Water Heater Turning Off? Could Be Your Pilot Light.
LESLIE: Listening in from New Jersey on WABC we’ve got Vincent. What’s going on at your house?
VINCENT: Yeah, I’m having a problem with a water heater that’s keeping on – going on and off very frequently.
TOM: Vincent, how old is your water heater?
VINCENT: Three years old.
TOM: Three? That’s pretty young.
VINCENT: Two, actually, not three. Two years old.
TOM: Yeah, that is pretty young.
VINCENT: Yeah, very young. Obviously, if it’s very windy outside, somehow some gust wind comes in and it throws off the [pilot light] (ph). Which is understandable. I – you know, I understand that. But when you light it up and the water heats up and the water – if the water got too cold already, now when you light it up the concentration of the tank itself – you know, the water drops into the flame and that puts the fire out.
TOM: (chuckling) Oh, OK.
VINCENT: OK. So this – and I have to maybe light it up about two or three times before it reaches …
VINCENT: … the potential of the – you know, that it’s hot enough not to sweat or not to, you know.
TOM: Right. Well, Vincent, it usually comes down to a problem with the pilot light. If the flame is stronger the condensation is not going to – is not going to be able to drop down and put it out. It can usually take a few drips. That kind of drip-drip onto the burner is not unusual. I’ve seen that happen before. I think there’s a problem with the pilot light. I think that it’s partially blocked or partially clogged. Or there could be an issue with the thermal couple. If the thermal couple is not close enough to the pilot light or if the thermal couple is bad, then what can happen is that can also cause the water heater pilot light to go out. And you’ll find that you’ll have to relight it a lot. But it’s going to come down to that part of the control circuit and that shouldn’t be that expensive to fix.
You know, another thing that you could think about putting in, Vincent, is a tankless water heater. That’s going to be a highly efficient way to supply hot water to your house.
Vincent, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.