gas water heater blowing out

The gas flame on the water heater is blowing itself out, as if there is too much pressure. I partially turned the gas cock off to reduce the gas, and now it is burning at the jet ports. What is causing this? The jet ports look clean, but I'm not sure if they should be cleaned and not certain how to clean them (the accessible area is very tight), if needed.
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Phisherman wrote:

It's possible the internal regulator has failed (rare). Call the gas utility; they are usually more than happy to check it. If the control *is* faulty, they will likely Red Tag it. Jim
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