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I have a 14 year old has water heater which i believe needs a new thermocouple. I can relight the pilot but it will not stay lit.

I've bought a new thermocouple, and I'm prepared to replace the old one, but I'm a bit hesitant due to the part picture here.

odd electrical component

My new thermocouple doesn't have this. Is it some sort of resistor? Would it be dangerous to install the new thermocouple without this piece?

Any advice is much appreciated.

Update: this is a closeup of the thing, it fell off

enter image description here

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    That looks like some kind of safety, what brand / model of water heater. I don’t remember seeing anything like that on any units I have installed. It may be a protection from the high voltage ignition circuit like a high temp diode that dumps the spikes to ground, left as a comment because that is a guess.
    – Ed Beal
    May 23 '21 at 18:57
  • The brand is State, the model GS640YBRS. I was messing around with it trying to see if it was a resistor and then it fell off. It has some lettering on it "UHM" seems like the brand, and the U9187 is the model, but googling around i couldn't figure out what it is.
    – wesanyer
    May 23 '21 at 19:31
  • In Europe, seals look similar. Is it heavy, made of lead? The numbers on it could be pressed by a tool after installation coding the (certified) installer and date. There is enough room left for the tool. The S-type wire with a white coating is of 2 separate parts or is it one piece?
    – xeeka
    May 24 '21 at 21:03
  • Looks like a thermal cutoff. Look around to see if it was originally clamped against something. May 25 '21 at 9:04

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