Is your water heater pilot light constantly going out? Do you find yourself continually relighting it, only to have it extinguish again moments later? If so, you’re not alone. Many homeowners face this frustrating issue, but the good news is that there are solutions.
This article will explore why a water heater pilot light won’t stay lit and provide practical tips to troubleshoot and fix the problem. We’ll cover everything from issues with the thermocouple to problems with the gas supply.
What Is A Water Heater Pilot Light?
A pilot light is the small, steady flame used to ignite the gas burner on a gas hot water heater. This allows a constant hot water supply without manually turning the unit on and off. The pilot light also sends signals to the thermocouple—a device that senses temperature and keeps the gas from flowing when it’s too low—so it must stay lit.
Visual Characteristics Of A Pilot Light
A pilot light should have a steady blue flame of approximately one inch in height. The flame should burn evenly and without flicker or smoke. If the flame is yellow or orange, this can indicate an issue with the gas supply or the unit itself. If you notice any unusual characteristics, it’s best to contact a professional for further assistance.
Why Your Water Heater Pilot Light Won’t Stay Lit
1. The thermocouple is bad or not positioned correctly:
The thermocouple is a vital component in keeping the pilot light lit, and if it is not correctly positioned or has become corroded over time, it can cause the pilot to go out. To check if this is the problem, light the pilot and then move the tip of a screwdriver up and down along its length. If the pilot light flickers or goes out, then you know that the thermocouple needs to be replaced.
2. The flame is too low:
If the pilot light flame is not set correctly, it can cause the pilot light to go out. To adjust the flame, make sure that the tip of the thermocouple is touching the top of the blue part of the pilot light flame and not in contact with any yellow or red parts of the flame.
3. The gas control valve is not adjusted correctly:
The gas control valve on a water heater regulates the gas flow to the pilot light and can become misadjusted over time. If this is the cause of your problem, you will need to call in a professional to adjust the valve, as it requires specialized tools and knowledge.
4. The gas supply is insufficient:
Inadequate gas flow can also prevent a pilot-light from staying lit. This can occur if there are obstructions in the gas line, such as debris or a closed valve. To check for this problem, start by ensuring all valves in the line are open and debris-free. If you find an obstruction or a closed valve, you must remove it or open it to restore the gas flow.
5. There is a problem with the gas control valve:
The gas control valve regulates the supply of gas to the pilot-light. Improperly adjusted valves can cause the pilot light to go out or not stay lit. To determine if this is the problem, you must call in a professional with the necessary tools and knowledge to adjust it.
6. The gas shutoff valve is malfunctioning:
If the gas shutoff valve is not working correctly, it can cause the pilot light to go out. Try manually turning the gas off and on to check for this issue. If the pilot light continues to go out despite your efforts, you likely have a faulty shutoff valve that needs replacing or repairing.
7. There is a problem with the pilot assembly:
The pilot assembly is responsible for providing an ignition source for the gas burner, and if there is a problem with it, it can prevent the pilot light from staying lit. To determine if this is the culprit, you must examine the entire assembly for any signs of damage or corrosion. If you find any issues with the pilot assembly, you should have it replaced by a professional.
8. The gas pressure is too low:
Low gas pressure can be the cause of a pilot light that won’t stay lit. You can use a manometer to measure the pressure inside your gas lines to check for this issue. If the pressure is lower than recommended, you should contact your local utility company to have them adjust it.
9. The burner or vent is dirty:
Dirt and debris can build up in the burner and the vent, preventing the pilot light from staying lit. To clean them, use a vacuum to remove any accumulated debris from the burner and vent. Then, use a damp cloth to remove dust or dirt from the surfaces.
10. The igniter is not working:
The igniter is responsible for providing the spark needed to ignite the gas burner, and if it is not working correctly, the pilot light will not stay lit. If you suspect this is the cause of your problem, you should have a professional inspect the igniter and replace it if necessary.
11. The gas supply line is leaking:
A leaking gas supply line can cause a pilot light to go out as the gas escapes. If you suspect this is the case, you should call a professional to inspect the gas line and repair any leaks.
Call In The Pros!
If you are having trouble getting your water heater’s pilot light to stay lit and don’t know what to do, look no further than Water Heater Wiz. Our experienced team of professionals can diagnose any issue with your water heater and make repairs quickly and efficiently. Don’t let a malfunctioning pilot light ruin your day – call Water Heater Wiz today and get back to enjoying hot showers in no time!