Gas hot water heater pilot light goes out randomly

Do it Yourself 18.4K Posts 2.0K Discussions

Looking for ideas to solve this issue. I have a gas hot water heater that is indoors in a closet that is about 7yrs old. The pilot light has gone out twice in the last two weeks. It starts back up easily and acts normal otherwise. There are no direct drafts in the area.

I think you should call a HVAC/ Mechanical person as soon as possible. A gas pilot light that won't stay lit is not something you want to mess around with. You could end up with dangerous levels of CO in the building.

-Michael

you need to make sure you have enough circulation/venting or your pilot will not stay lit.leave closet door open and i bet it stays on.a more permanent solution is to add additional venting in the ceiling area.good luck

The house has a home warranty and I didn't feel like screwing around with it so I called and they sent out a local plummer to take a look. He said that everything appeared to be fine and that the element was too hot to disassemble. I asked about the ventalation and he said that there was good venting and did not suspect that was the problem. If it goes out again I will have the tennant leave it off and call him for a return visit (no charge in the next 30 days).

If it is a millivolt type heater, the kind that has the tube type element in the pilot flame, it could be that. Make sure it is positioned in the center of the flame. It has to be heated up, in turn creates the voltage to keep the gas valve open and running properly. Not scary stuff to work on, turn off the gas valve and adjust. As far as being to hot, blow on it. Service calls that do not accomplish anything erk me. No wonder our insurance goes up every year and not down. I bet he still put in the claim and demanded his service charge.

It sounds like you need a new thermocoupling which generally costs no more than $10. I learned this with a boiler that wouldn't stay on in the dead of winter. The tech said its a minor part that costs around $7 and should be replaced at least every two years.

Also when the flame goes out this equipment is generally designed to immediately close the flow of gas. Its a safety mechanism.

Originally posted by John Andre:
If it is a millivolt type heater, the kind that has the tube type element in the pilot flame, it could be that. Make sure it is positioned in the center of the flame. It has to be heated up, in turn creates the voltage to keep the gas valve open and running properly. Not scary stuff to work on, turn off the gas valve and adjust. As far as being to hot, blow on it. Service calls that do not accomplish anything erk me. No wonder our insurance goes up every year and not down. I bet he still put in the claim and demanded his service charge.


I agree with John, It sounds like you need to replace the thermocouple. If you decide to replace it make sure you tighten it only snug, you don't want to force it otherwise you could damage the contact that receives the millivolt signal.

Thermo couple. I replaced the one on my H2O heater and the furnace in the last two years easy and cheap to fix if you do it yourself. If you call a plumber or HVAC guy watch out for your wallet.

Is it a Whirlpool water heater, possibly from Lowe's? There has been a huge amount of complaints regarding the thermocouples on these units. Google: whirlpool water heater thermocouple

This is awesome. I am seriously finding something like that. it will help me in future. :D