Hot Water Heater Won T Stay Lit

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Unclog The Pilot Tube

Hot water heater pilot won’t stay lit

As weve mentioned, it is quite common for the pilot tube to get clogged with gunk, which could disrupt the gas flow, as well as the functioning of the pilot light.

You can unclog the pilot tube in just a few simple steps. Under the access cover, there should be the pilot orifice, which you have to unscrew by twisting it to the left.

Take a cotton swab and wet it with some rubbing alcohol. Then, use it to reach all the areas of the pilot tube, making sure to remove as much gunk as possible. You may also use a toothpick for tighter areas.

Once youve cleaned the pilot tube and its elements, put everything back into its initial position. Try relighting the pilot by holding down the control knob while lighting the pilot with a long match or wand lighter.

Once the pilot ignites, it is necessary to still hold the control knob down, which will release any excess air from the pilot tube, ensuring that the gas flow is smooth.

Make sure to check if your pilot comes with an automatic igniter since these models do not require a match or lighter to ignite.

Thermocouple Issues And What To Do Next

The role of the thermocouple is to control the gas flow to the gas burner, and it is a key safety component of a water heater unit. It essentially senses the presence of a burning flame and turns off the gas flow when there is no flame, to prevent gas buildup. Lighting your own water heaters pilot light requires holding the Pilot button to control gas flow as you light it. But when you let the button go, the thermocouple takes control and uses its flame sensor to determine if the gas should be flowing or not.

Issues with water heater thermocouples are common, and you can do some poking around to determine what exactly the issue is, and if you can fix it yourself. If you remove the access panel over the pilot light and inspect the gas burner, you should be able to see a cylindrical metal piece next to the gas valve and igniter. That is the thermocouple, and there are a few things you can do to determine the issue.

Appliances With Pilot Lights

A pilot light is more likely to be found in or in older and . You may also find that your gas fireplace has a pilot light as well. To learn how to turn on your gas fireplace pilot light explore here. In the more recent years pilot lights are being replaced with a hot surface igniter or a spark igniter.

water heater pilot light

The pilot flame ignites the gas to create warmth in your home or business. So if your hot water is not working, inspect your water heater pilot light. And if you have no heat check to see if your furnace or boiler pilot light has gone out.

pilot light in furnace


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Atwood Water Heater Circuit Board Fuse Keeps Blowing

This may be a sign that something inside the heater is touching metal. That connection is creating a short circuit. In one instance the temp cut-off switch may come loose from the lock ring and the spade terminal was touching the side of the water heater.

Replacing the switch or re-tightening it should solve this issue. Or, you could put the wrong sized fuse in the fuse box. Some people tend to get a little confused and buy a 2 amp fuse when a 5 amp model is needed.

This is one of those simple things one should double-check first before asking for help. Make sure you have the right sized fuse in the right spot. Then there may be a problem with the 12-volt source.

All you need to do is hook the water heater up to another independent 12-volt source and see if it works like normal. If it does, then there is a problem with the original electrical source.

Finally, this problem could be with a circuit board and it may have gone bad on you or if it is new, it was defective before you installed it. Test the board, which may take several tests, to find out if this is the problem.

How To Determine If You Have Gas Hot Water Heater Thermocouple Issues


A thermocouple is a function on your water heater that senses the heat on the pilot light and allows gas to flow to the burner. A bad thermocouple will shut off gas to both the pilot and the burner, which is when people notice that the water heater pilot light is out.

Your water heater pilot light works in concert with other parts. When your thermocouple detects an unlit pilot, it automatically shuts off the gas to your water heater as a safety precaution.

If you determine that your thermocouple is indeed broken that means there arent any signs of being bent or dirty then its most likely that your device is broken. To fix this issue, you will need to replace the device or have it professionally repaired. This is a good place to clear up some confusion.

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Reason : Obstruction In The Thermocouple

Thermocouple problems can be fairly common, and this component is often the culprit when the water heater pilot keeps going out. This device is designed to pick up an electrical signal from the pilot lights heat to determine whether or not the pilot is on.

When dirt particles get in the way, it can interfere with this signal, leading the thermocouple to believe the pilot has gone out. It then shuts off the gas supply as a safety precaution.

Reasons Your Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps Going Out

There is nothing as annoying as starting a chilly day with a cold shower. You might have just discovered that the pilot light keeps going out.

