Help!-Gas Hot Water Heater Will Not Stay Lit

Woke up this morning to only cold water in the shower - wife was very unhappy considering only she has to work today. This is a 6-year old free venting State Select natural gas.
I can light the pilot and turn up the thermostat only to have everything go out within a minute or two. Any suggestions?
Thanks.
Mike S.
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Why do you want to heat hot water?
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mikesn5va wrote:

The most common cause is a bad thermocouple, or one which is not in good contact with pilot flame. But you could have a flue blockage (in the chimney or even inside the heater) which is choking the flame off.
Jim
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You are holding the pilot button on the gas valve down when you light the pilot? When it lights, do you immediately release the button and it goes out?
The usual sequence of lighting a gas appliance which has a pilot light is:
1) Turn the gas valve to "pilot". 2) Press and hold the button. 3) Light the pilot light. 4) Continue holding the button 60 seconds and release. 5) If the pilot light goes out, stop. Your thermocouple is bad. Replace it. 6) If the pilot light stays on, turn the knob to "on". 7) Main burner should light and stay on until the water is hot. If it doesn't stay lit, you have a flue or gas control problem.
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Rich Greenberg Marietta, GA, USA richgr atsign panix.com + 1 770 321 6507
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Thanks for the responses ... it was the thermocouple (lasted 5.5 years). $20 for the part and $150 for the labor, oh, and $10 fuel surcharge.
Why do these things always happen on a weekend or holiday?
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A thermocouple for your AWH is about 10 bucks at your local hardware store and very simple to put in.
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