Is It Dangerous If The Pilot Light Goes Out? Learn Everything Here

It can be frustrating if the pilot light goes out, especially if it happens in the middle of your shower, which leads to a sudden burst of cold water.

Is It Dangerous If The Pilot Light Goes Out? Let’s Find the Answer

When the light goes out, it does not mean there is any danger with your water heater. However, it does mean you will not get hot water since the water heater does not warm your water.

is it dangerous if the pilot light goes out

So, the solution to this problem is to relight the water heater, which will work to warm your water once again. You might need to wait a little before you use it so the water can be warm. If after you light the water heater, it stays on, then you do not need to worry about any danger.

However, if the light frequently goes out, then you might have other problems that can be dangerous. Try to go to your water heater and look for a gas leak sign that smells like a rotten egg. If you can detect this smell, immediately turn off all the gas from the source and call the gas company as soon as possible.

Do not try to relight the water heater since it can lead to an explosion. So, you need to search for the leak sign before you try to relight the water heater. Of course, there are a lot of things that can lead to the pilot light going out.

Various Reasons That Can Cause Pilot Light to Go Out

  • Blown Out Flame

Some water heaters, especially the older model, do not have a sealed chamber for the pilot light. So, it does not have protection from any wind, which can cause the flame to blow out. You might experience this, especially if the water heater is near the window or door.

Read also: Water Heater Weight Matters

  • Dirty or damaged thermocouple

Buildup can make the thermocouple dirty and block flame, so it would not get heated properly. You can try to clean any dirt with sandpaper or brush once it cools down. Another problem may occur when the thermocouple bends so the flame cannot reach it. You can easily bend it to its previous form once it cools down.

If those two problems do not fix the pilot light, the thermocouple will be damaged, so you might need to replace it.

  • Not enough oxygen

Like any flame, your water heater also needs oxygen to burn. Without enough oxygen, the light will not stay on. This usually happens when the area is too enclosed, so the air cannot flow properly. Furthermore, it can lead to carbon monoxide buildup, which can cause other problems.

Learn to Relight the Pilot Light Properly

  • Start by resetting your thermostat and set it to the lowest setting.
  • Turn the pilot light switch to the pilot position
  • Take off panels from the water heater to reach the pilot light location
  • Hold the ignite or pilot buttons using a lighter to relight your water heater. However, some models might not have this button, so you can light it without pressing anything.
  • Continue pressing the ignite or pilot buttons for another minute until the flame turns light blue.
  • Turn the setting on and then move everything to the previous position.
  • Put the panels on, then return your thermostat to the previous setting.

Conclusion As you can see, the pilot light being out does not always mean it is dangerous as long as it does not happen frequently and can stay on after. So, you can relight them back on yourself after ensuring everything is safe to use.

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Heater Technician is a skilled author and water heater expert with years of experience in the field. He has authored several articles and books on various aspects of water heater installation, maintenance, and repair.