• Home
  • Blog
  • Water Heater Refusing to Stay Lit? Here's Why and What to Do

Water Heater Refusing to Stay Lit? Here's Why and What to Do

If your water heater won’t stay lit, it can be a frustrating and inconvenient issue. A constantly unlit water heater means no hot water for showers, laundry, or dishes, which can seriously disrupt your daily routine. Don’t worry, though – we’ve got you covered with an in-depth look at why won’t my water heater stay lit and what you can do to resolve the problem.

Understanding the Reasons Behind an Unlit Water Heater

There are several common causes that could be preventing your water heater from staying lit. Before diving into specific troubleshooting steps, it’s important to understand the potential reasons behind this issue:

why won t my water heater stay lit

By understanding these potential causes, you can better troubleshoot and pinpoint the specific issue with your water heater. With the right diagnosis, you’ll be able to take the appropriate steps to get your water heater staying lit consistently.

Pilot Light Problems: Why Won’t My Water Heater Stay Lit?

One of the most common reasons why a water heater won’t stay lit is an issue with the pilot light assembly. The pilot light is a small flame that ignites the main burner, so if it goes out or won’t stay lit, the main burner won’t be able to ignite either.

There are a few potential reasons why the pilot light might not be staying lit:

To troubleshoot pilot light issues, start by checking for any clogs or blockages in the pilot light assembly or venting system. You can also try cleaning the pilot light orifice with compressed air or a small wire brush. If the thermocouple appears to be the culprit, it may need to be replaced.

Gas Control Valve Malfunctions: Solving the Unlit Water Heater Mystery

Another common reason why a water heater won’t stay lit is a faulty gas control valve. This valve is responsible for regulating the flow of gas to the pilot light and main burner. If the gas control valve malfunctions, it may not allow enough gas through to keep the water heater lit.

Here are some signs that the gas control valve might be the culprit:

To test the gas control valve, you’ll need to check the gas pressure and flow rate. If the readings are off, it’s likely that the valve needs to be replaced. This is a more complex repair that may require the assistance of a professional plumber or technician.

Airflow and Ventilation Troubles: Keeping the Water Heater Burning

Proper airflow and ventilation are essential for a water heater to operate correctly. Without enough air supply and proper venting, the combustion process can be disrupted, causing the water heater to refuse to stay lit.

Here are some common airflow and ventilation issues that could be preventing your water heater from staying lit:

To troubleshoot airflow and ventilation problems, start by checking the venting system for any blockages or obstructions. You can also check to ensure that there’s adequate air supply to the water heater. If the venting system was improperly installed, you may need to have it re-installed by a professional.

The thermostat is a critical component of your water heater, as it controls the temperature of the water. If the thermostat malfunctions, it may not signal the burner to stay lit when heat is needed, resulting in an unlit water heater.

Here are some signs that your water heater’s thermostat may be failing:

To troubleshoot a thermostat issue, you’ll need to test the thermostat itself. This typically involves checking the resistance or voltage readings and comparing them to the manufacturer’s specifications. If the readings are off, the thermostat will need to be replaced.

It’s also important to ensure that the thermostat is set to the correct temperature. If the temperature setting is too low, it may prevent the water heater from staying lit and heating properly.

Common IssuesPotential Causes
Pilot light problemsClogs, draft issues, thermocouple malfunction
Gas control valve malfunctionFaulty valve, incorrect pressure or flow rate
Airflow and ventilation issuesBlocked venting, insufficient air supply, improper installation
Thermostat failureIncorrect temperature setting, faulty thermostat

By understanding the potential causes behind an unlit water heater and following these troubleshooting steps, you can often resolve the issue and get your water heater staying lit and providing consistent hot water once again. However, if the problem persists or seems too complex, it’s always best to consult a professional plumber or technician for assistance.