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BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater

Melissa 03 Mar 13 - 08:38 PM
GUEST,999 03 Mar 13 - 08:46 PM
Melissa 03 Mar 13 - 08:49 PM
Melissa 03 Mar 13 - 09:00 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Mar 13 - 09:35 PM
gnu 03 Mar 13 - 10:32 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 03 Mar 13 - 11:10 PM
GUEST,highlandman at work 03 Mar 13 - 11:26 PM
GUEST,Niggardly Bastard 04 Mar 13 - 01:20 AM
Joe Offer 04 Mar 13 - 03:15 AM
Dave the Gnome 04 Mar 13 - 04:04 AM
GUEST,hat generates a spark to ignite the pilot li 04 Mar 13 - 04:21 AM
Greg F. 04 Mar 13 - 12:39 PM
ClaireBear 04 Mar 13 - 01:32 PM
JohnInKansas 04 Mar 13 - 04:42 PM
Joe Offer 04 Mar 13 - 05:11 PM
Greg F. 04 Mar 13 - 05:49 PM
bobad 04 Mar 13 - 06:02 PM
John J 05 Mar 13 - 07:34 AM
Greg F. 05 Mar 13 - 12:22 PM
Dave the Gnome 05 Mar 13 - 03:37 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 05 Mar 13 - 06:37 PM
Penny S. 06 Mar 13 - 08:15 AM
Greg F. 06 Mar 13 - 09:54 AM
Nigel Parsons 06 Mar 13 - 10:14 AM
John J 06 Mar 13 - 12:31 PM
Greg F. 07 Mar 13 - 09:49 AM
John J 07 Mar 13 - 11:08 AM
open mike 07 Mar 13 - 04:22 PM
John J 08 Mar 13 - 04:29 AM
Greg F. 08 Mar 13 - 09:25 AM
GUEST,highlandman at work 08 Mar 13 - 09:53 AM
GUEST,highlandman at work 08 Mar 13 - 09:55 AM
open mike 08 Mar 13 - 01:37 PM
GUEST,maeve 08 Mar 13 - 05:57 PM
GUEST,highlandman at work 08 Mar 13 - 06:01 PM
GUEST,highlandman at work 08 Mar 13 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,maeve 08 Mar 13 - 06:15 PM

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Subject: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: Melissa
Date: 03 Mar 13 - 08:38 PM

We can apparently count on me to come running to you guys when I need help with obnoxious household tasks. I'm sure glad you're here!

I've been spending the evening trying to light the pilot on my water heater and I guess it's time to give up and admit that I don't understand the damn instructions.

I looked online and this is what I found:

"Hold down the gas valve button while pressing the piezo ignitor button quickly several times if the pilot will not light. This will force any extra air out of the gas line. Ensure the manual gas shut-off valve is open before attempting to light the pilot light. Turn the gas control knob to "Pilot" and press the piezo ignitor button and hold for 20 seconds."

Of course, that makes sense..except I have no idea what a piezo IS and there aren't any damn words on the gadget--just little pictures that happen to Not match the little pictures in the directions stuck on the thing. So, I've tucked my tail and am here to ask if someone will retell me those instructions in a way I can understand.
--Bosch Aquastar--

Thanks,
M


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: GUEST,999
Date: 03 Mar 13 - 08:46 PM

"We can apparently count on me to come running to you guys when I need help with obnoxious household tasks. I'm sure glad you're here!"

Electricity that is under pressure. Last time you were here you didn't bother saying goodbye; subsequently, I won't bother saying hello. Piss off, no offence.

PS Had you at least said thank you, I'd have not said piss off.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: Melissa
Date: 03 Mar 13 - 08:49 PM

oh, if I neglected to Thank You all appropriately and with monstrous gratitude, I DO deserve a piss off!

I certainly was thankful in my heart (and such) if not in my keyboard.

sorry


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: Melissa
Date: 03 Mar 13 - 09:00 PM

How about if I revoke this request for help and thank anyone who might have opened the thread out of curiosity and quietly leave..

I do appreciate the input you've all given me on various things and I hope to catch you all down the road.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Mar 13 - 09:35 PM

Hi, Melissa. Mudcat has its share of asses; try to ignore them.

