Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 kstreett 240
2 Guest_9020487 110
3 Guest_9190926 105
4 GoldenKid 100
5 ahowell 95
6 KnowledgeBase 95
7 skbloom 80
8 Guest_98024861 70
9 Guest_9311297 70
10 Guest_9400529 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 8/2/2013

Pilot on water heater goes out after it heats water and flame is turned off it blows out the pilot

I can light my pilot light and it will stay on and then it will turn on the burner. Once the burner is done heating the water it turns off but also turns off the pilot every time. So the pilot has no problem staying on but something is turning off the pilot when it is done heating.

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

1 Answer


1) My guess is the thermocouple (silvery tube about 3/16" diameter and 2" long that sticks up into the pilot flame, with a copper or shiny metal tube leading back to the gas control valve unit. If the thermocouple is not kept hot by the pilot light, it shuts of the gas flow as a safetuy measure so gas cannot build in the house from an unlit pilot light to ignite the flame. My first guess is it is too old (should be replaced annually at annual cleaning), or it may be corroded or not sticking in the pilot flame like it should - about 1/4 of length at the tip should be in the pilot flame, so it stays hot. It is held in place by spring fingers in the screw-in holder - can be slid up and down, though may require removing it to do so.

2) If the pilot flame is not blue but is yellow or flickering severely, it may not be keeping the thermocouple hot enough, so when the draft changes as the gas burner goes off, the thermocouple cools enough to shut off the gas. If there is rust against it brush that away while the flame is off - may be blocking pilot flame.

3) Another possibility, though remote since it stays lit by itself OK, is it is making bad contact at the gas control valve - it screws into the gas control valve unit (make sure you are on the small thermocouple line, not the larger pilot light gas tube) - gently (do NOT pull hard on it) check with a wrench to ensure it is seated all the way in its hole, so the end is touching bottom.

here is a article on adjusting the pilot and thermocouple -

You can find others with more pictures by googling - thermocouple flame adjustment

4) It is remotely possible there is a problem in the gas valve, but that is the last place to look- about $250-350 to replace, and generally cannot be repaired - only replaced.

If you have not solved the issue that way, call a plumber - probably about $10-20 parts and minimum service call charge - about $80-150. If it has not been cleaned recently, ask for that too - little additional charge if any, because the minimum service charge (1/2 hour call rate) will probably cover that. If your furnace has not beed cleaned and thermocouple changed in the last year or so I would get that done at the same time if you can, to save on service call charges.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD

Related Questions

Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy