Your water heater is an essential part of your plumbing system that offers comfort and helps keep your home clean, so it can be frustrating when your water heater pilot light keeps going out. Even if you know how to ignite a pilot light on your water heater, if it won't stay lit, it indicates a problem. Not only will you have to deal with a lack of hot water when you need it, but there's also the potential for the issue to evolve into a more expensive repair over time if it isn't fixed.
So, it's important to identify and address the problem quickly to make sure the cause isn't something serious. Several things could be behind a faulty water heater pilot light, such as:
Discovering your water heater pilot light won't stay lit is a real inconvenience, but diagnosing the problem and having any needed repairs performed can get your appliance back in operation and minimize disruption to your daily routine.
Your time is valuable, so if you need water heater repair, call the Red Cap Plumbing, Air & Electric team. We guarantee we'll show up during the appointment window, or we'll credit you $100 towards your current or future service.
The thermocouple is a temperature-measuring sensor that is installed over your pilot flame. When it senses the heat from the pilot light, it sends a signal to keep the gas supply open. If it doesn't sense the pilot flame, it closes the gas valve for safety purposes. A thermocouple that is dirty, damaged, or bent out of position may not sense the pilot light and will cut off the gas supply, causing the pilot flame to go out immediately.
The pilot light orifice controls the amount of gas allowed through to keep your pilot light going. If the orifice is clogged or dirty, chances are your water heater pilot won't light at all. This is because any gas being sent to start your pilot light is being blocked.
The gas valve controls the supply of gas to the entire unit. If there's something wrong with this valve, your water heater won't receive the gas it needs for the pilot light to fire up when needed. Since the valve is what stops the gas when it's not needed, this usually requires replacement to ensure the damaged valve won't result in a gas leak.
Other gas supply problems can be why your water heater pilot won't light. There could be a twist or kink in the tubing or a blockage in the pilot gas tube. Sometimes, it has nothing to do with your unit. If your neighbors are also experiencing this issue, it may be a problem with your local gas company. Perhaps there's a grid issue, and the gas company is lowering pressure at peak times to reduce the burden. If everything checks out on your end, it may be time to call your utility company.
Fire needs fuel and air to burn. If you've ruled out problems with your gas supply, airflow trouble may be putting your water heater pilot light out. The air supply is drawn from your water heater's surroundings, so strong drafts can blow the pilot out, while blocked airflow in the room can make it difficult for the unit to draw the air it needs.
If you already know how to light the pilot on your water heater, it may be tempting to delay repairs or attempt them yourself to save time and money. However, there are some things that you should definitely call your plumber in to handle. A licensed plumber should handle anything involving gas flow to your water heater. Even making a small mistake risks creating a gas leak, which can be very dangerous for you and your family. An expert will make sure repairs are done safely.
Tackle water heater repairs to prevent more expensive issues later.
No one likes an unexpected repair bill, but it can be easier to handle when you know you're getting a fair price. Schedule your water heater repair with Red Cap Plumbing, Air & Electric, and you'll always get fair and honest prices so you can take care of the little things now to prevent big issues later.