Last year we replaced our old heater with a new Raypak LowNox unit, which I put in myself. Last fall we started having problems with the heater not lighting - you would hear it clicking over and over, but it never lighted. Hurricane Ike hit us shortly after that, and after dealing with all that, it just got kind of put on the back burner until now.
I'm having trouble getting someone out for warranty work since I installed it myself, and the warranty expires in 2 days anyway, so I'm probably out of luck with that. But one of the guys I talked to was nice enough to tell me what he thought the problem was - a dirty pilot. He said that if the pilot has a lot of soot on it, it interferes with the current going back up the tube and telling the heater that the pilot is indeed lit. So on his suggestion, I pulled out the pilot assembly, and the whole pilot tube, electrode, and mounting bracket had quite a bit of corrosion. I scrubbed it with a wire brush and removed some of it, but it still looked pretty bad and that didn't fix the problem.
So my questions are:
1) Is there a better way to clean the pilot and remove the corrossion from it, or should I just replace it?
2) What could have caused all this corrossion? Since it happened after only 6 months, I'm hoping that maybe something happened at the warehouse or during shipping, and this is an isolated event. What else should I look at that would cause the pilot to corrode so quickly?