A water heater is an important appliance for a household. The use of hot water increases because of cold. Shower, dishwashing, and routine work have the most significant use of hot water. That’s why winters seem impossible without it. Thanks to the technology now you can find a variety of water heaters in the market and you can choose the one that fits your budget. Since you are buying a new water heater make sure it comes with a warranty and has a technical manual in the box. If you own a water heater and live in a cold and windy place, then you ought to learn how to stop the wind from blowing out the pilot light on the water heater.
You might face the issue of the water heater pilot light keeps going out. This problem can take a serious turn if your water is controlled from the outside because you have to go out in cold to light it up. However, the blowing-off process isn’t natural for a water heater and it is possible that the heater is having a technical fault that you may or may not be aware of. So, it is better to call an expert to take a look at it. You can also you the guidelines below to diagnose your heater yourself and fix it if possible.
Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps Going Out: The 4 Main Causes
Check the thermocouple:
If the water heater pilot light keeps going out when windy, then the thermocouple might be responsible for that. It is the flame sensor and maintaining the flame is its responsibility. Due to excessive use, the thermocouple can be dirty, broken, or misaligned. When it senses the absence of flame it immediately shuts off the gas supply in the gas water heater. It wouldn’t be wrong to call it the safety device of the heater. Shutting off the gas might be annoying but the whole system is designed to ensure your safety. Because not everyone has outdoor space to install the heaters. If the supply isn’t shut off, then it can spread and cause serious damage to the health of people.
A faulty thermocouple doesn’t see the flame and cut off the gas supply. Before you blame the thermocouple, take a look at it if it is dirty because it can affect its working efficiency. You can simply clean the thermocouple and your flame will turn on again. The pipe of the thermocouple is of copper colour, so make sure it is cleaned properly before you try to turn it on. It is also a possibility that you have to replace the thermocouple if it’s completely broken. Just buy a device of a similar model and replace it. Remember to shut off the gas supply before attempting the replacement.
Watch out for downdraft:
The second big reason behind your pilot light on water heater keeps going out is the downdraft. The downdraft is the upward or the downward air current. This issue is directly related to the ventilation system and if you have verified that your pilot is clean, then it is time you test your ventilation system. Checking the functionality of the ventilation is quite easy, you just have to place your hand on the ventilation pipe and see if you feel cool air running toward you. Be careful, because the exhaust pipe is located nearby so don’t burn your hand mistakenly. If you feel a cold air current, then it means your ventilation system is working properly. If you feel some slow and warm airflow it means, there’s something wrong with the ventilation system. It is probably throwing the warm air into the chamber due to some blockage. Now that you have identified the issue clear the blockage and your heater will return back to normal. This particular scenario was in the case when ventilation is installed separately from the chimney. If it is combined, then you might have to climb up and deal with the blockage and if you don’t feel comfortable with the idea, it would be better to hire a professional.
Malfunctioning of gas release or heating element
A water heater has numerous small parts that can cause issues without your knowledge. First of all, it is important to verify if there’s an appropriate gas supply available for the hot water heater pilot to turn on. The water heater pilot turns on after receiving a spark from the heating element. If the pilot doesn’t turn on, then check out the heating element if it is performing its task. The spark can be seen clearly when you push the button and if you don’t see the spark, then check if the electric supply is connected. If that doesn’t work either, then it would be good if you consult a technician for that.
Another reason why your pilot turns off is probably the gas supply if the gas water heater doesn’t have a regular supply of gas or has a leak in the pipe or some push-button is broken, then there’s a chance that you won’t be able to light a water heater pilot. In this case, it is important to track down the supply issue and fix it. However, fixing such an issue might not be an easy task and you might have to consider hiring an expert for the task.
The firebox isn’t covering the fire properly
Installing a firebox to cover and protect the fire is a common practice, especially when the water heater is installed in the basement or in a place that can come directly in contact with air. The firebox protects the pilot fire so it can stay on and do what it is meant to do. There are two kinds of issues that you might face with the firebox. The first is an improper installation of the firebox, and the second is if your firebox has holes in it. In both conditions, it is not going to protect the fire properly and you might experience your pilot light on the water heater out more frequently. The easiest way to deal with such a situation is to learn how to install a firebox properly and fill up all the holes in the firebox.
You can use the furnace sealant for this purpose. It can be found easily in the market and make sure you read the instruction before use. If you find difficulty while fixing the system for the pilot, you can learn a few tricks online as well. Since you are planning to work around the firebox, it is important that you take the necessary safety measures. Another important thing is to keep your children away from you while you are working.
The water heater pilot light going out issues are quite common and from every ten people probably one is suffering from these issues. However, the smaller problems can take a serious shape when someone approaches the water heater without proper knowledge. It is an expensive appliance that can be damaged if mishandled. If your appliance is in warranty, then it is more appropriate to contact the helpline rather than attempting something personally because if you touch something wrong the warranty can be damaged easily and you may not get your free repair. For good practice, it is a good thing to maintain a repair log because it can help you diagnose and fix problems if they reoccur in the future. The professionals use a similar approach because keeping a record of everything in mind is almost impossible.