There are a number of common reasons as to why you might be having issues with your pilot light. Figure out what they are and how to address them, here.
You can spend anywhere from $500 to $5,000 for a new water heater. If you’ve recently moved into a new place or just replaced your tank, running into a problem could be deeply frustrating. Thankfully, you might not have a problem with your tank, just your pilot light.
But a problem with a pilot flame can cause several issues, putting your home at risk of a gas leak. If that’s not an issue, you could just end up frustrated when you’re ready for a hot shower after a long day. Running the water for 5 minutes just to find out there’s no hot water coming is a kick in the pants.
If you end up with frequent pilot lighting issues, here are three possible issues you could be facing.
1. Gas Problems
A leak in your gas line or not enough gas in your tank can be the surest way to end up with pilot light issues. In the case of a leak, you may still be able to light it. But as the pressure changes, you’ll find it goes out more often than is normal.
Look for kinks in line or places where there may be breakage in your line. If your tank reads that it’s full, check out the last time you refilled the tank. In cities where you’re linked up to a city pipeline, call a service professional to check out your tank.
And if it’s been awhile since you filled your tank, why not see if it needs to be refilled? Be sure that your gas valves are open enough. If none of this works, check the rest of the system.
2. Bent Thermocouple Rod
Water heaters are built with a thermocouple that is triggered to prevent explosions or leaks. This safety mechanism is connected to a temperature sensor inside the tank. A thermostat tells the gas valve to let out some more gas when the water gets too cold.
The system is essentially set up so that there’s hot water whenever you turn on the faucet. Otherwise, you’d have to heat up the water from room/basement/outdoor temperature each time you wanted to take a warm bath or cook some food.
When a thermocouple rod gets bent, it could be obstructing the mechanism from triggering the pilot light. Turn off your gas, see if anything looks out of place. If everything looks alright, move onto the next possibility.
3. Dirt On Your Thermocouple
Since it’s right in the way of your pilot light flame, burns and soot could have collected your rod since you installed it. The ability for it to measure the temperature could be affected, keeping the gas valve closed.
With gas turned off, check out your thermocouple and see how it looks. If it’s dusty or grimy, rub it with fine grit sandpaper or a brush. Once it’s cleaned off, reset the whole system and try again.
Pilot Light Issues Are a Cheap Fix
Most issues with your pilot lighting can be fixed by savvy homeowners. But if the issues persist, you may have to contact an expert.
Be sure there are no drafts in the room where your tank is stored. Also, be sure no rodents or pests have made their home there. If you’re still struggling with your pilot flame any time of day, feel free to contact our 24-hour service!