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why does my heater pilot keep going out

by Elody Smith Published 8 months ago Updated 6 months ago
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A faulty, misaligned, dirty, or damaged thermocouple is often the culprit behind your pilot light going out. The thermocouple is an automatic safety shutoff device that prevents the gas valve from opening if the pilot light is out.

Why does my heater’s pilot light keep going off?

Why Does Your Heater’s Pilot Light Keep Going Off? These are the most common reasons why your heater’s pilot light won’t stay lit: 1. Obstructed Thermocouple. Most recently manufactured water heaters function with the aid of a thermocouple.

Why does my water pilot keep going out?

The thermocouple is triggered by an electric current produced by the pilot light. It acts as a safety device to prevent gas leaks. Therefore, a dirty thermocouple might be the reason why your water pilot keeps going out.

How does a water heater know if the pilot light is on?

This equipment is the core reason why your water heater functions, it also knows if the pilot light is on or off through an electric current that draws power from the pilot’s heat. Once the thermocouple detects that the pilot light isn’t lit, it turns the gas off as a safety measure.

Why does the pilot light go out on a propane tank?

Below are some of the reasons this might happen: Faulty thermocouple – The thermocouple detects when the pilot light is on, and sends an electric current to the gas line to keep a valve open. When the pilot light goes out, the loss of current shuts the valve and stops gas flow.

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

Dirty Thermocouple If it's filthy shut your gas off so that the unit can cool down, then gently clean it by carefully rubbing it with fine grain sandpaper. When you're done, simply turn the gas back on and light the pilot again. If dirt or grime was the issue, your light shouldn't go out again!

What causes heater pilot to go out?

It is positioned very close to the flame, and when lit, the pilot light tells the thermocouple to keep the gas line open. A thermocouple that is dirty or malfunctioning will often shut off your gas supply in error, causing the pilot light to go out and your furnace to stop working.

Why won't my pilot light stay lit on my heater?

If your pilot light won't stay alight, it might be the thermocouple. Sometimes dust buildup collects on the thermocouple and blocks the sensor. Try cleaning the thermocouple and then relighting the pilot light. If it continues to go out, the thermocouple might need to be replaced.

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

If the pilot will lit but goes out after it reaches the temperature, it is the control valve. It happened to me. After the plumber replaced the control valve then it stays lit. You will have to order the control valve from the manufacturer.

Why does my furnace flame keeps going out?

Your furnace has a limit switch that keeps it from running if the heat exchanger is too hot. Dirty filters, closed or blocked vents and other blockages in airflow are common causes of an overheated furnace. A bad limit switch. The limit switch may be bad and need to be replaced.

How do I know if my thermocouple is broken?

After about a minute, when you're sure the probe has gotten hot, place one lead on the shaft of the thermocouple and the other lead on the connector. If the reading is less than 25 millivolts, the thermocouple is bad and needs to be replaced.

Why does my gas heater pilot light keep going out?

A faulty, misaligned, dirty, or damaged thermocouple is often the culprit behind your pilot light going out. The thermocouple is an automatic safety shutoff device that prevents the gas valve from opening if the pilot light is out.

How much does it cost to replace a thermocouple?

1 cause of pilot lights that won't stay lit is a worn-out thermocouple. It's easy to replace and a new one costs $5 to $10. Rather than trying to unfasten the thermocouple inside the water heater's burning chamber, it's easier to remove the whole burner and thermocouple assembly.

How much does it cost to replace a thermocouple on a furnace?

$150 to $250Replacing a thermocouple costs $150 to $250, mostly due to labor time. On older models without an ignitor, it checks to make sure your pilot light is lit. If it's not, it'll shut the gas off.

How long do thermocouples last?

10 yearsThermocouples can last up to 10 years if properly installed and maintained, while furnaces can last 15-20 years, although either may wear out sooner in multifamily units.

What causes a thermocouple to go bad?

The presence of oxygen causes a reaction in the thermocouple that can wear down the part and make the wires become thinner and more brittle. Oxidation can be caused by a small amount of oxygen making its way into a sealed environment and reacting with the pure metal of the thermocouple.

How do you reset a thermal switch?

2:075:11Water Heater - Thermal Cutoff Switch | Repair and Replace - YouTubeYouTubeStart of suggested clipEnd of suggested clipPosition. If the thermal switch has a button then it's likely resettable simply press the button toMorePosition. If the thermal switch has a button then it's likely resettable simply press the button to reset the switch Thermal switches have a reset button some will reset automatically.

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Why does my water heater pilot light go out?

It acts as a safety device to prevent gas leaks. Therefore, a dirty thermocouple might be the reason why your water pilot keeps going out. A layer of dirt and grime can hinder the electric current from reaching the thermocouple. As a result, the gas supply will be cut off and the pilot light will go out.

