Used Rheem 50gal water heater – Pilot won't light…Any ideas?

The Tank Used Rheem 50gal water heater – Pilot won't light…Any ideas?

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    I have a used 50 gallon Rheem “Fury” series water heater (built in 2005) that I just installed, but we can’t seem to light the pilot flame. We hooked up the gas line and turned on the gas. Then we turned the dial to “pilot”, held down the pilot-gas button, and depressed the “Piezo igntion striker” button several times (that’s what the directions said to do). We observed through the little glass window either a lone spark or spark accompanied by a brief flash (like what you would expect to see when you were lighting a small gas source). However, we never once got a sustained pilot flame even though we were still holding down the pilot-gas-source button.

    Does anybody have any ideas of what might be wrong?

    Here’s the specific info on my water heater…

    Rheem Fury Series
    Manufactured 2005
    Model # 42v50-40F
    50 Gallon

    Thanks for any help.

    Randy Schuyler

    Any time anybody has trouble with a post-2003 heater, the first thing we think of is an issue with the FVIR system. There is a glass vial in Rheems that breaks when the FVIR is triggered, or that can break if the heater is dropped. If that is the case, you’ll need to get a new one from Rheem or the heater won’t ever work.

    Randy Schuyler


    It sounds like to me since you never saw a pilot either you need to bleed the gas line, or your spark isn’t close enough to the flame. Even a tripped FVIR would let you light the pilot. Unscrew the pilot line at the gas valve and momentarily depress the pilot button to see if you smell gas. If you do either your pilot orifice is plugged or your spark isn’t aligned correctly.


    Thanks for all of your helpful replies people! With some good feedback and a helpful suggestion from a member of a different DIY forum, I was finally able to identify the problem and ultimately succeed in getting the pilot lit. After purging the gas line a few times with no success, I decided to completely disconnect the gas-supply line from both ends and blow it out repeatedly with about 120 psi from a compressor. It was that last attempt at finding a solution that without-a-doubt took care of the problem. The pilot is now lit and I am finally able to enjoy a hot shower for the first time in two hellish weeks (lol). Thanks again for all your help guys!…You really helped make a difference in my situation!:D


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