According to About.com, if the thermocouple does not reach the correct temperature, a safety valve stops the gas from flowing and extinguishes the flame. One common cause of this problem is owners who do not follow the manufacturer's directions for lighting the water heater pilot. Most require holding in the button or dial for approximately 30 seconds to allow the flame to heat the safety device before releasing it.Continue Reading
If the flame goes out again, About.com recommends waiting a few minutes for any accumulated gas to clear the area. Then, follow the lighting procedure again while depressing the button or knob for 45 seconds to a full minute. The next step is replacing the thermocouple if the unit continues to go out after several attempts to light it. The procedure to replace this unit is a simple one requiring the removal of a couple of screws. The home improvement store needs the manufacturer name and model number to ensure owners receive the correct thermocouple. If this does not stop the problem, SFGate recommends calling a professional to replace the valve, "since it involves breaking and resealing important gas connections."
While the Water Heater Repair Guide agrees the thermocouple is the most likely cause of the problem, it also identifies a drafty location as a potential cause. Some attic fans create a big draft that is strong enough to extinguish the flame. Wind gusts through a vent are another potential culprit on gusty days.Learn more about Home Maintenance
Test a gas valve thermocouple by attempting to light the pilot, holding the pilot button and releasing it to see if the light goes out, which normally indicates a nonfunctioning thermocouple. Homeowners may also remove the thermocouple to perform a closed circuit test using a multimeter and a thermocouple adaptor.Full Answer >
A Dearborn heater might fail to light because of a corroded pilot tip, the size of the flame, insufficient gas or a bad thermocouple. Finding out the reason is essential to repairing the heater quickly.Full Answer >
Light a water heater by waiting for gas to dissipate, turning the control knob to pilot, igniting the flame, holding the control knob pressed in for one minute and turning the knob to the on position. Never attempt to light a gas appliance if you smell gas in the area.Full Answer >
There are many parts to a Rheem furnace, but the most integral parts are the gas valve, the pilot burner and the thermocouple. The flame sensor rod, spark ignition and hot surface ignition are also important parts.Full Answer >