Skip to Content

What would cause a water heater pilot light to go out?

There can be several causes that would cause a water heater pilot light to go out. The most common cause is a draft, which can blow out the pilot light. This could be caused by a nearby window or door that’s been opened, or a fan or air conditioner that has been turned on nearby.

Another cause could be an accumulation of dirt and sediment within the pilot light, blocking the supply of gas. This is especially common in older water heaters. In addition, if the thermocouple, which is the part of the gas valve that senses heat from the pilot light flame, has malfunctioned, it could cause the pilot light to go out as well.

Finally, a sharp decrease in gas pressure from the gas line to the water heater could lead to the pilot light going out. If any of these issues occur, you should contact a licensed technician to inspect and repair the water heater.

Why would a pilot light go out on water heater?

A pilot light on a water heater is a small flame that is used to ignite the burner that heats the water held in the tank. The pilot light will go out for a variety of reasons, including:

1. The thermocouple, which is a temperature sensitive metal switch, is not functioning properly.

2. A draft from an open window or other source of air circulation can cause the flame to go out.

3. Dirt, dust, or lint build up can cause the flame to go out as well.

4. There may be a problem with the gas valve or other components of the water heater.

5. The pilot light orifice may be clogged, causing it to not be able to function correctly.

6. Moisture or condensation in the air surrounding the pilot light can cause it to go out.

If your pilot light goes out, you should have a professional inspect your water heater to diagnose and resolve the problem.

How do you fix a pilot light that keeps going out?

If your pilot light keeps going out, then you should take the following steps to fix it:

1) Make sure the gas valve is in the ON position. If you’re not sure where the gas valve is located, refer to your user’s manual.

2) Clean the pilot tube with a pipe cleaner or a wire brush.

3) Check the thermocouple environment. The thermocouple is the piece that helps keep the pilot lit. Ensure it is not corroded and that it is properly positioned in the flame.

4) Adjust the pilot screw. If the pilot flame is too low, adjust the pilot screw so the flame is higher. If the flame is too high, adjust the pilot screw so it is lower.

5) Test the safety valve. If the safety valve is not working properly, it could be preventing the pilot light from staying lit. Test it by pressing the red reset button and if that doesn’t work, replace it.

By following these steps, you should be able to fix a pilot light that keeps going out and get your appliance up and running again.

Can a pilot light on a water heater just go out?

Yes, a pilot light on a water heater can just go out. Such as a sudden and drastic drop in temperature, faulty thermocouple, air or dirt buildup in the line, and pressure changes in the gas line. Depending on the cause, the pilot light can be re-lit or the issue needs to be resolved before it can be safely ignited again.

If you are unsure of the cause and how to fix it, it is best to contact a qualified technician.

Should I worry if the pilot light goes out?

Yes, you should worry if the pilot light goes out. It’s important to ensure that your furnace is operating properly so that it can effectively heat your home. If the pilot light goes out, it can indicate that your furnace is not working correctly and needs to be inspected.

As a safety precaution, you should not attempt to relight the pilot light yourself; instead, contact a qualified technician to do so. Additionally, a professional technician can inspect your furnace and diagnose any other potential problems that may have caused the pilot light to go out.

How do I know if my thermocouple is broken?

If you suspect that your thermocouple is not functioning correctly, there are several ways you can test it to check. The most reliable way to determine whether a thermocouple is broken is to use a multimeter and check the readings of the two junctions.

If the two junctions read differently then it is likely that the thermocouple is broken. Other tests can be done such as checking the continuity of the wires with an ohmmeter to make sure the wiring is intact and the wires aren’t pinched or corroded.

If the thermocouple is subjected to high temperatures, it is recommended to visually check for cracks or discoloration that could be an indication of damage. If the thermocouple does not reach the expected temperature, this could also be an indication of a broken thermocouple.

It is important to note that these tests may only determine if a thermocouple is not working correctly and not definitively determine whether it is broken, as additional diagnostics may be required.

How much does it cost to replace a thermocouple?

The cost to replace a thermocouple can vary depending on several factors such as where you purchase the part, the type of thermocouple you are looking for, and the installation labor costs associated with it.

Generally, for a single thermocouple and accessories, you can expect to pay anywhere from $20-$100. For higher end thermocouples, the cost of the part itself could be more. Additionally, the cost of installation labor can be anywhere from $50-$150, depending on professional service rates and availability in your area.

Therefore, when planning to replace a thermocouple, it is important to factor in both the cost of the part itself and the installation labor when estimating the total cost of the project.

What controls the pilot on a water heater?

The pilot on a water heater is controlled by a specialized thermostat called a thermocouple. The thermocouple senses the small amount of heat generated by the pilot and, when the required temperature is reached, it will open the main gas valve, allowing gas to flow to the burner so that the desired temperature can be maintained.

Thermostats are usually adjustable, so you can adjust the water temperature according to your needs. If the pilot fails to light, then this is usually an indication that the thermocouple has become damaged, although the gas connection may have become loose and require re-tightening.

In addition, the pilot light can become blocked due to debris, dust, or spider webs, and this must be cleared in order for the pilot to remain lit.

Can I replace a thermocouple myself?

In most cases, it is recommended that you hire a licensed technician to replace a thermocouple. A thermocouple is a temperature measuring device that works because of an interaction between two different metals, so it requires expertise to properly install.

If the thermocouple is not installed correctly, it can create a hazardous situation and cause inaccurate readings.

Replacing a thermocouple requires careful handling and any damage to the device can render it ineffective. It is also important to know the proper thermocouple for the specific heating system that you are working with.

