I just started having a problem with my gas water heater where the
pilot light would go out after a while. The thermocoupler was replaced
and the problem still occurs. The pilot light can be lit and stays lit
till the main burners turn on, but when the burners go off, so does
the pilot light. I used a video camera to verify this.
1) Make sure the door to the burner compartment is replaced
tightly so no air can rush in or out. I'm assuming the pilot light is
close the door opening.
2) If this is not the case, see if there is anyway to adjust the
3) If 2) is not possible, as the pilot light is lit., use a screwdriver
or something to tap the pilot gas line. Natural gas is pretty dirty
and maybe there is junk suck in the line.
Today's heaters use very small pilot flames, which are easily
"blown out" by the puff created when the main burner goes off.
*If* that's the cause, some gas controls have a pilot adjustment;
many do not. In that case, the pilot burner has to come out
to be cleaned (orifice).
A baffle plate (behind the access door) could also be installed
incorrectly, allowing a draft over the pilot.
Probably least likely is an internal problem in the gas control
It may be possible to do some adjusting of the main burner air mix.
Make sure the flame of the main burner is blue with maybe just a slight bit
if yellow mixed in. My guess is as Jim suggested the puff that occurs when
the main burner turns off is blowing the pilot out.
any time i had problems with a pilot light going out, this is what i
first did... let the light stay out and take a tooth brush an taped a
dowel onto it to make it easy to use.. then went in there and gave the
pilot a good scrubbing.. it knocked the dust/dirt off the pilot and then
light the pilot and bet it is not bigger and brighter????? its the dirt
thats stopping the pilot from burning bright and big... the dirt blocks
the gas flow so you get a smaller pilot and it blows out pretty easy...
it worked for me in the hot water heater, the oven, and the central heat
hope it works for you...'
Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions. I cleaned out the gas line for
the pilot lit and sealed up a joint where there was a leak and that
seemed to increase the size of the pilot flame. The pilot still went
out till I left the cover plate off the heater wall and left the door
to the closet opened. One or the other must be affecting the flame.
It's been working fine for a few days so I'm going to give it a few
more days then put the cover plate back on and see if the pilot goes
out again. If it doesn't I'll wait awhile and then close the closet
Weird that the flame goes out with more possibilities of draft, but I
can't argue with what I see.
Again, thanks for all the suggestions.
The water heater is in my garage. About ten feet away is my furnace.
It's a 2-car garage. Both the furnace and WH normally behind closet
doors that has vent openings on them. They've been working well like
that for at least 5.5 years. Don't know what changed.
hey if it goes out when you close the door, where does it get the air???
to burn???/ that might be why the flame is going out???? does it have a
vent to let the frumes from the burning go up and out??? it should, try
checking the pipers to make sure the fumes go up.. might be a dead bird
or such up there and thats i why its starving for air and goes out///
There are some vents on two places on the closet door to let air in. I
also thought it could be the exhaust air outlet so one time when the
heater was turned off, I lit a match, put it out, and the smoke did
suck into the heater compartment towards the center of the heater. So
there is SOME air being drawn out. There may still be some constiction
that affects the heater when it's fully on. Not sure how to check for
that. I guess I'll climb on the roof and take off the vent cover and
see if I can look down into it.
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