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The thermocouple might be a culprit, since you've had the fire go out multiple times.

http://hearth.com/what/gas/howgasworks.html

One note though - on my ventless heater, if the thermocouple shuts down the unit, you are supposed to turn the gas control to 'Off', not just 'Pilot', and let it sit for a few minutes. Then turn to pilot, hold the button in, light, hold the button for 30 seconds, release button, then turn to 'On'.

Try turning the control valve to Off and trying again.

When you hold the button in you're bypassing the safety shutoff from the thermocouple / oxygen sensor, so if the pilot won't stay on if the button isn't pushed in, you will probably need a new thermocouple.

Another possible no-cost thing to try is to check if the copper line going from the thermocouple/pilot assembly to the gas control valve is touching the metal frame. I've been doing some looking online and can't find anything on this. I know I've had my heater shut off if either the thermocouple wire OR the thermostat bulb wire touch the frame of the heater. I am making the assumption that neither wire should be grounded to the frame of the heater. I can't find any info to back myself up, though. Heck, I still haven't figured out if that copper wire is truly a wire or if it's a thin tube!

Although, since you have had the unit shut down several times, it is likely the thermocouple. Here's a page I found with some thermocouples and a link to the directions to replace. Shouldn't be too hard, I think! http://www.waterheaterparts.net/cgi-bin/shopper.exe?keywords=tcouple&search=action (yes, it is for water heaters, but the 'directions' link will be helpful for you too.)

Good luck.
 
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