Why does my furnace pilot light keep going out?

Gas leaks will reduce the amount of gas reaching the burner. It might be the reason why your furnace pilot light keeps going out or flickering. 6. A Faulty Main Control Valve.

Why does my pilot light go out?

The flame will go out if the tube is clogged with dirt or debris. Sometimes, the tube might be partially clogged and supplying very little gas for combustion- No wonder your pilot light keeps going out. The Solution: Thorough cleaning should do the trick. Use a slender needle to gently unclog the tube.

Why does my water heater flame out?

Don’t worry, there is nothing wrong with your heater. It’s just dirt build-up. The Pilot tube supplies gas to the pilot light for combustion. The flame will go out if the tube is clogged with dirt or debris.

What happens if the thermocouple is less than 20 volts?

If the voltage supplied by your thermocouple is way less than 20MV, then the device is surely broken and needs to be replaced. The Solution: You can move the thermocouple close to the pilot light if the multimeter reading is close to, but not at 20MV.

How to fix a broken thermocouple?

The solution: First, cut off the gas supply, switch off your heater, and wait for the thermocouple to cool off. You’ll have to manually bend or straighten the thermocouple back to position. It needs to be close enough to the pilot light that it slightly touches or wraps around the blue flame. 4. A Broken Thermocouple.

How to tell if water heater is faulty?

The first sign of a faulty electrical system is if your water heater suddenly shuts down. The Solution: Immediately switch off your water heater and call a technician.

What happens if the pilot light goes out on a water heater?

If it senses that your water heater’s pilot light has gone out, the thermocouple will shift off the gas supply to the heater. Over time, thermocouples can malfunction, accumulate dust buildup, or the device can get bent away from the pilot light’s flame.

Why won't my water heater pilot light stay lit?

Another reason your gas water heater pilot light won’t stay lit could be due to not having enough combustible air. Your water heater requires air to keep the pilot light burning. Otherwise, the flame goes out. Ensure that the water heater is not surrounded by clutter, lint, or debris to increase the amount of combustible air.

What to do if your water heater pilot light won't work?

Our certified technicians are available 24/7 to come out, take a look, and recommend the best way to get your water heater working safely and efficiently.

Can you replace a thermocouple?

Yes. If you are DIY-inclined you may be able to replace the thermocouple yourself. To do so it’s easiest to shut off the gas valve and remove the whole burner and thermocouple assembly. Though if you have no clue how to do small repairs, it’s better and safer to call someone who does.

Why does my pilot light keep going out?

Why Does the Pilot Light in My Heater Keeping Going Out? If you use an older natural gas furnace to provide heat for your house , it probably has a standing pilot light to ignite the burners whenever the system turns on. When the furnace is working as it should, the pilot light will remain burning steadily throughout the season.

Why won't my pilot light stay lit?

Aging furnace – In general, when a pilot light won’t stay lit, it’s a sign that the furnace is getting too old. Pilot lights are outdated technology, and if your furnace is more than 20 years old, a failing pilot light is usually an indication that you should have a new furnace—one that uses an electronic ignition system—installed in its place. ...

What happens if a pilot light gets dirty?

If it becomes dirty, it will block the gas and there won’t be enough to keep the pilot light burning. Repair technician can inspect the tube and clean it if necessary.

What happens when a thermocouple goes out?

When the pilot light goes out, the loss of current shuts the valve and stops gas flow.

Why does my water heater pilot light go out?

There are several things that can cause your gas water heater pilot light to keep going out. One of the most common is your thermocouple. If you are unfamiliar with what this device does, the thermocouple is a device in your hot water heater that uses an electrical current to determine whether the pilot light is on or not. If your pilot light is not lit, the thermocouple will detect this and automatically shut down the gas for your protection. However, if the thermocouple is dirty, then it won’t work properly.

Why does my pilot light keep going out?

Why Does My Hot Water Heater Pilot Light Keep Going Out? Diagnose the Problem. There’s nothing worse than having to take a cold shower, because your hot water heater pilot light keeps going out. Not only does this leave your household in an uncomfortable situation, it also adds more stress to your busy life.

What happens if a thermocouple is bent?

Bent Thermocouple. In addition to the possibility of your thermocouple being dirty, your thermocouple can also become bent overtime. If your thermocouple becomes too deformed, it’ll quit functioning the way it’s suppose and result in a pilot light that constantly goes out.

What does a pilot light do?

The pilot light is the tiny, gas flame that is responsible for providing power to your gas hot water heater. If the pilot light on your water heater keeps going out, ...

Can a thermocouple be dirty?

