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scottman1027 03-05-2008 07:24 PM

Pilot light keeps going out
Hello. My mother-in-laws pilot light on her hot water heater keeps going out. I have had to light the pilot three times in the last couple months. The heater is about 8 years old and looks really clean around the burner and thermocoupler. She states that it usually goes out only when it is extremely windy outside. I checked the flu and it appears to be clear and hooked up ok. Is there something on the flu or the hot water heater that would allow high winds to blow the pilot light out? I did notice one time I lit the pilot light the wind was blowing through the water heater and kept blowing out the matches. Any ideas? Thanks in advance! :)

travelover 03-06-2008 05:53 AM

Usually this is a sign the thermocouple is weak. I'd replace it - they are inexpensive. Unless something has changed in the venting, it is unlikely to be the cause.

glennjanie 03-06-2008 08:01 AM

Pilot lights are usually adjustabel. See if there is a screw that will make it burn highter (and stronger) which will also create a better draft. Also check the draft hood; it may not even have one.

handyguys 03-06-2008 08:19 AM


Originally Posted by scottman1027 (Post 16665)
I did notice one time I lit the pilot light the wind was blowing through the water heater and kept blowing out the matches. Any ideas?

I think you answered your own question.

There is a cover that will prevent the wind, make sure its in place and block off all sources of drafts to the water heater area (open doors, open windows, etc). I'm not talking about "makeup air" thats a different discussion.

scottman1027 03-06-2008 05:00 PM

Thanks for the responses everyone! That draft hood.....will that be on the top of the water heater around the flu pipe?

Thanks again for the help!

inspectorD 03-06-2008 07:22 PM

Yes, also make sure there is not a clothes dryer in the room, I see it too often.;)

triple D 03-06-2008 10:15 PM

Just a thought
I dont know if this is whats happening to you but I have seen this happen before. If you have a gable vent, or several bird block vents, or garage door is not setting down all the way, the positive pressure forced through these can be enough to blow through water heater snuffing pilot. Just an honest opinion, good luck.......

scottman1027 03-07-2008 05:50 PM

Thanks to everyone for the advise. I will go ahead and replace the thermocouple since they are not that expensive and see what happens from there. The water heater is in a closet with a louvered door on it so I think it has sufficient oxygen supply to it. The wind would be the only other factor that I can think of, so I will check for the draft hood and recheck the flu pipe.

Thanks again for all the ideas!

travelover 03-08-2008 05:38 AM

Please post back when you find a solution. Really helps all those who have similar problems.

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