite the pilot.
* Continue holding the valve down for a minute or two to allow the thermocouple to heat up.
* Release the valve slowly. If the pilot light stays lit, switch the gas control valve to the "On" position.
* If the pilot light goes out when you release the valve or doesn't stay lit after following the proper procedure, further investigation is required.

If you've tried the above steps and are still experiencing issues with your Whirlpool hot water heater's pilot light, it's strongly recommended to contact a qualified technician or plumber who specializes in gas water heaters. Gas appliances can be potentially hazardous when not functioning correctly, so it's crucial to prioritize safety and seek professional assistance to diagnose and resolve the problem.
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