How To Keep a Water Heater Pilot Light from Going Out

A water heater pilot light is a tiny flame that is used to light up a gas burner and is located inside your water heater. It is constantly lit so it is able to light up the burner whenever needed. The complete assembly of your gas burner includes the pilot tubing, the pilot burner, burner tube, thermocouple, and the main burner, all of which are necessary in lighting up the pilot light and your water heater. The gas valve is the main component essential for the burning procedure. An advantage that the water heater pilot light has compared to others is that it does not need an electrical system. This means that it can still be lit even during power outages. Traditionally, matches were used to ignite gas and make the whole system work. Today, a lot of gas appliances frequently use a spark coming from electrodes to do the job. When a pilot light does not remain lit, it is necessary to repair it as soon as possible. There are several reasons why this problem occurs and you must know why it is happening to be able to resolve the situation. More often than not, the thermocouple may be the culprit. Faulty thermocouples can cause several problems. Here are some ways to go about working on your water heater pilot light:

  • A dirty thermocouple can cause the pilot light to keep going out. To check, examine your pilot light and try lighting it as you watch it closely. The flame that touches your thermocouple must be visible. Observe if your thermocouple is dirty. If you notice that it is, turn your gas off and allow your thermocouple some time to cool completely before working on it. Use fine sandpaper to clean it carefully, making sure you pay special attention to its tip. Once done, turn on your gas again along with your pilot light and see if it stays on.
  • Another reason that causes this problem is a bent thermocouple. Because of this, it is not able to be heated by the pilot light. Because it remains cool, it assumes that your light is off and it turns off your gas supply. To fix, just bend back the thermocouple in such a way that it stays nearer to your pilot light. Make sure that your gas is turned off and your thermocouple is cooled thoroughly before starting to do this.
  • A dirty pilot tube could also be another reason why your pilot light does not stay lit. To solve the problem, make sure your gas is turned off and your pilot tube is cool. Get a needle and use it to remove any obstructions within your pilot tube. After you have finished, check again if it your pilot light works well.

When all else fails, then it may be because your thermocouple has already been damaged and may need repairing or replacing. If you decide to purchase a new one, make sure that it is capable of working on the type of furnace you have. To remove your thermocouple, shut off your gas and allow some time to cool down the heating system. Remove the cover of your furnace and unscrew the nut that holds your thermocouple. If you are uncertain as to how you can go about doing this, ask a professional to help you.


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