gas water heater not heating

Hi,
I have an A.O. Smith gas water heater with power vent. I'm the third owner of this house and the water heater is probably original (13 years old). I've noticed a couple of problems in the past few months. The first problem is that about a month ago the pilot light went out twice in a few days timeframe. I was able to re-light it, with a little trouble getting it to stay on (I didn't do the one minute test of holding down the pilot after I lit it to see if it stayed lit) and it hasn't been a problem since. I guess the next time I'll try the test.
Anyway the main problem is that the burner is not kicking on when I run out of hot water. To get it to come on I have to unplug/replug in the blower for the vent. Obviously I have to remember to do this once every day/few days. Is that a sign of a bad thermostat or could it be something else? I have a home warranty with a $50 co-pay, but is this something I should/could fix myself?
thanks,
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

The Power Vent heaters must "prove" the draft inducer fan is actually coming on before opening the Main gas valve.
I will go out on a limb and speculate that your heater is failing at that point for one reason or another and then locking out. Unplugging then resets the circuitry.
In short, it's more than a simple DIY homeowner problem and you *may* be ahead to call the warranty folks .
Jim
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

The pilot problem is not likely a big issue, likely a thermocouple.
The other one is a bit more of a problem. Without the manual I don't think I would try to fix it, especially since you are talking about a water heater than is 13 years old.
It might be worth the $50 co-pay, especially if they take care of both problems (about $10 for a thermocouple.) But I would not put any real money into it at this point and any leak is likely to be the end of it.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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wrote:

Nice thing about a home warranty, if they decide it is not servicable, you get a brand new one to replace it. Hopefully it is a part you can't replace. In your case it may be a sensor or control module.
I got a brand new garage door opener because the gear box split open.
IMHO, worth the $50
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yeah with such a old water tank its very likely to just be replaced, since parts are likely scarce and disturbing the tank will likely result in a leak. too bad it just didnt start dripping that would get you a nice new one.
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