Quote Originally Posted by hussy250f View Post
I bought a Whirlpool Flamelock, LPG , 1 year ago from Lowes. The old B.W. blew a leak late on a Saturday, Lowes is nearby, blah blah blah. This new one went out about 3 weeks ago.
To shorten this post up I'll say that the thermocouple is fine, checked with a multimeter during lightup, and I have a clean flash arrestor in the bottom of the unit. I also checked for voltage before and after the "circuit breaker" located below and to the right of the gas valve, 22mv in (black wire), 19mv out (white wire).
Lowes did not have a LPG valve in stock, and most of the local plumbing supply places only carried the normal "I could care less" looks.
I called the # on the water heater, got them to send me a new gas valve, under warranty, so no cost to me. The new valve would not be in for a few days because this took place on a Friday. So I pulled the gas valve out of my old B.W. water heater, all the connections lined up and she fired right up even with the old thermocouple in place.
All I had to do was adjust the burner pressure down a bit to eliminate the slight yellow flickers off the ends of the burner flames, the yellow was not present when the Flamelock was in operation before this.
This past weekend I pulled apart the original Flamelock gas valve to see how the pilot circuit is setup. I found out that the white wire from the "circuit breaker" runs up into the temperature sensing element that protrudes into the tank and thru what I figure is a thermistor that must cut off the pilot circuit at some really high water temperature.
I'm figuring the thermistor breaks down internally over time and the pilot won't stay lit. When I get the time I'm going to try and rig up a test stand to put a controlled
heat source on the temperature sensing probe of the gas valve and see if the mv signal to the pilot circuit drops after a bunch of on / off cycles.
I would have to say the the problem I am diagnosing is centered in the RobertShaw gas valve and not the flash arrestor like some people here are saying. When I first started to lose the pilot, upon restart the burner would light right up and burn all blue flames, no yellow at all, stay "burner on" all thru a heat up cycle, shut off and then I could see the pilot slowly lose gas till it also died. I'm pretty sure if the main burner can work at all the pilot will not be starved for air between heat cycles, so pulling out the glass or drilling some holes in the unit won't help.
I don't know if the new gas valve has any changes from my original, but they do look identical. That would explain why the "upgrade" kits seem to have the same problem down the road. The thermistor in the temperature sensing tube would be the quick fix AWH and RobertShaw came up with to replace the left hand threaded thermocouple on the early models.I think I saw in a picture somewhere that left hand thermocouple had a bulge in the tubing back a bit from the coupling head.
Maybe if an AWH or RobertShaw employee is going thru this pile of post they can look into this.
And no, I still have not changed to the new gas valve.
I might just remove the sensing tube first to see if they changed that thermistor to a different spec part. Shes' still working fine with old B.W. gas valve.
Read the above and thought I had already posted as I am in the same boat and did the same thing for a temporary? fix. Did same checks on thermocouple and it was good, replaced just in case because it was cheap and Lowe's had them in stock. Both old and new had about same output 18-20 ma.

Joined this site so I could become a member of the club. Purchased a LPG BFG1F5040T3PV in April 2008, worked fine until this weekend. Water Heater is the US CraftMaster version. Previous heater was American Standard, same manufacture just different brand, and had worked fine just was getting old, so purchased without reading. Really mad at self because I could have got a Bradford at same price. Anyway, reason I quoted this post is that I have done the same thing (installed Old Control Valve In Water Heater) because I didn't want to be without hot water for 2 days while new LPG control value is shipped. Don't know why but the valve is being shipped overnight at no cost and they even gave me a number to call for free installation. If I install the new valve I will do it myself as the installer is A & E Sears, and the reports on them are not that good. And installing the control valve/thermostat is not that hard.

Only thing I see that I am not getting with the old control valve is not having the thermal switch on the thermocouple, which may be a good thing. When I bought the new water heater it came with the skirt and it appears to do a good job as the screen on the bottom was clean.

Will not spend any money on this water heater and when it fails again will probably replace.

Read all 23 pages and this thread will go on for a while.