Winters get very cold in Granite City, IL, which means you know quickly when the pilot light on your conventional water heater goes out. If the pilot light on your gas water heater is going out regularly, that is a problem that you can’t afford to ignore. The first step to fixing that problem is determining the root cause. The following are common causes.
Air Flow Problems
Your water heater may be located in a place where strong drafts of air can blow out the pilot light when it is windy outside. If seals on windows or doors are insufficient or cracks in your walls are letting in air, this can be blowing out the light.
Dirty Pilot Orifice
The pilot orifice is the part where the flame emerges. Over time, this orifice collects dirt, dust, debris, and ash. When it gets dirty, your pilot light will turn yellow, instead of its proper blue color. This is a clear sign that the pilot orifice is dirty.
Problem with the Thermocouple
The thermocouple is a safety valve that turns off the gas when the pilot light goes out. When it is malfunctioning, it may turn off the gas even when the pilot light is present, resulting in the pilot light going out. The thermocouple can become faulty due to damage, being dirty, or even being improperly installed. A faulty thermocouple is one of the most common reasons that pilot lights go out in water heaters and should be repaired, preferably by a professional, as soon as possible.
Problem with the Gas Regulator
The gas regulator is located in the gas meter outside your home. When it malfunctions, for any reason, it can send insufficient gas to your home to keep the pilot light burning. Because the gas regulator belongs to the gas company, you will need to contact your gas company in order to get this repaired.
Low Natural Gas Availability
During colder months, there is a higher demand for natural gas. But the pipes running to your neighborhood can only bring a limited amount of gas per second. As resources get strained, your home may experiences gas brownouts or blackouts, resulting in the light going out. If this occurs, inform your gas company about the problem so it can increase capacity of nearby piping.