pilot light

Why the Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps Going Out

If the water heater pilot light keeps going out you are probably very frustrated.

Since most of us do not have a full understanding of how our water heater works, we can seemingly do little more than ask ourselves, why does my pilot light keep going out?

Oftentimes the quickest, easiest and most reliable way to both find (and fix) the problem is to call a qualified service technician to diagnose the problem and repair it. However, if you are dead set on doing the job yourself, here are a few friendly pieces of advice to get you started.

The first and most likely reason why you water heater pilot light keeps going out is because of a broken or misplaced thermocouple. You may be asking yourself, what the heck is a thermocouple? Well, a thermocouple is a piece of wire that is placed near the flame of your pilot light. I won’t get into all of the technical explanations about exactly how it works but basically it detects the presence of a lit pilot light and adjusts the fuel supply accordingly. If this piece is not working properly or has somehow been moved, your pilot light will not function properly.

Another common problem that people run into is a downdraft from the air vent on your roof. Your water heater needs a supply of fresh air in order to maintain a proper flame. However, if the cover to the air vent is rusted or otherwise compromised, a downdraft can form that can be strong enough to blow out your pilot light.

In order to fix this problem you will need to access the air vent on your roof. If you are not comfortable on your roof, or if you have no intention of replacing an air vent on your own, (keep in mind that there are building codes for all air vents into a home) call a professional to do the job right.