If you have a gas-powered water heater working to provide you with hot showers and warm baths, then you should get familiar with how they work. At the heart of these appliances lies a small yet powerful flame known as the pilot light. This flame ignites the main burner when hot water is needed.

However, there are times when this dependable pilot light mysteriously goes out, leaving us in the cold. In this article brought to you by Proline Rooter, we will investigate potential reasons why the pilot light can go out and provide actionable tips for troubleshooting.


Why Does My Water Heater Pilot Light Keep Going Out?

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If you’d rather have a trained plumber investigate, then call Proline Rooter to schedule an appointment today. Our team is on standby to take your call at any time of the day.

What is the pilot light?

Imagine turning on the hot water tap and feeling the comforting warmth envelop you almost instantly. This magic is made possible in part by the reliable pilot light. This small flame serves as the ignition source for the gas burner in the water heater. Without it, the main burner will remain dormant; and hot water, a distant dream. The pilot light ensures that hot water is readily available, making it an indispensable component of gas water heaters.

Why does the pilot light go out?

The pilot light can sometimes go out unexpectedly, leaving homeowners puzzled. Several factors can contribute to this phenomenon, and a periodic water heater maintenance can prevent this issue in the first place.

Dust, dirt, or debris can accumulate in the pilot light assembly or burner over time. Regularly clean these to prevent buildup and keep the pilot light burning. Also pay attention for drafts. Strong drafts or poor ventilation around the water heater can disrupt the pilot light, causing it to extinguish.

You should also check in with the thermocouple. This safety device detects whether the pilot light is lit. If it malfunctions or becomes dirty, it may shut off the gas supply to the pilot light. Cleaning or replacing the thermocouple can resolve this issue.

A sudden interruption in the gas supply, such as a closed gas valve or a gas line issue, can also cause the pilot light to go out. Make sure that the gas valve is open and the supply is uninterrupted.

What to do in this situation

If you’re confident in your prowess with diagnosing water heater issues, then start with these steps to troubleshoot:

  • Make sure there is no draft,
  • Ensure the gas valve supplying the water heater is open, and
  • Check that the thermocouple is clean, properly positioned, and free of corrosion.

Refer to the water heater's manual for specific troubleshooting steps and safety precautions recommended by the manufacturer. Adhering to these guidelines ensures safe operation and effective troubleshooting.

For professional water heater repair, you can call the uniformed professionals at Proline Rooter. Our plumbers are regularly trained on the latest techniques, building codes, industry standards, and more.

We are proud to offer emergency plumber repair service, so feel free to call Proline Rooter at any time of the day – or night!


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