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Water Heater Pilot Keeps Going Out

The Air Filter And Flame Arrestor Are Clogged


All AO Smith gas water heaters have an air filter and a flame arrestor. The specific type of air filter and the structure or alignment of the flame arrestor depends on the model. For instance, an AO Smith water heater with a round base doesnt have the same air filter as a model with feet.

Regardless of the differences among models, a dirty air filter and clogged flame arrestor prevent sufficient airflow to the combustion chamber of an AO Smith gas water heater. This problem can shut the burner prematurely, or the pilot light can go out due to a lack of oxygen.

Hot Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps Going Out

It can be both mind-boggling and infuriating when your pilot light on your hot water heater wont stay lit, and the fix may seem daunting if you dont know what you are looking for. These six reasons should cover why your pilot light keeps going out and the best way to fix it helping you get hot water once again flowing through your taps as soon as possible. Once you know the cause or causes of your pilot light failure you can prevent future problems by knowing what to look out for.

How Do I Turn The Pilot Light Back On

You can, in fact, attempt to relight the pilot flame if it has gone out. To do so, follow the steps below:

  • Find the gas knob and switch it to the off setting.
  • Wait a few minutes for the gas to dissipate.
  • Turn the knob to Pilot to start the gas by turning and press the knob down.
  • While holding the knob down, light the pilot flame with a long lighter or a gas igniting button if there is one included in your hot water heater configuration.
  • Once ignited, change the gas knob to the On position and listen for the main burner to turn on.
  • If you cannot relight the pilot flame, then the issue may lie with your thermocouple. In any case, if you are unsuccessful it is best to call the professionals at Australian Hot Water to take a look and recommend a solution. Call us today if you cant work it out.

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    The Thermocouple Or Thermopile Isnt Working

    If the air filter is clean and the flame arrestor isnt clogged, the next suspect should be the thermocouple or thermopile. Both serve the same purpose, and heres how to distinguish them:

    • A mechanical AO Smith water heater has a thermocouple.
    • An electronic AO Smith water heater has a thermopile.

    If the thermocouple or thermopile isnt working, it wont open the gas valve in the main control unit. A thermocouple or thermopile generates electrical energy when it gets heated by the pilot light. The gas valve wont open if the electrical current isnt generated or the voltage is too low.

    You can test this voltage with a multimeter. Heres what you need to do:

  • Get someone to help because youll need more than a pair of hands.
  • Remove the thermocouple or thermopile from the main control unit.
  • Ignite the pilot light and keep holding the knob down to allow gas flow.
  • Set the multimeter to millivolts and inspect the sensor with the probes.
  • Place one multimeter probe at the end of the thermocouple or thermopile.
  • Place the other probe on the thermocouple or thermopiles copper wire.
  • A good thermocouple should read 10 to 30 millivolts on the multimeter. Any reading below 10 millivolts means the thermocouple isnt working.
  • A working thermopile must have a reading of 350 millivolts or higher. Any reading below 350 millivolts implies the thermopile is broken.
  • Lack Of Combustible Air

    Hot Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps Going Out

    Another reason your gas water heater pilot light wont stay lit could be due to not having enough combustible air. Your water heater requires air to keep the pilot light burning. Otherwise, the flame goes out. Ensure that the water heater is not surrounded by clutter, lint, or debris to increase the amount of combustible air. Keep the surrounding area as clean as possible.

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    How Do I Reignite The Pilot Light

    Every water heater arrives accompanied by a user manual. Before you decide to reignite the pilot light on your own, take all the necessary safety precautions after all, youll be dealing with gas, and thats always risky.

    Turn on the heat mode on the thermostat and keep it going by getting it up to around 80 degrees. Once youve done that, take a look around your furnace and search for the pilot light. And once you find it, turn off the on/off knob next to it.

    In most cases, the pilot light will be right next to the gas burner tube. Take a long lighter or a match and carefully ignite the flame while switching the knob to pilot. Hold the knob in this position for around half a minute, and then turn it back to on once the pilot light comes on.

    If the process I described above fails to work in your case, simply repeat it, but this time, hold the knob in the pilot position for a full minute. Youll be doing this in order to allow the thermocouple, which Ive mentioned a couple of paragraphs above, to get sufficiently hot and allow the pilot light to turn on.

    This process is also known as thermocouple jump-starting. If nothing happens even after youve repeated this process at least five times, youll have to take advantage of your warranty or hire a technician.

    Why Does My Pilot Light Go Out When I Release The Pilot Light Knob

    When you release the pilot light knob, the thermocouple has to register that it is hot enough for the gas to be burning safely in order for the main valve to stay open, otherwise, it will shut the main valve to protect you from dangerous levels of gas.

    If the thermocouple doesnt register that it is hot enough the gas cant remain on and the pilot light will go out. The most common cause of this is a weak pilot light flame or a bunch of dirt and dust blocking the end of the thermocouple.

