HOt Water Heater Pilot

I have a ~15 year old AO Smith gas water heater. The pilot needs to be manually lit. Over the years, it was not uncommomon for high local winds, via the gas exhaust pipe, to flow back down and extinguish the pilot! I have not noticed any recent high winds, yet the Pilot has gone out about once every 2 weeks (far more often than in the past) over the last 3 months.
My question. Is it possible for the gas pilot "safe lit" thermocouple to have a "soft" failure. By that I mean I can easily relight the pilot, but as noted it may go out several days later. If yes, I am I correct that it is easy to replace that thermocouple??
BTW Is it possible, when relighting, that I may have inadvertenly physically moved the thermocouple, so it is not now optimally located above the pilot light? I am not sure I would recognize that issue ?? Note: When relighting, I have not noticed any extensive delay (ala slow to heat up, due to placemant before the pilot remains on, ergo themocouple active on.
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On 7/8/2018 12:17 PM, Dave C wrote:

Either (or both :) ) is possible...
For the latter, just be sure the sensitive portion of the TC is in or right above the pilot flame.
Another possibility could be the pilot orifice is partially plugged and you no longer have a robust pilot flame and neither of the other issues is at play, only a weak flame.
Also be sure the connection at the safety valve of the TC is still tight, possibly just a poor connection there.
The TC is simple-enough to replace if the other mechanical fixes don't fix the issue.
The auto-ignite might mask the symptom but if it's getting so frequent I'd try to solve the underlying problem first.
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As to all, thanks for the many Great replies.
I have done prior Net searches - but I have never found a cap (or other item) that would allow for normal HW gas exhaust, but prevent down drafts (that extinguish my HW pilot light). I would be MOST interested in such a device
BTW Today, as noted after another Pilot Light " Blow out", I left my water heater in the Pilot On only situation (ergo not turned to the normal water Heat setting). After ~3 hours, the pilot was still lit. I might posit that means my pilot light is still in close proximity to the TC sensor?
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On 7/8/2018 2:29 PM, Dave C wrote: ...

With no wind it's at least close enough to generate minimum voltage is all that really tells you. Three hours isn't all that long for a continuous need object to have survived...I'd still suspect the aforementioned items...
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