Water Heater Pilot LIght Problem

I have a Rheem water heater, 50 gal, aprox 5 years old. Within last month I had to replace the thermocouple, worked fine until this week, now I notice that the pilot light is about 3 inches hight and there is flame coming from the bottom of the pilot burner from the air inlet. My gas valve is a robertshaw 66-148-308 and has no pilot light adjustment. Does that mean the pressure is too high if the flame is 3 inches high and shooting out the air intake, and should i replace the valve, or as ive heard should i just replace the water hearter due to cost of new valve.
any advice about this problem would be appreciated.
thanks Hal
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On Nov 30, 11:19�pm, snipped-for-privacy@cox.net wrote:

How are other natural gas flames in your home? if OK I would just replace the heater.
a few years ago a new valve assembly cost about 170 bucks, thats a lot to spend on a older tank.......
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On Fri, 30 Nov 2007 20:41:05 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

Considering most tanks have a 6 yr parts warranty, it shouldnt be a problem. Bubba
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