Old Paloma PH53F weak pilot flame

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Bobby R

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Hilo, Hawaii
I have an old Paloma PH53F tankless propane heater that was functioning before removal from our home and replaced with a new model. It's been in storage for 2 years and wanted to use it for an outdoor shower. The standing pilot is now very weak, a very small flame about 3mm wide that does not extend from the pilot orifice. After releasing the control knob, from a depressed position, the pilot gas supply is stopped after Appx 20 seconds, due to a magnetic switch engaging. This safety valve is working correctly since the thermocouple is no longer being heated by the subsidiary pilot, after releasing the control knob.

The Paloma website addresses issues with these older models on the Support link on their website and includes a list of troubleshooting steps, that I have performed, see attached PDF.

-Disassembled pilot assembly and checked for any blockage, dirt, or broken parts.
-Magnetic valve is working correctly
-Thermocouple generating voltage when heated and cleaned contacts
-Jumpered the overheat circuit, as recommended to do in troubleshooting steps.
-Removed the pilot gas tube from a cube shaped assembly which contains a small orifice and spring loaded needle to clean orifice. When control valve is depressed there is gas flow.
-Removed the cube shape pilot orifice assembly and applied air compressor rubber tip to gas input and tested for air flow through needle tip sized orifice.
-There does not appear to be a way to calibrate the gas control valve on this model. However, I have tried turning it while depressed to see if the pilot gas flow increases in a different position. The valve appears to be operating correctly.

I don't have a way to measure the pilot gas supply pressure. However, when I removed the tube from the cube shaped assembly and depressed the control valve I could feel a strong gas supply as well as hearing a flow from the gas supply tube. Perhaps this is still not enough pressure to maintain a normal pilot. However, I can not find a pilot adjustment.

Would appreciate any thoughts.
Thank you
Bobby R


  • Heater cover.jpeg
    Heater cover.jpeg
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  • Pilot orifice cube shape.jpeg
    Pilot orifice cube shape.jpeg
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  • Pilot Assembly.jpeg
    Pilot Assembly.jpeg
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  • Support - Paloma Water Heaters Paloma Water Heaters.pdf
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