Why does My Pilot Light keep Going out?

A temperature gauge showing just the right temperature.

The most common reason that your pilot light on your water heater keeps going out is a damaged, bent or dirty thermocouple.

What is a thermocouple?

The simple definition is that it is a device that measures temperature. More importantly it is the device that regulates the gas flow inside your water heater or furnace. It has two wires. One sits near the thermostat and the other sits by the pilot light flame. If the temperature goes up the thermocouple sends an electric signal that opens the gas valve and allows for the combustion to take place. If the pilot light goes out, the thermocouple senses the drop in temperature and signals for the gas valve to close.

If you have a faulty thermocouple the most common reason is that your pilot light is malfunctioning.

Over time your water heater will collect dirt, dust and other kinds of debris. Build up on your thermocouple can cause a malfunction. This is and easy fix, simply let it cool down and brush off the dirt or debris.

Your thermocouple might bend. The end that sits near the pilot light flame is what communicates with the gas valve and tells it to open or close. If it is bent away from the flame it won’t register heat and will keep the gas valve closed. Again, simply wait for you water heater to cool down and then bend it back. If you are unsure how to proceed, do not attempt a repair yourself, call us and let one of our professional technicians repair the issue.

If your thermocouple is neither bent, nor dirty or you have troubleshooted both issues, you may have a damaged or malfunctioning product. Call us today or request service online to find out about replacing your thermocouple.

If it is not a thermocouple problem it is possible there is a dirty pilot light opening. This causes the pilot flame to cool down and thus will not warm the thermocouple effectively.

Contact Vailes Home Improvement Services today at 540-942-0198 or request service online if you suspect either of these issues and one of our certified technicians will assist you.

Need Service?

Contact the experts at Vailes Home Services.

Call us at 540-942-0198!

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