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Question DetailsAsked on 11/10/2014

water heater pilot won't go one. Who is best to fix?

Who is best to fix a water heater with a pilot light that won't stay on?

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2 Answers


I'd check with your gas supplier first, if they don't do it, they can likely refer a Plumber that does.


Answered 5 years ago by BayAreaAC


I presume other gas appliances in your home work - gas fireplace, stove, dryer, furnace, etc - so you know it is not lack of gas to the house.

Gas control valves on water heaters almost always last far longer than the appliance, so this issue is almost always due to the thermocouple (pilot flame detector) either having been bumped down so the tip half or so is not in the flame, being buried in rust, or just plain quit. Also, since you say won't STAY lit, presumably the pilot flame is lighting and looks OK. Not tough to change thermocouple yourself if mechanical/plumbing handy, or Plumber (your Search the List category) can do it for typically just the standard trip charge of $75-150 range usually, depending on area - though higher in a few very high cost urban areas, plus $10-20 for the thermocouple.

What the thermocouple does is provide a signal to the gas control valve that it is OK to turn the gas on - but only if the tip is in the pilot flame and hot.

When lighting pilot, I presume you know that you have to hold down the pilot start button for 30-60 seconds till the thermocouple tip comes up to full temperature - otherwise it thinks the pilot has blown out and shuts off the gas to the pilot, so it will light but not stay lit.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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