Designs vary, and if the diagram on your heater is confusing, call the service department of your gas company and ask them.
They are very helpful here, and if there is any possibility of a problem or danger, a technician is sent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: gnu
Date: 03 Mar 13 - 10:32 PM

You will get the advice you need in due time. Wish I could help but I am a fan of electric heat... we are just back on line with environment friendly nuclear power here... everyone smile while the nice man takes a pic of us all gathered round a glowing ember that used to be a heritage building before the containment breach.

As for Q's comment about asses, I doubt if 9 is an ass. If you did piss him off in the past, you do owe him a true apology. Your "apology" above is trite, at best, and only inflicts more of the same poor manners he speaks of, lending to the readers' conception that you were indeed remiss in some way in the past as you have been here within. It's just arithmetic. Not rocket science.

So. Don't leave... unless your continued presence is simply to whine and complain and act "pity poor me" and shit on 9. In that case... I shall piss off.

gnightgnu


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 03 Mar 13 - 11:10 PM

MORE THAN LIKELY...

It is your thermocoupler (a small tubed device - when the pilot light warms it - it will permit gas to flow to the "burners ")

The pilot light will sometimes blowout / extinguish in the wind.

Look in the area immedately above where the pilot light would flame.
Find the tubular area in that region.
..gently tap, tap, tap, tap....for a total of 60 seconds...up, down, and sidewise.

Try the starting procedure again.

May you shower warm in the morning.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


A water heater is good for 10 to 25 years(depending on make and local
water conditions)

I dare not approach anoids


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 03 Mar 13 - 11:26 PM

Melissa-
Did you shut it off, or was the gas supply interrupted for a while, or did it just quit?
If you shut it off, and it was working before, it's probably operator error. The gas goes through a control valve that requires "proof of pilot" i.e. the thermocouple sitting in the pilot flame that Garg mentioned. If it doesn't get that proof it will shut the pilot gas off in order to keep from filling your building with the stuff. So you have to hold the button in while the heat from the newly lit pilot flame makes its way down to the valve. If you get a nice little pilot flame but after 30 seconds holding in the button it goes out when you release it, you probably have a faulty valve or thermocouple. Not a DIY repair!
If on the other hand it shut off due to a gas supply interruption, it may take quite a while to get enough of the air out of the lines to get a stable flame. I've fiddled with mine for five minutes or so at times before it would stay lit.
If you aren't getting any pilot flame at all when you hit the "peizo" (that's the popper thing that makes a spark) then you either still have no gas, or faulty components that need a technician.
Hope that helps. Be sure and come back to thank us profusely (if you survive messing around with the gas, that is...)
-Glenn


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: GUEST,Niggardly Bastard
Date: 04 Mar 13 - 01:20 AM

I replaced my own thermocouple. They sell them at Home Depot.
It was an easy fix.
I'm niggardly as can be, so I do most everything myself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Mar 13 - 03:15 AM

Hi, Melissa -

When pushed, the "piezo ignitor button" creates a very nice spark that should light your pilot if everything is working properly. I can't imagine why the instructions would want you to hold the button for 20 seconds - maybe it has a dual purpose. I used to blow into the chamber to remove excess gas and replace it with air.

The thermocouple is a tube connected to a wire - it creates electricity when heated, and that electricity holds the valve open that lets gas go to your pilot light. If the light goes out, the tube is no longer heated and the gas valve closes so you don't get a lot of gas from a pilot that's not burning.

The red button defeats the thermocouple and allows the gas to flow to the pilot, even though the pilot isn't burning - you have to press that red button to light the pilot on most gas devices. If you can light the pilot but then it goes out when you release the red button, most likely your thermocouple is bad. Thermocouples are cheap and easy to replace, but most laymen probably won't want to make such a replacement.

Before "piezo ignitor buttons," one had to use kitchen matches to light water heaters, and it was a tough job. When I was about twenty, I tried to light a water heater at the summer camp where I worked - ka-BOOM! After that, I was very careful (and usually successful) when lighting pilot lights - but the process still makes me nervous.

I live in California, where PG&E has the monopoly on most gas service. They'll usually go to customers' homes and relight pilot lights and do safety checks for free. Oftentimes, they'll do minor repairs or advise you what you need to do to get something fixed.

