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Why does this Kenmore natural gas hot water heater #153.330750 turn off?

I came home and the hot water heater was off. I pulled the outer and inner covers off and the burner and pilot were both off. I turned the knob to "light pilot" and turned the pilot knob to off. No gas smell, so I turned the pilot knob to "pilot" and pushed down on the knob and lit the pilot. The pilot lit immediately, I held the knob down for 1 minute, and then let it up, the pilot stayed lit and the thermocouple was glowing red. I then turned the knob to "on" and after that slowly turned the temperature knob from "light pilot" to the desired temperature. The burner lit, it burned for a few seconds and then the flame became more intense. The flame burned at the more intense stage for about 30 seconds, and then everything turned off, burner and pilot. I have repeated this a couple of times. Could it be the thermocouple?

Gas Grills , Kenmore , Building Supplies
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1 Answer from this member:
scott d
by scott d Earned 109,349 community points in Kenmore
January 22nd, 2010
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