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pilot light goes out

My 12 year old hot water heater pilot light started going out about 2 to 3 times a week. Two different companies told me it was time to replace it, I agreed. Now I have a more energy efficient one. It was fine for about 2 months and now I am having the same problem. It is a propane hot water heater, does anyone know what the problem is? Is it the pipe, do I have dirt or sand in it? This is driving me nuts. Any suggestions?

Re: pilot light goes out

Could be numerous things. If you rent the tank from the propane tank company ask then to check the pressure regulator it could be failing. Is there a new draft near the tank a small amout of wind could blow it out. slaming a door in a small room could also be the cause. Just some things you might want to check

Re: pilot light goes out

Typically the most common problem is a bad thermocouple.

A thermocouple sends a signal to the main gas control on the water heater telling it the pilot is on.
If the thermocouple goes bad It will send a false signal and the pilot will go out.

Other things that can contribute ...

A strong draft can prevent he flame from not hitting the thermocouple correctly.


Condensation can sometimes drip on the pilot light and put it out.

Or ...

The new gas fired water heaters that have sealed chambers get the air to burn the gas properly from vents in the side of the tank or from the bottom of the tank.
If these vents are not clear, the flame and pilot will starve for air and go out.
Blocked air circulation can also cause increased temperature around the main burner which may activate the thermo cutoff (TCO) and open the auto reset.

As for dirt or sand I would suspect this would likely plug the orifice for the burner and wouldn't light at all after it went out.

There may be a supply problem from the tank .... regulator possibly.

Just a guess. :)

Re: pilot light goes out

Thanks for your quick response. This problem is driving me crazy. I will try what you both suggested. Thanks again

Re: pilot light goes out

Sorry for duplicating some of what Ravens53 posted .... I was slow typing :o

As for the regulator .... that would need to be checked by a professional.

Good luck and let us know how you make out.:)

Re: pilot light goes out

Thats ok Canuk between the both of us we covered it all. I didn't mention the thermo coupler because it was the same thing with both new and old heaters. But I've seen new appliances come with defective parts. Back draft is a good call. you might want to check the exhaust vent it could be clogged if it is a high Efficient model.

Re: pilot light goes out

Also.....make sure the little screen on the bottom of the pressure regulator isn't clogged.

Where is this WH located? Where does it get its combustion air supply? It isn't in a sealed up room or closet, is it? If so, you might be suffering from flame roll-out due to negative pressure in the room. Flame roll-out would cause the unit to shut down almost immediately upon ignition.

You might have dirt in the supply line that is now partially blocking the pilot orifice. Is the pilot currently smaller than when it was installed? If so, that coupled with a little bit of backdraft could blow it out.

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