-Joe the Maintenance Guy-


999, you really can't expect thanks for an answer you give on an Internet forum. For any number of valid reasons, thanks doesn't always get through. Your life will be happier if you give the answers simply for the pleasure of giving the answers. Thanks is nice if you get it - and better if you don't expect it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Mar 13 - 04:04 AM

You would hold the button for 20 or so seconds while the safety valve warms up to allow gas to flow, Joe. As Gargoyle says above the thermocoupler will need to heat up, usually by the pilot light, to allow gas to get through. Holding in the button opens the valve manually until it can operate as it should.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: GUEST,hat generates a spark to ignite the pilot li
Date: 04 Mar 13 - 04:21 AM

Melissa - The Piezo Button is the 'Clicky' thing that generates a spark to ignite the pilot light .

Some systems have a small screw that releases gas to clear the supply . This is called 'venting' the system an only needs to be used for a few seconds .


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: Greg F.
Date: 04 Mar 13 - 12:39 PM

Since

You

Obviously

Don't

Have

A

Clue

What

You're

Doing

Obtain

The

On-

Site

Services

Of

Someone

Who

Does

Before

You

Blow

Yourself

Up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: ClaireBear
Date: 04 Mar 13 - 01:32 PM

My wuzband DID, in fact, burn our house down trying to light the pilot light on a wall heater. And he actually DID have a clue ... just a heater whose works had gotten older and funkier in the months since it had last been lit, and an elderly nose that wasn't so good at detecting propane build-up.

So even if you do kind of know what you're doing, if you aren't getting the results you expect, it's a good idea to get a pro in to help.

Claire

PS It's been almost 18 months and my house is still under construction.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 04 Mar 13 - 04:42 PM

If the pilot light goes out, all the gas to the device should be shut off. This usually only happens if the gas supply is interrupted, or if you deliberately shut the device completely off.

The device may think the gas has been shut off, and turn off the supply, if the pilot light is blown out by a wind gust (or when you try to clear the dust inside with the vacuum cleaner) or if the thermocouple that detects the heat from the pilot flame fails.

The thermocouple may be what looks like a little metal rod just above where the pilot flame should be, or may be a short coil of what looks like a fairly heavy steel or copper wire. (The "rod" form is much more common now, at least here.)

In order to get enough gas to re-light the pilot flame, you must override (bypass) the main shutoff valve, either by pushing and holding a button (nearly always a red button, sometimes in the middle of the knob used to turn the main flow on/off) or by turning the main control knob past the normal operating position.

If the pilot override is on the main knob, the position you must turn the knob to will likely be labelled as "pilot," or "light" or something similar. The knob should be spring loaded to snap back to the normal operating position, so IF YOU RELEASE THE KNOB (or the button if that's what you have) the gas will be shut off and the pilot flame can't be lit.

Once there is gas flowing to the pilot flame burner, some source of ignition must be supplied. In older devices, you might have to stick a match in. Most newer things (here at least) probably have a piezo igniter that produces a spark or series of sparks. A very few devices here have recently used a system that turns on a "stream of sparks" (like an auto spark plug) when the pilot gas control is moved to turn the pilot light gas on, sometimes powered off the thermostat transformer but usually from the blower fan line.

A piezo igniter usually must be actuated by pushing a button or sometimes by turning a separate knob. Each push on the button produces a single burst of sparks, so if the pilot flame doesn't light you need to push again, repeatedly, until it does.

In some devices the piezo igniter is operated by a knob that turns for a little ways up to what feels like a detent, and when you turn it through the detent position a spark is produced. Again, if the pilot flame doesn't appear at the first detent, you need to keep turning through successive detents until there's a flame. (This may be more common on propane stuff than with natural gas?)

ALL OF THE TIME while you're operating the igniter, you MUST continue to hold the pilot light gas button or knob. The igniter can't accomplish anything if there's no gas flowing to the pilot burner. (This isn't usually as hard as it sounds.)

You must continue to hold the gas button/knob until the thermocouple heats up enough to keep the pilot flame burning when you release the button/knob. With some units, this means holding the button until the main burner comes on. (But note that the main burner won't come on if the thermostat on the wall is set below room temperature, so you might want to crank the thermostat up a few degrees before starting to re-light the pilot just to be sure - but don't forget to turn it back down before you bake yourself.)