However, if the thermocouple is dirty, then it won’t work properly . To resolve this issue, you’ll want to find yourself a piece of sandpaper and then pinpoint the thermocouple. Once you locate the thermocouple, clean it thoroughly with the sandpaper.

Can a main control valve break down?

Although the main control valve seldom breaks down, it can happen. When the main control valve does require repair, you’ll need to call a professional unless you have experience to do it yourself. To test to make sure that the main control valve is actually the problem, you’ll want to first invest in a multimeter.

Can a water heater thermocouple be broken?

Beside being dirty and bent, your thermocouple could also be broken. If you realize that your water heater’s thermocouple is in fact broke, you’ll want to repair it right away. Most home improvement stores carry this part, but for those homeowners that have no experience with this sort of thing, it’s best to call a professional to handle the job.

Appliances With Pilot Lights

A pilot light is more likely to be found in water heaters or in older furnaces and boilers. In the more recent years pilot lights are being replaced with a hot surface igniter or a spark igniter.

Water Heater Pilot Light: Where Is It And What Does It Do?

At the base of your gas water heater, you will find an access panel directly beneath the thermostat. Inside the access panel lies the gas water heater pilot light. There will be a gas panel where you can see if the pilot flame is lit. The pilot light is a small flame used to ignite the gas burner on your water heater.

What Makes Your Water Heater Pilot Light Go Out

The thermocouple detects when your pilot light is burning. This copper rod is a safety feature that will shut down the heater's gas supply if your water heater pilot light goes out. Due to natural wear and tear, a thermocouple can get bent out of position, malfunction, become damaged, or coated in dirt or a build up of carbon.

How Do I Re-Light My Gas Water Heater Pilot Light?

Find your water heater manual to get a better understanding where each part of your water heater is located.

Furnace Pilot Light: Where It Is And What Does It Do?

The pilot light on a gas furnace is very important for creating heat in old furnaces. This continuously burning flame will ignite the gas, when the gas valve opens. Then, this heat warms the air brought into your furnace, which will be redistributed throughout your home. If your pilot light is out, you may experience your furnace blowing cold air.

Why Furnace Pilot Light keeps going out

There are many reasons for why the pilot flame keeps going out in your furnace. Let's dive in!

How To Re-Light A Furnace Pilot Light ?

First and foremost, it is important to find the manual for your furnace. The manual will give you a better understanding of the inner workings of your specific furnace.

What is the pilot light in the water heater?

Simply put, the pilot light is a small tiny burner that is alight all the time so that when the main burner is to be lit, the ignition is started with the help of this pilot light. It’s there so that you won’t have to use a match or lighter and manually light the water heater every time water is needed to be heated.

5 Reasons pilot light keeps going out on water heater

Before we move on to the diagnostic and fixing process, it’s best if you close the gas supply to the water heater and wait for a few minutes for any gas to dissipate.

Popular questions

No, gas won’t leak. The reason your pilot light is going out in the first place is that the gas supply has been stopped due to various reasons mentioned above like bad thermocouple, clogged air filter, pilot tube, etc. Still, if you smell rotten eggs smell then shut off the main gas supply and immediately call your plumber.

Your call

So that’s it for now. I hope this mini yet, a complete guide to why pilot light goes out on water heater was helpful and fixed your problem. If the problem doesn’t resolve even after doing the suggested above then I advise you to call the technician. Also read: It’s time to upgrade.

Why does my pilot light keep going out?

Thermocouple. The number one reason why the pilot light keeps going out is the thermocouple. Either the thermocouple is going bad or it is dirty and needs to be cleaned. Thermocouples work by producing a small amount of voltage when it is heated. This is the pilot flame that provides the heat. A gas valve that uses a thermocouple needs ...

What happens if a thermocouple goes bad?

Thus the safety pilot. If the thermocouple is going bad then it is not sending the correct amount of voltage to the coil in the gas valve. This will cause the coil to close the pilot valve preventing gas from getting to the pilot nozzle. In this case, the thermocouple needs to be replaced.

What to do before condemning gas valve?

An important test to do before condemning the gas valve is to test the thermocouple for proper output. We have another page here at High Performance HVAC to help you test the thermocouple if you want to do it yourself. You will need a multimeter to accomplish the testing of the thermocouple.

Why does a gas valve need a thermocouple?

A gas valve that uses a thermocouple needs the voltage from the thermocouple to keep the valve open providing gas to the pilot flame. If the pilot valve (inside the gas valve) is not open then the main valve will not open. This is a safety feature to ensure the main burners have an ignition source.

What does a plumber do with thermocouples?

Most plumbers deal with thermocouples and gas valves and can quickly and efficiently take care of the problem for you. The goal is to keep the pilot light lit and burning to provide ignition for the main burners. If you want to research other possibilities about converting to electronic ignition see our resources below.

