Why does my Pilot Light keep going out?

Why your Pilot Light keeps going out can be caused by a wide variety of reasons. In order to find the reason you should look at a number of possible causes and troubleshoot to determine the reason then fix the problem. Some of the most common reasons are listed below.

  • A bad thermocouple, loose connection at the gas valve or, improper thermocouple placement in the pilot flame.
  • A defective magnet inside the gas valve.
  • The ECO (Energy Cut Off) has opened due to overheating of the water caused by a bad thermostat.
  • Insufficient air supply for combustion or, negative air pressure in the building.
  • Inadequate gas supply or, pressure fluctuations.
  • An improper flue installation or, clogged flue.

On FVIR equipped water heaters an FVIR event may have happened which will require resetting of the thermal switch if equipped and in some cases replacement of the water heater or, burner depending on the brand and model. Sometimes a false tripping can occur when the FVIR flame arrestor becomes clogged with dust and lint.

On power vent, direct vent and some other types a more complicated electronic control system with many different sensors is used and the manufacturers troubleshooting guide should be consulted to determine the sequence of events and where in the operation cycle a fault occurred causing the lockout.

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