The way I've always cleaned gas hot water heaters is by removing the burner assembly, cleaning the inside, and then I used a shopvac with a bblower to blow down through the screen. Never a problem. I ran behind a lot of techs who just started replacing parts and never cleaned it. First thing I do when a pilot won't stay lit is clean it.
Cleaning is the 1st thing I suggest to a customer on the phone when I get a call.
- BryanS likes this