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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2

    Angry pilot light goes out

    My 12 year old hot water heater pilot light started going out about 2 to 3 times a week. Two different companies told me it was time to replace it, I agreed. Now I have a more energy efficient one. It was fine for about 2 months and now I am having the same problem. It is a propane hot water heater, does anyone know what the problem is? Is it the pipe, do I have dirt or sand in it? This is driving me nuts. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lakeland ,MN
    Posts
    356

    Default Re: pilot light goes out

    Could be numerous things. If you rent the tank from the propane tank company ask then to check the pressure regulator it could be failing. Is there a new draft near the tank a small amout of wind could blow it out. slaming a door in a small room could also be the cause. Just some things you might want to check

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: pilot light goes out

    Typically the most common problem is a bad thermocouple.

    A thermocouple sends a signal to the main gas control on the water heater telling it the pilot is on.
    If the thermocouple goes bad It will send a false signal and the pilot will go out.

    Other things that can contribute ...

    A strong draft can prevent he flame from not hitting the thermocouple correctly.

    Or....

    Condensation can sometimes drip on the pilot light and put it out.

    Or ...

    The new gas fired water heaters that have sealed chambers get the air to burn the gas properly from vents in the side of the tank or from the bottom of the tank.
    If these vents are not clear, the flame and pilot will starve for air and go out.
    Blocked air circulation can also cause increased temperature around the main burner which may activate the thermo cutoff (TCO) and open the auto reset.

    As for dirt or sand I would suspect this would likely plug the orifice for the burner and wouldn't light at all after it went out.

    There may be a supply problem from the tank .... regulator possibly.


    Just a guess.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: pilot light goes out

    Thanks for your quick response. This problem is driving me crazy. I will try what you both suggested. Thanks again

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: pilot light goes out

    Sorry for duplicating some of what Ravens53 posted .... I was slow typing

    As for the regulator .... that would need to be checked by a professional.



    Good luck and let us know how you make out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lakeland ,MN
    Posts
    356

    Default Re: pilot light goes out

    Thats ok Canuk between the both of us we covered it all. I didn't mention the thermo coupler because it was the same thing with both new and old heaters. But I've seen new appliances come with defective parts. Back draft is a good call. you might want to check the exhaust vent it could be clogged if it is a high Efficient model.
    Harry

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: pilot light goes out

    Also.....make sure the little screen on the bottom of the pressure regulator isn't clogged.

    Where is this WH located? Where does it get its combustion air supply? It isn't in a sealed up room or closet, is it? If so, you might be suffering from flame roll-out due to negative pressure in the room. Flame roll-out would cause the unit to shut down almost immediately upon ignition.

    You might have dirt in the supply line that is now partially blocking the pilot orifice. Is the pilot currently smaller than when it was installed? If so, that coupled with a little bit of backdraft could blow it out.

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