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Is it safe to bypass thermal switch on gas water heater?  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Tue Nov 2nd, 2010 06:36 pm
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J Rod
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It looks like my 10+ year old hot water heater had a faulty control unit and/or thermal switch.  I couldn't get the pilot light to stay lit after releasing the red button.  I bought a new control unit at Lowe's that was made for a Whirlpool, but I was told was universal.  It looks identical to my old one except it has 2 wires coming out of it that are suppose to hook up to the thermal switch on a whirlpool.  My water heater is an American Water Heater Proline model and doesn't have that thermal switch, at least I can't find it if there is one.  I looked on my original control unit and it does have those wires, however they go directly into the hole where the thermocoupler screws into.  I tried just leaving those wires on the new unit disconnected but I still couldn't get the pilot to stay lit.  However, once I connected them in a wirenut the pilot stayed lit and I was able to light the burner.  Is it ok to just leave them connected and not use a thermal switch or is that a bad idea?  Thanks

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 Posted: Tue Nov 2nd, 2010 08:26 pm
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J Rod
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Ok, so from what I found through further research is that the thermal switch is a safety feature that definitely should NOT be bypassed. What are my options?

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 Posted: Wed Nov 3rd, 2010 07:24 am
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eleent
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Hello:  If these wires go to a high limit switch, they should not be bypassed.  If they are there to hook up FVIR stuff that newer heaters have, it should be jumpered.  I'd call the maker for the best info.

Yours,  Larry

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