Most larger heaters can be installed in a number of different configurations, but it is the responsibility of the installer to make sure that the data and instruction plate matches what is installed. Where the label says you have a button, you should find a button. If a knob is indicated there should be a knob. It must always be considered, if something doesn't work as indicated that the installation was done by F***up Engineering Co LLC and they put the wrong instruction plate on, or they recycled a used unit and changed something.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Mar 13 - 05:11 PM

Hi, Dave - what confuses me is the instruction to "press the piezo ignitor button and hold for 20 seconds." In my experience, the ignitor button creates a spark when the button is pushed - I've never seen instructions to hold the ignitor button for any period - it's the red button that you hold down to bypass the thermocouple (not thermocoupler) to give it time to heat up.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: Greg F.
Date: 04 Mar 13 - 05:49 PM

Once Again-

Get someone in there that actually knows what they're doing before there's a thread entitled "My house just blew up because I didn't know jack and went to an internet forum instead of someone who could actually assess the situation and take appropriate corrective action".


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: bobad
Date: 04 Mar 13 - 06:02 PM

"Get someone in there that actually knows what they're doing before there's a thread entitled "My house just blew up because I didn't know jack and went to an internet forum instead of someone who could actually assess the situation and take appropriate corrective action"."

You're no fun.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: John J
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 07:34 AM

Melissa - where are you located? UK?

What is the make and model of your water heater?

Some piezo igniters are incorporated into the main gas control valve - press the button a few times so it clicks and sparks, hopefully lighting the pilot light.

You'll see when the pilot light is ignited by looking through the little glass window that will be located somewhere on the front of the water heater.

The button needs to be held down to allow the pilot light to stay on until the thermocouple gets up to temperature and 'holds' the gas supply on.

PM me if you would like further guidance.

JJ


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 12:22 PM

I'm sorry, Bobad - I just can't seem to let go of logic & reality. I know its a failing, and I'm working on it.

I also knew personally a gentleman who, messing with & attempting to re-light the pilot on his (defective)gas water heater without really knowing what he was doing died slowly and painfully over a two week period from third degree burns over most of his body and seared lungs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 03:37 PM

Yea - See what you mean, Joe. Our gas fire though has a combination one. You push the dial in and turn it. As you turn it a click indicates a spark and then, once the pilot is lit, you continue holding it in for a few seconds. Maybe something similar?

D.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 06:37 PM

In the DT

IF - (dueling paranoia)

If the ancient water heater doesn't take off like a missile
And go flying thru the roof and disappear
While leaving gas escaping madly which ignites and burns the termite
Weakened superstructure prob'ly I'll be here.

Sincerely,

Gargole


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: Penny S.
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 08:15 AM

Oh boy, this has raised worries about my air heating system. When I bought my place, the gas heater was off. I made sure the supply was off at the meter. Eventually, I wanted to start it, and found the photos in the instructions (similar to the above) did not match the reality, and had to get someone in. What he did was disconcerting, involving opening all the doors and venting gas.

Last year I found that running the pilot light through the summer cost about £20, so I want not to do that this year. But now I don't fancy switching off.

I could always get the guy who does the annual check to switch it back on for me, I suppose.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: Greg F.
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 09:54 AM

I could always get the guy who does the annual check to switch it back on for me, I suppose.

Spot on. Now you're talkin!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 10:14 AM

From those who believe that Melissa should get an engineer in:

Lord Finchley
Hilaire Belloc

Lord Finchley tried to mend the Electric Light
Himself. It struck him dead: And serve him right!
It is the business of the wealthy man
To give employment to the artisan.


From those who believe that, with a little assistance, she should not need to call upon external workers:

The Gas Man Cometh
Flanders and Swann

'Twas on a Monday morning the gas man came to call.
The gas tap wouldn't turn - I wasn't getting gas at all.
He tore out all the skirting boards to try and find the main
And I had to call a carpenter to put them back again.

Oh, it all makes work for the working man to do.

'Twas on a Tuesday morning the carpenter came round.
He hammered and he chiselled and he said:
"Look what I've found: your joists are full of dry rot
But I'll put them all to rights".
Then he nailed right through a cable and out went all the lights!

Oh, it all makes work for the working man to do.

'Twas on a Wednesday morning the electrician came.
He called me Mr. Sanderson, which isn't quite the name.
He couldn't reach the fuse box without standing on the bin
And his foot went through a window so I called the glazier in.

Oh, it all makes work for the working man to do.

'Twas on a Thursday morning the glazier came round
With his blow torch and his putty and his merry glazier's song.
He put another pane in - it took no time at all
But I had to get a painter in to come and paint the wall.

Oh, it all makes work for the working man to do.

