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On the FVIR heaters the burner door has a seal. That seal can stick and does stick and can tear apart or otherwise compromise its ability to make a positive seal to the burn chamber. Do you carry a selection of these door seals around with you?
I do carry the door gaskets, and when I get a call pilot will not stay lit I make sure I have the right door gasket for the model heater they called about.
It's a Fluke and IIRC maybe a 714. I remember paying a bit over 700 bucks for it at the time. I use it every time we cover gas valves & thermocouples so that would be 4 times a year for one class and then the adult ed classes at night. But in real life, I guess I'm lazy but when the pilot does not stay in 9 times out of ten its a bad TC so I change it.
Yea, that's probably a good idea, certainly nothing wrong with breaking out the test equipment. If nothing else it's a little more convincing and looks more professional when the customer is looking over your shoulder. When you have been servicing and troubleshooting for many years you come up with all sorts of tricks and shortcuts for things.
So I finally was able to use the thermocouple test method I read here and my meter would not show any milli amps so I replaced the thermocouple and the heater still wouldn't light apparently I don't know how to use that meter because when I got home I used the same ideal meter that THEMASTER used to test the old thermocouple and it worked, it went to 38 milli volts so now my problem is trying to find parts for a reliance water heater but thanks to this thread I did learn something so thanks to all who replied to this thread and THEMASTER for bringing this topic up. I was a little embarrassed that I didn't know how to check 1 I guess in school I must have missed that day.