When you have a hot water heater, it can provide you with the ability to enjoy a hot shower, get clean laundry, make sure dishes are clean, and complete several other tasks. However, when your hot water heater is not producing the necessary heat, then you may have to reignite the pilot light. If this is the case, after it is relit, you will then be able to enjoy the comforts of hot water.
What Is the Pilot Light?
Every gas water heater has a pilot light consisting of a gas flame used to ignite your water heater’s burner. Basically speaking, when the pilot light is out, then you have no hot water to enjoy. A pilot light that goes out may be caused by many things. In fact, it could be caused by a small air bubble. It is important to understand that if gas is smelled at any point, you need to evacuate and get in touch with the gas company to temporarily turn your gas off.
Location of the Pilot Light
The pilot light for your water heater will normally be located on the exterior of the water tank. It will normally have a pipe sticking into the tank from the exterior. This pipe is for the gas. The pilot light will be located near the gas pipe area leading into the tank. You will recognize the pilot light because it will have a knob or other type of valve that opens to allow the flow of gas. It should be red in color and within a box that is connected to the water tank. A flame that will light your pilot will likely be visible or exposed as soon as the door cover for the pilot light is opened.
The Meaning Behind a Plot Light Going Out
When you have a pilot light for your water heater, it will allow your water to be heated. When the pilot is out, the ability to heat the water will be nonexistent, and your home will be out of hot water. You are able to reignite the pilot yourself; however, it’s always best to get the advice and help of a professional any time one of your main home systems is involved. It is also nice to know that just because the pilot is out, it does not mean you have a serious problem in your plumbing. In reality, the main cause for a pilot light to go out is due to gas pressure changing, which can cause the light to go out.
Reasons for the Pilot Light Going Out
Other reasons why your pilot light may be going out could include problems with the thermocouple and having no combustible air.
Problems With The thermocouple
Your gas water heater has a thermocouple that recognizes when the pilot is lit. The thermocouple’s tip will be above the flame, which will produce the necessary volt that maintains an open valve for the gas. When the light is out, the thermocouple cuts off the supply of gas.
As times goes by, there may be an issue with the thermocouple and a malfunction or damage may occur. If anything happens, the thermocouple may have a difficult time recognizing if your pilot light is lit, so it could shut off the gas.
No Combustible Air
Besides the thermocouple, your pilot light may be going out due to no combustible air being present. Air is needed in order for your pilot light to remain lit. If not, then the flame will be extinguished. You should ensure that a good amount of air flow is available and that there is nothing obstructing the flow. The best way to achieve this is to maintain a clean area around the water heater.
Is It Necessary to Reignite the Pilot Light?
Every water heater that uses gas will have a pilot light. Because of this, you will not see one for an electric water heater tank. Also, your gas water heater tank may include a pilot light that is automatic. This will not require you to light the pilot light. Sometimes a gas water heater will be sealed, and the burner is inaccessible. If your pilot light cannot be accessed, then a professional from Beach Plumbing Services will need to be contacted. It is not safe to remove a burner seal to access the pilot light. But when you have a manual pilot light, then go ahead and light it again.
How to Reignite Your Gas Pilot Light
While the best policy is always to call a professional to help you reignite your water heater pilot light, there are some steps that you can take to do it yourself:
- Make sure the gas is off by closing the heater’s gas valve shut. You will see the valve clearly marked. After you have closed the gas, wait a few minutes to ensure no gas is present.
- Locate the access point for the pilot light. This is usually below the valve for the gas.
- Access the pilot cover, and locate the heater’s burner and gas tubes.
- Now turn the gas knob to the pilot position. This will allow gas to begin flowing towards your pilot. Sometimes a pilot button will be present, and, if so, then that can be pushed.
- With the gas flowing, you can now use a lighter to access and light the pilot.
- After the pilot is lit, keep the pilot knob pressed for a minute. Then, let go of the knob and ensure the pilot remains lit.
- With the pilot lit, turn the valve to the on position. You should then hear an igniting sound that will indicate that the main burner is lit.
- Now you can return the cover for the access and double check that you have hot water once some time has passed.
Will Anything Happen If My Pilot Light Needs Reigniting Repetitively?
When your gas pilot light needs reigniting repetitively, then another problem may be present. Oftentimes, if a bigger problem exists, it will involve the thermocouple. The thermocouple may end up being broken or bent and will need replacement. It is important to remember that your hot water heater will last for no more than 15 years. If your water heater is old, then you may be better off with replacing it instead of bothering with a new part.
Are Thermocouples Easily to Replace
Having experience with a gas water heater makes it easy to replace the thermocouple. In order to do it, you need to know how to access the pilot light, turn the gas off, and have the entire assembly taken out. However, when you have no clue what to do, then you should be in touch with a professional plumber. The plumber will conduct an inspection, determine the issues, and make a determination about what steps to take next.
Get In Touch With Beach Plumbing Services Today!
When you are having issues with your gas water heater, you shouldn’t take any chances. That is why we will come to your Cypress, CA home and conduct a thorough inspection of why your pilot light has gone out. Once corrected, we will reignite the pilot light and get you back to enjoying hot water again. Our team at Beach Plumbing Services offers other plumbing services as well, including drain cleaning, water line replacements, and sewer inspections. Give us a call to keep your water flowing!