Can you relight a pilot light on a water heater?

That can turn into a nuisance for both maintaining heat or hot water. If it’s the water heater you have to re-light the pilot and then wait for the water heater to heat the water. The same for a furnace. You have to light the pilot light and then wait for the furnace to heat the home to a comfortable temperature.

Why is my water heater shutting off?

A wrongly wired electrical water heater tends to blow up the fuse and shorten the circuits, which are the major issues an electric water heater experiences. A faulty electrical system is often detected by a breaker shutdown, which causes the involuntary shutdown of the water heater.

Why won't my pilot light come on?

This also another possible reason why your pilot’s light won’t come on. The flex tube is how the gas reaches the device, and if the continuous flow of gas is interrupted , the pilot light won’t stay lit. This usually happens when the tube is kinked at one or many points.

How does a water heater work?

Most recently manufactured water heaters function with the aid of a thermocouple. This equipment is the core reason why your water heater functions, it also knows if the pilot light is on or off through an electric current that draws power from the pilot’s heat. Once the thermocouple detects that the pilot light isn’t lit, ...

Why is my thermocouple bent?

Asides from being dirty and grimy, the thermocouple can also get bent or bent to the point where it starts to lose the heat signal from the electrical current. In most cases, the thermocouple may have curved too far away from the pilot, which is problematic as it won’t be able to detect the heat signal.

Why is my pilot unlit?

Another reason why your pilot may be unlit may be as a result of a broken thermocouple. If you check the thermocouple and it isn’t dirty, grimy, or curved, it may have been damaged. To confirm your suspicions, remove the thermocouple and test it with a multimeter.

How to fix a hot water burner?

How to fix: In most cases, it is advisable to change the burner entirely, but first you can conduct some preliminary checks. Turn on your hot water tap and wait for about 4 -5 minutes for the burner to ignite. If this fails, try switching to a lower temperature and then back to see if the burner ignites.

How to re-ignite pilot light?

Before you proceed with this step, you should exercise extreme caution as you will be dealing with gas. Switch your thermostat to heat mode and get it up to about 80 degrees to keep it going.

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1.5 Reasons Why Your Pilot Light Keeps Going Out

Url:http://www.hotpointheating.com/HVACMaintenanceTips/PilotLightGoingOut

21 hours ago  · Your water heater pilot light keeps going out due to issues with the heater’s thermocouple or access to combustible air. Thermocouple Issues Your thermocouple senses when your pilot light is burning.

2.7 Reasons Your Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps Going Out

Url:https://americanhomewater.com/7-reasons-your-water-heater-pilot-light-going-out/

6 hours ago  · But if the thermocouple has a fault, it may think the pilot light is out when it isn’t and shut off the gas—which will in turn cause the pilot light to go out. Repair technicians will need to replace the thermocouple. Dirty pilot tube – The pilot tube brings gas to the pilot light. If it becomes dirty, it will block the gas and there won’t be enough to keep the pilot light burning.

3.Why Your Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps Going Out and …

Url:https://www.bgehome.com/blog/why-your-pilot-light-keeps-going-out-how-to-fix-it/

21 hours ago A Faulty Thermocouple Is The Reason Your Pilot Light Keeps Going Out. Faulty thermocouple on water heater. The thermocouple detects when your pilot light is burning. This copper rod is a safety feature that will shut down the heater's gas supply if your water heater pilot light goes out.

4.Why Does the Pilot Light in My Heater Keeping Going Out?

Url:https://russellsac.com/why-does-the-pilot-light-in-my-heater-keeping-going-out/

20 hours ago  · The most common reasons in my experience, for the water heater pilot light to frequently go out, are blocked air filter, dirty or malfunctioning thermocouple, and lack of combustion air. It usually occurs with an old water heater but …

5.Why Does My Hot Water Heater Pilot Light Keep Going …

Url:https://www.h2ouse.org/hot-water-heater-pilot-light-keep-going-out/

14 hours ago How do I stop my pilot light going out? What do I do if my pilot light keeps going out? Find the gas shut-off knob and turn to the “Off” setting. Remove the access panel to access the burner. Turn the knob to “Pilot” to start the flow of gas. While still holding the gas knob, light the pilot with a …

6.Videos of Why Does My Heater Pilot Keep Going Out

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24 hours ago The number one reason why the pilot light keeps going out is the thermocouple. Either the thermocouple is going bad or it is dirty and needs to be cleaned. Thermocouples work by producing a small amount of voltage when it is heated. …

7.Why Your Pilot Light Keeps Going Out & How To Fix [With …

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10.8 Reasons Why Your Water Heater Pilot Light Won’t Stay Lit

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