'Twas on a Friday morning the painter made a start.
With undercoats and overcoats he painted every part:
Every nook and every cranny - but I found when he was gone
He'd painted over the gas tap and I couldn't turn it on!

Oh, it all makes work for the working man to do.

On Saturday and Sunday they do no work at all;
So 'twas on a Monday morning that the gasman came to call...

CHEERS
Nigel


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: John J
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 12:31 PM

If you read Melissa's original posting she says nothing about her appliance being faulty, she just wants to light it - a procedure that is deemed suitable for the appliance user.

Pilot lights go out for various reasons, such as a) interruption in the gas supply b) being blown out by high winds - this can occur even with a balanced flue system. An engineer isn't really required in these circumstances - provided the user follows the appliance intructions.

On the other hand, if the pilot light keeps going out then it suggests a fault - a Gas Safe engineer is DEFINITELY needed in this case.

She has someone coming in to do an annual check, if the appliance is on a half-decent maintenance contract it will be serviced at the same time. I would expect there to be break-down / call-out cover in the contract.

JJ
(A residential landlord who takes gas safety VERY seriously)

PS: Melissa hasn't been back on since her initial postings on 3rd March - perhaps she's sorted. Or she's blown herself up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: Greg F.
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 09:49 AM

Melissa's original posting she says nothing about her appliance being faulty

But how would she know?


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: John J
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 11:08 AM

I think she's aware of what she said.....sorry, you fell into that one!

:-)

JJ


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: open mike
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 04:22 PM

melissa-is this an "on-demand" tankless type of water heater?

In my experience a piezo button clicks once to cause a spark...
and you need to be pushing down the gas button to supply fuel
when the spar is generated...

sometimes the device will not automatically allow the fuel to flow
until a sensor had detected sufficient heat--this is a safety feature
so that if the pilot light goes out the gas will turn off..

I had a Bosch Aquastar for many years...and the flame comes on when water flows thru....so you might want to open a faucet to flow h20
so that the heater will kick on....let us know how you do with this.

it is not rocket science. is there a little window where you can
see the spark or the flame? do you have propane or natural gas?
is the orafice correct for the type of fuel you use?
(have you used this before or is it a new device?)

Tankless/on demand water heaters are the best kind...
the ones that keep a tank full of water hot whether you
are using any or not seem quite wastefull.

here is a place to find service manuals and other info
http://www.bosch-climate.us/Bosch-Hot-Water/


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: John J
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 04:29 AM

Melissa seems to have vanished.

JJ


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: Greg F.
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 09:25 AM

BOOOM! As I feared............


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 09:53 AM

See, this is why you are supposed to come back and report/thank/complain or something. (So we know whether Greg F is right.) -G


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 09:55 AM

A decrepit old gas man named Peter,
While hunting around for the meter,
   Touched a leak with his light.
   He arose out of sight,
And, as anyone can see by reading this, he also destroyed the meter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: open mike
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 01:37 PM

yes, i do wish Melissa would check back in...
should we send out for the missing person search team?


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: GUEST,maeve
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 05:57 PM

Melissa has other priorities right now. Thank you to those who tried to help. Don't expect her to be on Mudcat for the time being.

Maeve, on a borrowed 'puter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 06:01 PM

They start early in the morning and they're at it yet
Hundreds of 'Catters all a-chattin' on the net
The mods come along and they say, "Play nice
And always say thank you for free ad-vice."

Chorus
So chat, ye Mudcatters, chat
And chat, ye Mudcatters, chat
Oh it's troll all night just a-spoilin' for a fight
All along the website
So chat, ye Mudcatters, chat

M had a question 'bout her heatin' gas
By gum, she was a hardy lass
She didn't heed the warnin's of Greg or Claire
And bang went M a mile up in the air

Chorus

Next time the statistics come around
M was short one post she found
"What for?" asked she then this reply
"You was docked for the time you was up in the sky."


Good Lord, I hope I don't regret being flip... Melissa, are you ok?


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 06:03 PM

Thanks, Maeve.
Please tell her we mean well and that the thread has been descending into less-and-less mild forms of insanity since she left it.
-Glenn


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Subject: RE: BS: Pilot Light/Water Heater
From: GUEST,maeve
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 06:15 PM

Thanks, Glenn. I will pass along your message to Melissa. She appreciates those who tried to assist.

Maeve


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Mudcat time: 22 September 3:46 PM EDT

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