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When Your Pilot Light on the Gas Hot Water Heater Goes Out

 

It can be frustrating to find out that the pilot light on your gas hot water tank is out.  Discovering that it has gone out often occurs at the most inconvenient times, like standing in your shower waiting for the hot water or trying to fill your sink to wash dishes.  Determining the reason why there’s no hot water can be a bit of trial and error since there can be several reasons for this problem.

Before moving on to more technical issues, lets begin with the basics.  Has there been an interruption in your gas supply?  Has there been any work done to any of the gas lines in your home?  What about any utility work in your neighborhood where the main gas line was turned off?  Even a brief interruption to your homes’ gas supply can cause the pilot light to go out.  Try relighting to see if that solves the problem.

If the pilot light won’t stay lit when there is a problem with the thermocouple.  What’s that, you ask? The thermocouple is a safety device that uses an electrical current powered by the pilot’s heat to determine if there is an unlit pilot.  If so, it turns off the gas supply to the pilot light.  A dirty, curved or damaged thermocouple can prevent your pilot from staying lit.  After turning off the gas, use a piece of sandpaper to clean the thermocouple.  If curved or bent, straighten it back to its original position.  If the thermocouple is damaged it will need to be replaced.  An experienced DIYer can do this, otherwise call your local plumber to handle it for you.

A few other reasons could be a dirty pilot tube, flex tube or main control valve.  If you’re wondering which of these issues is causing the problem, your best contact is your local plumber.  Whichever of these problems might be the issue, getting it resolved quickly is vital for everyone.

Have more questions? Call us – we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!