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Thread: Pilot Light Won't Stay Lit

  1. #1
    Senior Member CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Pilot Light Won't Stay Lit

    Subject line pretty much says it all.

    I've got a Teledyne/Laars/Jandy Lite2™ Pool and Spa Heater Model LG (natural gas). Following the instructions that are printed on the heater, the pilot lights, but won't stay lit when the gas control knob is released from the "pilot" position.

    Anything I can try before calling in a technician?

    Thanks!
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
    1 hp Hayward Super Pump (new in 2012);
    Hayward S244T sand filter w/ Zeosand (both new in 2009);
    175K BTU LAARS Lite2 LG natural gas heater; Polaris 380;
    TF-100 test kit.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Pilot Light Won't Stay Lit

    Quote Originally Posted by CUTiger78
    Subject line pretty much says it all.

    I've got a Teledyne/Laars/Jandy Lite2™ Pool and Spa Heater Model LG (natural gas). Following the instructions that are printed on the heater, the pilot lights, but won't stay lit when the gas control knob is released from the "pilot" position.

    Anything I can try before calling in a technician?

    Thanks!
    Try holding it in longer.

    There's a part called a thermocouple that is in the pilot light. It heats up and expands and pushes a wire to hold the gas valve open. Pilot blows out, thermocouple shrinks, gas shuts off. When you hold the knob in, you're substituting for the thermocouple until it heats up. Give it a minute, maybe two.

    I've changed them on furnaces before, it was pretty easy. Never done one on a pool heater, but I doubt it's much different. If common practice holds true, the part will be some standard item, but cost 3X as much because it says "pool" on the package somewhere.

    I don't know if you're "handy" or not, so I don't know whether you want to try it yourself or not. But if you want to try, look for the bulb with a wire attached that is sitting in the pilot light. Trace the wire to the control valve. It's probably screwed in. You just remove it and take it to an appliance shop or heating/AC place and have them match it. The length doesn't have to be exact, by the way.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

  3. #3
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    Re: Pilot Light Won't Stay Lit

    Before removing it, you want to make sure it's actually in the fire from the pilot light. If it is, the just hold the control valve in longer until it can hold the valve open.

    These are not terribly expensive but can be tricky to get to when replacing - I have to use a little mirror to even see mine.
    45,180 gallon 26' x 53' IG Vinyl, irregular shape. Hayward sand filter / pump. Polaris AutoClear SWG, supplemented with a Hayward Automatic Chlorinator (In-Line). Hayward 400K BTU heater. Paramount "turnover" system. Polaris 480 PRO cleaner.

  4. #4
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    Re: Pilot Light Won't Stay Lit

    The flame should look like a small torch's and blue, not like a candle or Bic lighter. Sometimes it can take a couple minutes for the pilot generator to create enough voltage/current signal for the regulator to realize it's lit.

    If you have a multimeter, set it for 2 VDC. Pull on lead from the pressure switch and put one of the meter's leads in the connector. Light the pilot and hold. The gas regulator wants at least 250 mV DC to keep the pilot lit and 400 for the main burners. If it isn't there and the probe that is in the pilot's flame is clean, the pilot generator needs replacing.

    If the voltage is over 800 mV, the pilot is getting too much gas and needs to be reduced but this is a very rare situation.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  5. #5

    Re: Pilot Light Won't Stay Lit

    This happened to me last year. I could get the pilot lit but the main burner would not kick in. The gas to the pilot and main burner is controlled by a solenoid that is powered by the thermocouple.

    Most likely, the thermocouple is covered in a fine layer of soot which doesn't allow the heat of the pilot to fully transfer. Detach the thermocouple and give it a light rub with emory cloth or fine sandpaper.

    As previously mentioned, use a voltmeter to measure the difference.
    15,000 gallon unpainted plaster. Sand filter. Polaris 380.

  6. #6
    Senior Member CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: Pilot Light Won't Stay Lit

    Thanks, guys, for the tips!

    The easiest one, hold the pilot lighter longer, didn't work.

    I couldn't figure out, even with the schematic, which leads to tap into with my multimeter, so I didn't get those readings. My paws are too big to get into the space where the thermocouple must be in the pilot light. Looks to me like I'd have to partially disassemble the heater to get in there and I don't feel comfortable with that.

    So, I guess a call to the service guy is next. That's a pig-in-a-poke, too! I haven't found anybody reliable since Rob Cox went out of business and devoted all of his time to poolcenter.com.

    Thanks again!
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
    1 hp Hayward Super Pump (new in 2012);
    Hayward S244T sand filter w/ Zeosand (both new in 2009);
    175K BTU LAARS Lite2 LG natural gas heater; Polaris 380;
    TF-100 test kit.

  7. #7

    Re: Pilot Light Won't Stay Lit

    It's really not too difficult to test.

    Here's the manual: http://www.jandy-downloads.com/pdfs/H0264600A.pdf

    Check section 10.4.2 for how to test. You need to see 500mv.
    15,000 gallon unpainted plaster. Sand filter. Polaris 380.

  8. #8
    Senior Member CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: Pilot Light Won't Stay Lit

    Thanks for the link to Jandy manual. It's more detailed than the LAARS manual.
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
    1 hp Hayward Super Pump (new in 2012);
    Hayward S244T sand filter w/ Zeosand (both new in 2009);
    175K BTU LAARS Lite2 LG natural gas heater; Polaris 380;
    TF-100 test kit.

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