water heater won't light after flood

We got a foot of water in our basement yesterday (central PA) because the hose to the sump pump had slipped off. Furnace is fine, but water heater won't light. An HVAC-trained friend said "it" might just need to dry out (I got this information secondhand). He can come over later on today to look at it; in the meantime I called the gas company, who put us on the list (they're swamped today). They said they can even fix it and bill us. Question: how long does it take for "it" (whatever that is) to dry?
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The main control is most likely full of water ( duh ) I know, but if its an old heater 6 yrs I'de replace it.
Is the gas company going to replace the control or disassemble it blow it out and will it cause future problems.
I would install a new thermocoupler myself, and see if it will light if not a new heater.There easy to replace.Your only out a few bucks.
The gas company will probably fix it but at what cost?
Tom

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Yeah, that's what I said to my husband. If the gas company says it needs a new thermocoupler, our friend can replace it for us. The heater is only about six months old.
wrote:

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You might want to consider putting it on a stool made for the purpose. Gas water heaters are safer when off the ground in the event of a spill of flammable liquid.

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Be sure to hold down the pilot light button a fairly long time so that you are trying to light gas, not air.
nosredna wrote:

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There's a *reset* button and an *igniter* button. The instructions say "Hold down the reset button while striking the igniter." Our HVAC friend (who will come over hopefully soon) said, "Do this several times to get a light. If you do not get the pilot light to come on, that means that it either needs to keep drying out or there are other problems requiring professional help." Are you telling me to hold down the reset button a fairly long time or the *igniter*?

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In the event that gas lines were opened, the air in the line needs to be cleared. Or possibly nitrogen used to purge.
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Since furnace is fione, I assume you already had it cycle for heat. So I guess air in line isn't a concern. Ignore the interruption.
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Can't see yours from here but when I had a similar flood the problem was that water got into the tubing that supplies the pilot which does not have enough pressure to blow it out. Remove pilot assembly and blow out the tube with mouth or compressed air. You can test the pilot function of the main valve by holding down the red button AFTER you disconnect the tubing from the gas valve. If gas comes out when it is depressed and stops when you let go of the button cleaning and trying the tubing and pilot may solve your problem.
Warning if the main control valve was under the water it may have to be replaced.
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Thanks. It was determined by my friend that it does need a new gas control. The one that died was a "one-time use" unit. A contractor bought the last batch at Lowe's today; hopefully the plumbing supply will have one tomorrow. Cold showers for all!

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Thanks to all for their tips. I've gone through almost the whole list of possible local suppliers for the gas control part that I need. I called Whirlpool, who said, "If the burner chamber and gas control got wet, you need to replace the whole water heater." I'm waiting to hear from the friend who offered to install the new part, and tell him what Whirlpool said. The other day, he said he recently attended a seminar on this same model of water heater, so I'm anxious to hear what he says about Whirlpool's statement.

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