There are multiple styles and types that are not interchangeable, and different types of gases require different temperature ratings for the thermocouple to work properly.

If you are going to attempt the DIY route, it is important to keep in mind that any disassembly of the heating appliance must be done safely and efficiently, and the new thermocouple must be fastened to the pilot tube with the required level of torque.

Additionally, the thermocouple must always lay flat against the pilot tube, as any gaps or kinks can lead to inaccurate readings or hazardous conditions.

Always be sure to disconnect the appliance from the power source prior to any work, and follow any specific instructions included with the new thermocouple. Additionally, a combustion leak test should be carried out after the new thermocouple has been installed.

If you do not feel comfortable with any of the steps outlined or are unsure of the proper installation of the thermocouple, we recommend that you hire a licensed technician to complete the replacement.

How do you clean a dirty thermocouple on a water heater?

Cleaning a dirty thermocouple on a water heater requires is a multi-step process.

First, turn off the power to the water heater. Heat and water can be hazardous, so shut off the water supply and water heater, and disconnect the gas line. Make sure there is no residual power left in the system before proceeding.

Next, remove the thermocouple from the water heater. It should be connected to a bracket or holder, use an adjustable wrench to loosen the fittings and remove it. Clean off any dirt, dust, or oil on the thermocouple with a clean, lint-free cloth.

Once the thermocouple is free from dirt and dust, check to make sure it is securely fastened and tight. Often, a loose thermocouple is the cause of a malfunctioning water heater. If the thermocouple is indeed loose, refasten it and reattach the holder before continuing.

Once the thermocouple is clean and secure, reattach it to the water heater and reconnect the gas and water lines. Flush the entire water heater system to ensure that it is clean and free of debris. Test the restart the water heater and ensure that it is functioning correctly.

Finally, turn the power back on to the water heater. The thermocouple should now be functioning correctly and the water heater should be ready to use.

Can a water heater work without a thermocouple?

No, a water heater cannot work without a thermocouple. A thermocouple is an essential safety device that monitors the temperature of the flame inside a water heater and shuts the system off if the flame goes out or falls below a certain temperature.

Without a thermocouple in place, the water heater would operate without any safety measure in place if the flame went out, increasing the risk of an incident such as a fire. Moreover, a malfunctioning thermocouple can cause issues with the system even if it is present, so they should be tested regularly, and replaced if necessary.

What is the life expectancy of a thermocouple?

The life expectancy of a thermocouple depends on the environment and conditions in which it is used. Generally, a thermocouple should be expected to last for years if it is installed and used properly with equipment that is maintained according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

In some cases, depending on the operating temperature and environmental conditions, a thermocouple can last for decades. However, it is important to note that any exposure to corrosive materials, as well as frequent vibration and mechanical shock, may shorten the lifespan of the thermocouple.

What causes a pilot light not to stay lit?

There are several possible causes of a pilot light not staying lit, including:

1. Not Enough Gas Pressure: Pilot lights require a certain level of gas pressure in order to remain lit. If the gas pressure is too low, the flame won’t stay lit. This can happen due to a blockage in the fuel line, or the gas pressure regulator might need to be adjusted.

2. Pilot Light Tube Obstruction: The pilot light tube can become blocked with soot or dirt, preventing the flame from igniting or staying lit. This can happen over time, and the solution is to clean out the tube and make sure it’s free of soot or other substances.

3. Dirty Pilot Orifice: The pilot orifice is a tiny brass nozzle found inside the pilot assembly. If this nozzle becomes dirty, it can prevent the pilot light flame from igniting or staying lit. The solution is to clean the pilot orifice with a wire brush.

4. Faulty Thermocouple: The thermocouple is a safety device that senses the presence of the pilot light flame. If the thermocouple is faulty, it won’t detect the flame and won’t allow the pilot light to stay lit.

A faulty thermocouple will need to be replaced.

5. Faulty Gas Valve: The gas valve is responsible for supplying gas to the pilot light. If the gas valve is faulty, it could prevent the pilot light from staying lit. This can be difficult to diagnose and will require a professional to replace the faulty part.

Why is the pilot light not igniting?

The pilot light not igniting could be caused by a few potential issues. The first could be a lack of gas flow. If the gas shut-off valve leading to the pilot light has been closed, the pilot will not ignite.

Additionally, the filter or supply line may be clogged, preventing the flow of gas. Another possible cause could be an obstruction in the pilot orifice, which can easily be cleared with a thin wire or pipe cleaner.

If the pilot light still will not light, the thermocouple may need to be replaced. The thermocouple is a safety device located near the pilot light that cuts off the gas supply when the flame is extinguished.

Finally, if none of the above solutions solve the issue, the igniter itself may need to be replaced.

Why does my pilot light keep going out after replacing thermocouple?

The most common reason a pilot light will go out after replacing the thermocouple is due to a faulty installation of the part. If the thermocouple is not installed correctly, there may not be proper gas flow or proper gas pressure.

In addition, if there is air entering the gas line, this could cause the pilot light to go out. Additionally, if the thermocouple is the wrong size, this can also disrupt the gas flow and prevent the pilot light from staying lit.

Other reasons for a pilot light to go out after replacing the thermocouple include a broken gas line, incorrect gas valve settings, or a faulty thermocouple itself. It is also important to make sure that the area around the pilot light is clean and free of any debris or dust, as this can also prevent the pilot light from staying lit.

Lastly, the thermocouple could be too close to the actual pilot light, which will cause the heat from the flame to shut off the pilot light.