What to Do When the Pilot Light Keeps Going Out on Water Heater

Water heaters are crucial in providing hot water for daily use in many households and businesses. One common issue with gas water heaters is the pilot light going out, disrupting the hot water supply.

Although fixing a pilot light is not overly complicated and can typically be done independently, it is crucial to prioritize your safety. If you lack the skills or tools required or feel uncomfortable working with gas, it’s best to seek the assistance of a professional plumber.

6 Causes of the Pilot Light Keeps Going Out on Water Heater

If you’re experiencing problems with your water heater’s pilot light repeatedly going out, it’s essential to understand what may be causing the issue. Here are 6 common reasons why the pilot light on your water heater keeps going out.

pilot light keeps going out on water heater

● Dirty Pilot Tube

Dust and debris can accumulate in the pilot tube, obstructing the gas flow and causing the pilot light to go out. Regular maintenance and cleaning can help prevent this issue.

● Thermocouple Issues

The thermocouple is a safety device that senses the heat from the pilot light and allows gas to flow when the pilot light is on. A faulty or misaligned thermocouple can cause the pilot light to go out.

● Gas Valve Problems

A malfunctioning gas valve can prevent gas flow to the pilot light, causing it to go out. This issue may require the assistance of a professional technician.

● Air Drafts

Strong drafts near the water heater can blow out the pilot light. Ensure the water heater is correctly shielded from drafts to prevent this problem.

● Low Gas Pressure

Insufficient gas pressure can cause the pilot light to go out. Contact your gas supplier to check for issues with gas pressure.

● Flex Tube Issues

A damaged or kinked flex tube can restrict gas flow, causing the pilot light to go out. Inspect the flex tube for any visible damage and replace it if necessary.

How to Fix a Water Heater with a Pilot Light That Randomly Goes Out?

Learn how to fix a water heater with a randomly extinguishing pilot light to prevent potential hazards and avoid costly repairs.

● Clean the Pilot Tube

If the pilot tube is clogged, use a thin wire or compressed air to clean it and restore proper gas flow.

● Adjust or Replace the Thermocouple

Ensure the thermocouple is correctly positioned in the pilot light’s flame. If it’s misaligned or damaged, adjust or replace it as needed.

● Check the Gas Valve

If you suspect a gas valve issue, contact a technician to inspect, repair, or replace the valve as necessary.

● Shield the Water Heater from Drafts

Identify any sources of drafts near the water heater and address them by sealing gaps or relocating the unit if possible.

● Contact Your Gas Supplier

If low gas pressure is the issue, contact your gas supplier to have the problem resolved.

● Inspect and Replace the Flex Tube

Check the Flex tube for damage and replace it if needed to restore proper gas flow.

Is It Unsafe If the Pilot Light Goes Out on Your Water Heater?

While a pilot light going out on a water heater can be inconvenient, it’s generally not dangerous. The thermocouple acts as a safety device, ensuring that gas flow is cut off when the pilot light goes out, preventing a gas leak.

However, it’s essential to address the issue promptly to avoid potential problems in the future. If you smell gas around your water heater, shut off the gas supply, ventilate the area, and call a professional technician immediately.

Read also: Symptoms of Gas Leak from Water Heaters

Understanding the 6 common causes of the pilot light keeps going out on water heater is crucial to maintaining the efficiency and safety of your system. Always prioritize your safety, and don’t hesitate to consult a professional when in doubt.

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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.