Gas Hot Water Heater Service Troubleshooting

Gas Hot Water Heater Service Troubleshooting

One of the most common problems with a gas hot water heater is the pilot light blowing out, as this will result in only cold water throughout the house.

In this video you will discover how the pilot light lies within the inner and outer cover with help from a master licenced plumber specialist.


Gas Hot Water Heater Service & Advice

On a gas water heater one of the main things that can go wrong- you know, you wake up, you got cold water, you want to take a shower- it’s usually the pilot light that has gone out and that can be created by many different things, something as simple as a windy night the previous night and just blow it out.

To go over this and to troubleshoot this and figure it out, what we do first and foremost is make sure that the unit is not touched up here; that it’s in the “on” position and that your thermostat is turned up to where it is, which probably is where it is just because that’s where you left it but, sometimes the kids will come through and mess with things, you never know.

At any rate, if that’s all good and you still got cold water, what we do is check for the pilot light. To do this in a standard water heater we remove this cover which is the outer cover. There is also an inner cover.

If you do not have both, you need both, so find one if you don’t. And for that, you probably need to call a certified technician.

So, you take this off and up like this, run it through- that’s the simplest way and I’ll tell you why when we go to put it back in. the next thing is to look in and we follow these tubes down and in and what they do is attach to what’s called a pilot assembly, and that pilot assembly there are three components; the main gas that comes in and through and goes past that it actually attaches to and goes to the burner.

There are three lines that go down in here, you follow them in to find out where the pilot is. The pilot assembly itself is right here.

This is the thermocouple. What the thermocouple is is what the pilot flame actually fires against to create a little bit of an electric energy that holds a magnet inside of the gas valve.

The next is the main gas valve which doesn’t have to do with the pilot except for the simple fact the pilot assembly attaches to it with a couple of little screws and brackets that’s there. The third is the pilot tube itself, which is what runs over and into the pilot assembly that the gas actually travels through into the pilot to make it go.

This is where the pilot tube attaches to the pilot assembly.

Following up from that there’s what we call the pilot itself, that’s where the pilot light comes out. That’s a hooded thing that shoots the pilot across over to the thermocouple.

The thermocouple goes up in past that typically to the left, sometimes it’s to the right, but it’s always to the side either way and that’s where the flame blows against. Some pilot assemblies are vertical as opposed to horizontal and you’ll be able to spot the thermocouple.

Always follow the copper line for thermocouple because that’s typically where your problem ends up being if your pilot is burned out or won’t bite after you light the unit itself. So, those are the components that are in there. What you’re looking for is a small blue flame in there.

If you see that, there’s probably something else wrong with your gas valve or something along those lines that needs to be addressed, probably by a certified person and I’d recommend that you call them out as opposed to trying to troubleshoot any further past that.

Now, what we’ll do is going over how to light a pilot light. Okay. To light a pilot light, the first thing you need to do, make sure your gas is on over to the side. The next thing you need to do is make sure this is in the pilot position matching up with the hash mark that’s on the front of the gas valve.

As you can see, it has a little slot that lines up with that hash mark and it says “pilot”, pointing out towards you to the front. The next thing that you need to do is depress the pilot button.

With the pilot button depressed, you hold this down and then you light down in the water heater to light the pilot, and then you hold this button in- this knob in- for about a minute.

What it’s doing is that flame is blowing against your thermocouple to prove that you’ve flame inside. There’s a bi-metal product and what it does is it creates a little bit of magnetic energy up inside this cylinder in it. So as you hold this button in, it pushes against this and as that energy is created it’s transferred and it holds down that little magnetic button.

So once it’s done, after you’ve held it for about a minute or so, you let it up and that pilot should stay lit. Now remember, this has to be held down for a minute. You have to see that flame for a minute. If you do that and the flame stays on, what you do, turn your knob to vacation mode or pilot mode- some of the other ones have a pilot mode- and you turn it to the “on” position.

After that you go ahead and do a test by turning this, you’ll hear it click and then you’ll hear flame go and see the flame. If you see that, you’re good to go.

The next thing you want to do, shut it back off because you don’t want to put all the doors on before you know you’ve got a flame. You shut it back off and then you proceed to put the inner door on. To do this, most people this is kind of a tricky thing even though it doesn’t look like it, you start upside down and you wrap it in and then it slides right into place.

And then the next thing you do is put the outer door on and slide it down into its little-slotted place and then go ahead and set the temperature back up on your thermostat and you’ll hear the water heater fire. Now something I’ll let you know, in a gas water heater sometimes when you fire it up and it’s been a cold tank all night or more, you’ll hear a dripping or a hissing inside and it sounds like it’s leaking; this is completely normal.

If a tank is dead cold what happens is that with the energy transfer of the flame against the tank, there’s condensation that happens and as it builds up and into flow, it will drip down and hit the burner and it makes a sizzling sound, just like dropping water into a hot vat of oil, it makes a sizzle sound or if you have a wood-burning fireplace you can drop water on it and watch it dance.

The Same concept inside of here, so that’s completely normal. Sometimes even a little bit of moisture around it, if it’s fired up brand-new with cold water, is completely normal.

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