Thousands of customers are disappointed bytheir water heaters that die off just months after installation.

Is it normal to have your water heater die onyou?

No! Your heater should easily hit the 10-year mark without any major issues. Very few manufacturers are capable of producing such high-quality water heaters. Check out these fine water heaters in Phoenix.

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Reasons Why Your Water Heater Pilot Light Wont Stay Lit

If youre not a technician yourself, then I can imagine that at that moment, nothing is more annoying than battling with a pilot light that wont stay lit.

Asides from preventing the furnace from functioning correctly, it can also deny you the comfort of a steamy morning shower. There are numerous reasons why your pilot light trips off over and over. Well try to touch on all the possible reasons why your heater is in such a situation.

Read till the end of the blog, so you can be informed of the reasons for the faults so you can prevent them in the future. After discussing the causes, we will recommend some possible solutions that you can use to fix the problem.

Its An Electrical Issue

RV Water Heater Not Igniting Or Staying Lit – Troubleshoot – RV Maintenance And Cleaning

If youve tested all the above, but the problem persists, it might be time to check the electrical controls. One particular place to check is the ignition board. The ignition board coordinates the entire ignition system, telling each part what to do and when. It relays information from one part of the ignition system to the other and from/to the rest of the ignition system.

If the wires connecting the different parts of the circuit relay are damaged, the circuit board will likely fail. The same applies if you have a blown fuse.

The bad news is that electrical issues are a little harder to fix as you risk worsening the damage. So, its best to call an electrician or HVAC pro.

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A Problem In The Main Gas Control Valve

Another reason why your water heater pilot light won’t light could be a faulty main control valve. If none of the above fixes troubleshoot the issue, the problem could be in the thermostatic control. This is often referred to as the control valve or gas valve.

While a gas control valve issue occurs less often, many people associate all their heater problems with this. Before you assume that this is a problem, you should first check other pilot light issues and determine if they’re not the ones causing problems. One way to be sure that the problem may be in the main control is to use a multimeter to test.

Bend The Thermocouple Slightly

I saw this trick on this You Tube video and it was just incredible. If you are trying to light your water heater pilot light with no success, try it.

  • Remove the metal cover at the bottom to reveal the pilot light sight glass.
  • Try to relight the pilot as you usually would or as the instructions on the water heater illustrates.
  • When you see the pilot flame, continue pressing the gas valve/button down for at least a minute.
  • While still holding the valve/button down, grab the thermocouple and bend it slightly.
  • Slowly release the button.

This trick will surprisingly work for most people. Of course it is a sign of a bad thermocouple but at least it gives you enough time to buy a replacement thermocouple with hot water still flowing in your house.

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Water Heater’s Pilot Light: Bottom Line

There are many possible causes of why your water heater pilot light tube won’t stay lit. Most of the pilot light issues may lead you to a simple solution that you can solve without the help of a professional. However, some problems may be more complex and will need professional expertise to solve. At other times, you may need to incur additional costs of buying a new water heater.

You need to take precautions when dealing with such issues because gas and electricity can be very dangerous, especially if you’re inexperienced with the burner chamber or access panel. If you’re not sure about what you’re doing, don’t attempt to troubleshoot, repair, or replace anything. You should have your technician just a phone call away in case of such issues. This protects you from leaking gas and damage to other gas appliances.

Dino Paccino

Dino is a lifelong writer and home improvement specialist. He enjoys bringing cutting-edge information on home renovation and remodeling to Kitchen Infinity.

Water Heater Pilot Light: Where Is It And What Does It Do

Aquamax hot water pilot won

At the base of your gas water heater, you will find an access panel directly beneath the thermostat. Inside the access panel lies the gas water heater pilot light. There will be a gas panel where you can see if the pilot flame is lit. The pilot light is a small flame used to ignite the gas burner on your water heater. This is necessary for warming the water that will be redistributed throughout your home. If you have no hot water and relighting your pilot light is unsuccessful, you will need a water heater repair.

water heater pilot light keeps going out

Warning ! Do not remove burner and pilot from inside your water heater. This picture was taken by a water heater profession for a demonstration on pilot lights.

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How To Replace Atwood Water Heater Element

On some models, you will have to remove the junction box out before you get access to the heating elements. Once you have done that, you will see that the element has 2 wires attached to it.

