There is nothing frustrating than a water heater that turns off every time you try to run a hot shower or bath. If your water heater pilot won’t stay lit, it is necessary to have it checked and fixed immediately otherwise you won’t be able to have hot water. There are several reasons as to why a water heater pilot light fails to light or just goes out.
More often if a water heater fails to ignite it is mostly due to problems with the pilot light. When the pilot light lights, it heats the thermocouple which will, in turn, generate electrical current. However, if the pilot light goes out, the thermocouple will cool failing to ignite the water heater. Here are reasons why your pilot light on the water heater keeps going out.
1. Dirty Thermocouple
In case your pilot light can light however the water heater pilot keeps turning off, it could be because of a dirty thermocouple. When you notice your water heater pilot is not lighting check the thermocouple to see if it is dirty. And if it is dirty, clean it gently using a fine sandpaper. Do this when the gas has been turned off and after the thermocouple has cooled. Turn the gas back on after you are done and try lighting the pilot light again.
2. Bent or Damaged Thermocouple
Sometimes when a water heater pilot won’t stay lit it is because there is a problem with the thermocouple. A bent thermocouple prevents the pilot light from sufficiently heating it as it is far. This will, in turn, cause the thermocouple to shut down the gas supply and as a result, the light won’t be lit. Ensure the thermocouple is close to the pilot light.
Also, a damaged thermocouple can cause the pilot light not to light since it also shuts down the gas supply which is necessary for the pilot light to light. If you notice your thermocouple is the problem consider repairing it or replacing it.
3. Dirty or Clogged Pilot Tube
Sometimes the pilot light won’t light up because the tube conveying gas is either clogged or dirty. When the pilot tube has cooled down, use a needle to undo any blockages.
4. Gas Supply
If your pilot light is gas-based, there must be sufficient gas flow for it to stay lit. Not having enough gas in the tank can make the pilot light go out. Also, make sure that all the gas valves to the pilot are open to ensure gas is flowing as it should be.