Our 3-month old Kenmore 50 gallon water heater had a problem
Thursday. After installation, I adjusted the heat so that
we got 135f water, and this worked great until Thursday.
Thursday morning, I ran the hot water in the sink while
brushing my teeth, so that the shower would be ready. When
I rinsed the toothbrush, I literally scalded my hand. My IR
thermometer showed 190f water. I immediately went to the
garage and turned the gas valve down to pilot. It was set
where it was supposed to be, by the way.
We called Sears and they said they'd have a technician out
next week. In the meantime, I left the valve on pilot. By
this evening, the hot water in the tank was exhausted, so I
intended to turn the valve back up and watch it closely to
get another tank of hot water.
Instead, the pilot was out. By depressing the valve, I can
light the pilot, but even after a couple minutes, the flame
will not stay lighted when i release the button.
1) Is there any "trick" to getting the main burner lit
temporarily, under manual observation and control?
2) Do you think that the overheat condition has toggled some
internal safety in the gas valve? Can it be reset?
3) What might have caused the overheating in the first
place? The PT valve never tripped, by the way.