Why Does My Pilot Light Keep Going Out?

If your pilot light keeps going out, and you keep re-lighting it, and it keeps going out, you may have a bigger problem. The most common reason is a damaged, bent or dirty thermocouple.

What is a thermocouple you ask? Simply put, it is a device that measures temperature. More importantly it is the device that regulates the gas flow inside your water heater or furnace. It has two wires. One sits hear the thermostat and the other sits by the pilot light flame. If the temperature goes up the thermocouple sends and electric signal that opens the gas valve and allows for the combustion to take place. If the pilot light goes out, the thermocouple senses the drop in temperature and signals for the gas valve to close.

If you have a faulty thermocouple it won’t function correctly. It is the most common reason that your pilot light is malfunctioning.

Over time your water heater will collect dirt, dust and other kinds of debris. Build up on your thermocouple can cause a malfunction. This is and easy fix, simply let it cool down and brush of the dirt or debris.

Your thermocouple might bend. The end that sits near the pilot light flame is what communicates with the gas valve and tells it to open or close. If it is bent away from the flame it won’t register heat and will keep the gas valve closed. Again simply what for you water heater to cool down and then bend it back.

If your thermocouple is neither bent, nor dirty or you have troubleshooted both of these issues, you may have a damaged or malfunctioning product. These are fairly inexpensive to fix. Call us today at (615) 824-8098 or request service online to find out about replacing your thermocouple.

If it is not a thermocouple problem it is possible there is a dirty pilot light opening. This causes the pilot flame to cool down and thus will not warm the thermocouple effectively. If you suspect either of these issues call us and one of our certified technicians will assist you.


Kimbro Air proudly provides HVAC service to Hendersonville, Nashville, Bellevue, Bordeaux, Brentwood, Franklin, Gallatin, Goodlettsville, Hermitage, Madison, Mt. Juliet, White House and the surrounding communities. Visit our service area page for more coverage details, call us at 615-527-8576, or request service online today.

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