Gas hot water heater pilot light goes out randomly

11 posts by 9 users

Medium 1399331721 avatar crsteve Steve V
Roseville, CA
6 Posts
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1 Award

Steve V

from Roseville, California

Mar 24 '09, 12:44 AM


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.


Edited Jun 26 2010, 07:41


Medium 1398788110 avatar dafly Michael Shadow
Multi-family Investor from Bellefonte, PA
1042 Posts
50 Votes
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Michael Shadow

Multi-family Investor from Bellefonte, Pennsylvania

Mar 24 '09, 12:52 AM


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


Edited Jun 26 2010, 07:41


Medium 1399343811 avatar tnt918 Kevin M
Real Estate Investor NY
21 Posts
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Kevin M

Real Estate Investor from New York

Mar 24 '09, 03:33 AM


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


Edited Jun 26 2010, 07:41


Steve V

from Roseville, California

Mar 24 '09, 07:05 AM


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).


Edited Jun 26 2010, 07:41


Medium 1399316470 avatar cruiser John Andre
Real Estate Investor from Mission Viejo, Cape Coral, CA
232 Posts
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1 Award

John Andre

Real Estate Investor from Mission Viejo, Cape Coral, California

Mar 24 '09, 07:20 AM
1 vote


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.


Edited Jun 26 2010, 07:41


Medium 1398865062 avatar ingrid Ingrid Nagy
Property Manager from Passaic, NJ
372 Posts
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Ingrid Nagy Donor

Property Manager from Passaic, New Jersey

Mar 24 '09, 06:47 PM
1 vote


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.


Edited Jun 26 2010, 07:42


Ingrid Nagy Donor

Property Manager from Passaic, New Jersey

Mar 24 '09, 06:49 PM
1 vote


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


Edited Jun 26 2010, 07:42


Medium 1399404766 avatar mikehjr Mike Haro
Real Estate Investor from NW, IN
40 Posts
13 Votes
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Mike Haro

Real Estate Investor from NW, Indiana

Dec 08 '09, 11:29 AM


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.


Edited Jun 26 2010, 10:46


Medium 1399410135 avatar firefightinsam Sam Teachenor
Real Estate Investor from Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
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Sam Teachenor

Real Estate Investor from Rancho Palos Verdes, California

Jan 24 '10, 01:54 AM
1 vote


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.


Edited Jun 26 2010, 11:20


Medium 1399404583 avatar planeguy67 Mitch Kronowit
SFR Investor from Orange County, CA
1909 Posts
1325 Votes
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Mitch Kronowit Donor

SFR Investor from Orange County, California

Feb 07 '10, 03:26 AM


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


Edited Jun 26 2010, 11:33


Medium 1399422007 avatar cleondann Cleon Dann
2 Posts
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Cleon Dann

Feb 12 '10, 01:30 PM


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


Edited Jun 26 2010, 11:38


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