Your next step is to remove the two wires which is easily done by loosening the screws. Now for the tricky part. On some Atwood water heaters, you will need a special tool to remove the element. It may cost anywhere around $10 +/- a buck or two depending on where you buy it.

The key is not to strip the threads on the element or the sides of the water heater. The special tool is an oversized socket and it is the only one you can use to remove the element. Take your time and be careful.

Once you break the seal you should be able to use your fingers to loosen the element all the way. Once it is loose gently remove the old element and replace it with the new one. You can use your fingers up until it gets a little hard to turn then use the special tool again to tighten it all the way.

Replace the wires and the junction box and you are done. Remember to drain as much water as you can from your water heater as it will come out the new opening and get everything nice and wet. Have a towel or cloth handy to mop up the water.

Boiler Pilot Light: Where It Is And What Does It Do

The pilot light in your boiler is essential for creating heat. The pilot burns continuously so it can ignite the gas when the gas valve is opened. When this happens, your boiler begins to heat the water, which is then redistributed for warmth throughout your home. In the event that your pilot light goes out, your boiler and central heating will not function.

The pilot light is located inside your boiler across from the gas valve. The boiler manual should give you a better understanding of where each part is located.

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When All Else Fails

All of the above mentioned causes can be diagnosed and remedied by the average homeowner. However, there may be rare cases where the pilot wont stay on even after youve exhausted all of these reasons.

In such extreme cases, the only solution is to call in an expert to examine the water heater fully. Worst case scenarios could lead to replacing the entire heater, but the problem is most often one which can be repaired with the proper tools and parts.

The Pressure Switch Has Flipped

Richmond / Rheem Hot water heater pilot won’t stay lit real reason pt 1

The pressure switch is a safety feature designed to protect you and your family from gas poisoning. It closely monitors gas venting in your home and shuts down the gas supply if it detects that the venting in your heating system isnt operating correctly.

Poor gas furnace venting may result from several issues. For instance, blocked air filters can result in poor air circulation in the home. Blocked air ducts can also impede venting.

Its advisable to fix the issue causing the pressure switch tripping before you switch it back ON. Otherwise, it will just trick OFF again.

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How To Stop Your Water Heater Pilot Light From Going Out

Date Published:

Everyone loves some accessible hot water, whether its a hot shower on a cold winter morning before work or a steamy bath to help overcome a bad cold. We rely on our water heaters to provide this modern luxury whenever we please, but at one point or another, you have probably let the water run for a while before realizing that the water isnt heating up at all. While there could be a number of issues with your water heater, the most consistent one is a pilot light that keeps going out. Here are more than a few things you can try to keep that flame going before you decide to give your local Ace Hi water heater technician a call.

The Gas Valve Has Issues

As weve seen, once the flame sensor signals the presence of a flame, the gas valve springs into action to provide sufficient gas for the heating process. However, imagine in an instance where the gas valve is compromised!

Imagine a situation where its blocked or shut off. It wouldnt be able to send enough gas to burners. Thus, the flame sensor will likely instruct the furnace to shut off the pilot flame.

Gas valves can become clogged due to dirt buildup. They can also become bent if hit by a blunt object. Or it may be in good shape but turned off.

Begin by inspecting the valve for dirt and debris buildup and wipe off any dirt as appropriate. Also, make sure its ON. Call the pros if you notice dents to the gas line or hear hissing gas .

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Hot Water Heater Won’t Stay Lit Check The Pilot Light

There is nothing more frustrating when trying to run a hot bath than when your water heater keeps turning off. If your water heater pilot light will not stay lit, it is important to fix it immediately. There are many reasons your water heater igniter might turn itself off, but most often, when your water heater wont ignite, its due to a faulty thermocouple.

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The first thing to check is the gas line. You want to make sure you bled all the air out of the line. If you didnt then those air pockets will blow the flame out as they come through the opening.

Sometimes there is an obstruction in the way of the gas line and you need to clear that obstruction before the gas can flow continuously and steady. This only takes a little cleaning to get rid of the problem.

The bigger issue will be the thermocouple. If it is dirty, you will need some sandpaper to clean it up. If it is bent, you will need to straighten it and if it is broken, you will have to replace it.

Also, you may have to hold the pilot light knob down for 20 to 30 seconds while holding a flame to the rod. This will bleed the air out. Then you can also try to light your stove first to help bleed the lines.

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