    To check if this is causing your issue you can attempt to clean the thermocouple or try increasing the size of the pilot flame. If this doesnt work, you may need to replace either the thermocouple or the pilot light assembly.

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    What Causes A Pilot Light Not To Stay Lit

    There are several possible causes of a pilot light not staying lit, including:

    1. Not Enough Gas Pressure: Pilot lights require a certain level of gas pressure in order to remain lit. If the gas pressure is too low, the flame wont stay lit. This can happen due to a blockage in the fuel line, or the gas pressure regulator might need to be adjusted.

    2. Pilot Light Tube Obstruction: The pilot light tube can become blocked with soot or dirt, preventing the flame from igniting or staying lit. This can happen over time, and the solution is to clean out the tube and make sure its free of soot or other substances.

    3. Dirty Pilot Orifice: The pilot orifice is a tiny brass nozzle found inside the pilot assembly. If this nozzle becomes dirty, it can prevent the pilot light flame from igniting or staying lit. The solution is to clean the pilot orifice with a wire brush.

    4. Faulty Thermocouple: The thermocouple is a safety device that senses the presence of the pilot light flame. If the thermocouple is faulty, it wont detect the flame and wont allow the pilot light to stay lit.

    A faulty thermocouple will need to be replaced.

    5. Faulty Gas Valve: The gas valve is responsible for supplying gas to the pilot light. If the gas valve is faulty, it could prevent the pilot light from staying lit. This can be difficult to diagnose and will require a professional to replace the faulty part.

    What Would Cause A Pilot Light To Keep Going Out

    Water Heater Pilot Keeps Going out – CLEAN THE FILTER GRATE! Most common issue!

    There are a few reasons that a pilot light might keep going out. One reason is that there is a draft coming from somewhere that is blowing the pilot light out. Another reason could be that the gas valve is not turned on all the way, so not enough gas is getting to the pilot light. Finally, the pilot light itself could be dirty, which would cause it to go out more easily.

    See also: Big Buddy Heater Fuel Consumption

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    Heres What To Do About It

  • Start by turning off the gas that feeds your water heater. The location for this will be different on every unit, so read your manual if youre not sure.
  • Next, use a wrench to remove the thermocouple line. After that, take off the gas line and also the line that the pilot light uses. Your thermocouple will usually be a left-hand thread, whereas the main gas line could be a right-hand thread. Your pilot light tube will also typically be a right-hand thread but will vary based on the water heater model you have. One thing to note is that some systems have a protective cover over their burner compartments. If yours does as well, then youll likely need to remove the cover to be able to work on the unit.
  • Next, you can remove the thermocouple from the burner itself. You typically wont need any tools to do this. But the thermocouple may be connected to the pilot tube with clips. If so, you may need to remove those clips in order to remove the thermocouple.
  • If you discover a dirty thermocouple, then you can use sandpaper to scrub off any grime. If the thermocouple is kinked, then you may need to manually straighten it back into the standard position.
  • Once youve taken care of this, you can reassemble the burner and thermocouple, doing the opposite of what you just did. Make sure that you dont cross any threads and that you secure all three of the fittings as tightly as you can.
  • Reasons Why Your Water Heaters Pilot Light Go Out

    One of the pervasive and most occurring problems that can take place in some of the old water heaters, is their pilot flame light that keeps going out after a short time. When this starts to happen all of a sudden, your burner wont begin to ignite on its own, and the water at your home will be cold.

    Here we will look at some of the widespread reasons why the heaters pilot light at your home might go out and what can be done to avoid it. Some of the principal reasons which the light of the water heater goes out include:

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    Water Heater Pilot Light Issues:

    Lets start by explaining the water heater pilot light so you can better understand how it functions. A pilot light is a small flame present to ignite the gas burner on your water heater. A functioning pilot light should appear blue in color, which can help you determine whether or not your pilot light is working.

    What Happens When A Thermocouple Goes Out

    Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps Going Out Not Thermocouple

    When a thermocouple goes out, the temperature being measured can no longer be accurately monitored. This can cause many issues, especially in situations where temperature control is vital. For example, in industrial applications, this could mean that important processes could be compromised or ruined due to incorrect temperatures.

    In daily applications, like hot water heaters, it could mean that the water temperature is not regulated correctly, leading to hot water that is either too hot or too cold.

    When a thermocouple goes out, it is important to address the issue quickly. Depending on what type of thermocouple is being used, they can either be replaced or repaired. If the thermocouple is being directly heatedsuch as with a hot water heaterthen it is likely just a simple replacement.

    However, if the thermocouple is being used to measure temperatures from something else, then it may need to be repaired. Many parts of a thermocouple can be replaced, such as the thermocouple head and body, thermocouple cable, thermowell, and more.

