Plumbing, Heating and Pool Repair Guides

Water heater pilot light won’t stay lit


When one is intending to light the pilot light on the apex of the water heater and it does not lit, you might require cleansing the pilot light. If one does not do so, you might experience a bad thermocouple. The thermocouple, which works in union along the pilot light analyses that if the pilot light is adequately warm to let gas flow. If the thermocouple is defective, it will not be able to determine the accurate temperature from the particular pilot and completely cut off the supply of gas. If gas is not passing to the pilot flight, the light will turn off.  In few cases, you can repair the water heater pilot light by following the below mentioned steps, before calling the repairman:

  • The first and foremost step to repair the water heater pilot light is to pull off the cover to the pilot light area, which is under the gas valve. Then you need to pull off the screws by using a Phillips-head screwdriver. Then switch-off the gas valve and use a flash light to examine the surrounding areas of the pilot light. If in any case, you find a soot buildup, you must cleanse it with the help of a stiff brush. If the buildup is near the pilot light, it indicates that it is stifled.
  • The second step is to seek for drafts like vents, open windows, fans etc which can blow out the pilot light. Hence, you must close the vents and adjoining windows to restrict the flow of air in the plot light directly.
  • The third important step is to find out if the link of the water heater thermostat gas valve to the thermocouple is firm or not. The copper piece passing to the burners via the gas valve below the hot water heater is the thermocouple. Use a wrench to tighten the connection of the thermostat. Then switch the pilot light on and spin the gas valve to the original pilot position. If it still stays lit, it is obvious that the connection was the main problem. You might need to examine the thermocouple if the pilot is not lit anymore.
  • Then use a wrench to cut off the thermostat gas from the thermocouple. Use a red lead of the multimeter to the copper area of the thermocouple after that try the black lead to the finish of the thermocouple which is silver. Examine the voltage reading carefully after you have lit the pilot light. You should replace a thermocouple if you do not have 12 millivolts reading.
  • Switch off the maim gas valve along with the thermostat which is passing the water heater. Then you need to loosen the thermocouple easily and conveniently from the pilot assembly completely.
  • Then finally put the braided side of the thermocouple inside the clip which is in the assembly of the pilot, and adjoin the silver part of gas valve of the thermostat. Use a wrench to tighten the screw of the thermocouple turning off the supply of gas. Now if you attempt to lit it, it will. If still it does not, call a fireman immediately.


Water heater pilot light won’t stay lit after replacing thermocouple

In few cases it has been seen that cool air comes out of the vent even when the heat is on. It may be that the pilot light is not on. On changing the thermocouple it may work for a short duration. But in the long run, the problem will again occur. It may be that the thermocouple applied is faulty and hence it is not working properly. When the thermocouple does not work properly, it raises a number of safety issues.

GE water heater pilot light won’t stay lit

GE Company manufactures some of the best water heaters. In few cases, even the GE water heater pilot light won’t stay lit. For such situations, the thermocouple authenticity should be checked. It is highly advised to cleanse the pilot orifice whenever such situations are faced.

GE Water Heater Picture

Bradford-white water heater pilot light won’t stay lit is one of the famous of its kind.

Water Heater Pilot Light Won’t Stay Lit Video

To know how to replace a broken thermo couple, please refer to the following video:


  1. Water Heater Pilot Light was the one that I issues with in my basement for a long time. Thank you for sharing the solution for the most common problem that you’ve encounter for both tank and tankless water heater.

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