There are few things more frustrating than going to take a shower and only having cold water come from the showerhead. Not many people will grin and bear it and suffer through a cold shower, instead, most will head straight to the hot water heater to figure out what the problem is. While it is rare that a hot water heater will shut off without reason, if it continually happens then there is probably a problem that you will need to address. You can either try to fix the problem yourself or call for service, but it’s a good idea to know what’s going on before you reach out for help. Most people know to check the gas valve and make sure that it’s open and working the right way before they panic about something big being wrong, but if the valve is working fine you will need to look at some other problem areas.
Combustion Chamber Overheating
When the combustion chamber overheats your hot water heater will shut off to avoid any problems. The thermal sensor will trip at a high enough temperature to save the unit and your house from a fire. Most electric and gas machines have this sort of safety built into them to keep there from being a big issue down the road if the chamber doesn’t cool back down. This can be caused by a number of reasons, such as a clogged air intake.
Another thing to look for is a blocked vent to the outside of your house, especially in spring when birds are building nests. While a nest is rarer, it is still a possibility and something you want to look into before calling experts. If this is the case it is a simple matter of removing the nest and possibly installing some sort of grate over the vent so that the birds can’t come back and try to build again.
T Couple Failure
One last problem may be that your t couple has failed or is about to fail. This problem is one that you are unlikely to be able to fix yourself or possibly even diagnose, so if you get to this point it is wise to call an expert.
There are a number of reasons that your gas water heater keeps shutting off. You can continue to light the pilot to have access to hot water, but taking care of the issue is the only way to resolve it and make the unit 100% safe.