    Additionally, many thermocouples used in industrial applications can be recalibrated or recalculated, so that they are able to accurately measure temperatures.

    In some cases, a new thermocouple may be needed. In these situations, its important to make sure that the new thermocouple is compatible with the existing system, and that it is also able to measure temperatures accurately.

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    How To Fix Pilot Light Problem

    Now you are familiar with the actual causes, lets get facilitated with the fixes as well so that you are able to perform this work at home. In the future, whenever you are going to light a pilot light, you can follow the below-mentioned steps.

    • Get your hands on the shut-off knob of the gas and shut it off. Now, wait for the next few minutes till it completely stops releasing gas.
    • In order to reach the burner, you have to pull out the access panel.
    • Now you have to begin the gas flow by turning the knob to the pilot setting. Press and hold it down.
    • Keep pressing the knob and with another hand, turn on the pilot light.
    • Once you are done, you can turn the knob of gas to the on setting and now wait until you listen to a voice that indicates the burner is on. It is how you can turn on a water heater.

    If the issue couldnt be fixed with these steps, check for the above-mentioned causes and try to fix them as mentioned.

    Why Your Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps Going Out Easy Fix

    Are you tired of experiencing your water heater pilot light keeps going out?

    It is one of the most frustrating situations especially in winter because then you are left with lukewarm or cold water. Have you ever wondered why did it happen or how you can get away with this issue?

    Sometimes the reason is simply that we can easily fix it at home if we are aware of the right procedure. In this guide, we will explain the actual cause of this problem and how you can fix it. Lets get started.

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    My Pilot Light Wont Light On Water Heater What Now

    Need advice on what to do when water heater pilot light wont light or when your pilot light keeps going out on your gas water heater? This doesnt always signal the need water heater repair or replacement in Arlington TX. When the pilot light goes out, you should know how to light a gas water heater pilot light.

    Your first step is obvious: to try to re-light the water heater pilot light. First things first, try to light it again before assuming there is a major problem. The below video will demonstrate how to light your water heater pilot light.

    So What Are The Reasons Your Waterpilot Light Keeps Going Out

    Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps Going Out – Honeywell Controller Problems. Easy Fix!

    Not only will we name the possible problems,but well also give you their solutions.

    Pleasenote: Check if your water heater is still underwarranty. If it is, return it to the supplier/manufacturer for repairs or totalreplacement.

    Safetyprecaution: First, turn off the main gas supply valveto prevent deadly leaks. Wait for 5 minutes for the heat and gas to disperse.

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    The Thermal Cutoff Switch Is Tripped Or Broken

    A thermal cutoff switch is one of the safety features in AO Smith water heaters. The switch wont complete the electrical circuit if it is tripped or broken, even if the pilot light is on and the thermocouple or thermopile is alright.

    If the switch keeps the circuit open, the thermocouple or thermopile wont be able to activate the gas valve. This means that the burner wont come on, and the pilot light will go off.

    A thermal cutoff switch trips when the temperature inside the combustion chamber exceeds the maximum threshold. So, this fault is essentially a symptom. Your AO Smith water heater may be starved of oxygen or airflow or overheating for other reasons.

    How To Determine If You Have Gas Hot Water Heater Thermocouple Issues

    A thermocouple is a function on your water heater that senses the heat on the pilot light and allows gas to flow to the burner. A bad thermocouple will shut off gas to both the pilot and the burner, which is when people notice that the water heater pilot light is out.

    Your water heater pilot light works in concert with other parts. When your thermocouple detects an unlit pilot, it automatically shuts off the gas to your water heater as a safety precaution.

    If you determine that your thermocouple is indeed broken that means there arent any signs of being bent or dirty then its most likely that your device is broken. To fix this issue, you will need to replace the device or have it professionally repaired. This is a good place to clear up some confusion.

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    How Do You Clean A Thermocouple On A Gas Heater

    Cleaning a thermocouple on a gas heater is an important safety measure. Depending on the type of gas heater you have, the steps to clean a thermocouple may vary somewhat. Generally, however, you will need to turn off the gas before starting any maintenance.

    Once the gas is shut down, you will need to locate and remove the thermocouple from the heater. Sometimes a nut and/or a small clip will need to be removed in order to free the thermocouple. Using a soft cloth and an approved corrosive cleaning solution, you should clean the thermocouple to remove any dirt or debris.

    Once the thermocouple is completely clean, you should lightly sand the parts that connect to the gas valve. This will help create a stronger connection and ensure that the thermocouple operates properly.

    It is important to note that you should not over-tighten any screws when reinserting the thermocouple, as this can damage the thermocouple and cause it to malfunction. You should also check the thermocouple for any signs of wear or damage prior to reinstalling it.

    After reinstalling the thermocouple and ensuring that the gas is reconnected properly, it is wise to test the heater to make sure that the thermocouple is working properly. If all steps have been followed, then your thermocouple should be good to go.

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