No hot water? If the pilot flame in your water heater keeps on going out or won’t stay lit, then it could be a problem with the thermocouple or thermal cutoff switch. In this episode of Repair and Replace, Vance shows how to troubleshoot the pilot flame in a water heater with a conventional gas valve. This includes testing the thermocouple voltage with a multimeter and checking the thermal switch for continuity. This can help troubleshoot a water heater that is not heating water.

In an open circuit test, a healthy thermocouple should produce 20 – 30 millivolts DC. If the reading is under 20 millivolts, then the thermocouple should be replaced. Learn how to replace the thermocouple in this video: https://youtu.be/Mx6rZA9Yxv4

If your water heater has an electronic gas valve, then the repair will be different:
Troubleshooting – Pilot Won’t Stay Lit (Electronic Gas Valve) https://youtu.be/UXpmmGuewk8
How to Replace the Thermopile (Electronic Gas Valve) https://youtu.be/Yx2gfgJB7bI

Buy water heater repair parts online: https://www.amresupply.com/catalog/Hot-Water-Tank-Parts-647736

Curious about how gas water heaters work? Learn about the basic operation, safety features and the differences between conventional and electronic gas valves in this video: https://youtu.be/BHUPFLbb8NY

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00:00 Intro
00:52 How it Works
01:58 What You’ll Need
02:20 Thermal Cutoff Switch
03:29 Voltage Testing
05:01 Energy Cutoff Switch
05:33 Airflow Issues
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AMRE Supply provides homeowners, service contractors, and property management with the parts and knowledge needed to get the best performance out of any property. Stocking the largest selection of appliance parts, heating, plumbing, lighting, and janitorial supplies, AMRE ships almost anywhere in Canada within 24 – 48 hours. Expert help is available online, over the phone or in person at one of the many locations across Canada.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. If your water heater has an electronic gas valve, then the repair will be different:
    Troubleshooting – Pilot Won’t Stay Lit (Electronic Gas Valve)
    How to Replace the Thermopile (Electronic Gas Valve)

  2. Hello, thank you for the explanation, but i do have a question: i changed the whole burner set, the igniter works well, especially starting the flame, but after releasing the pilot knob, it won’t stay lit, any idea why? Thank you

  3. My pilot light won’t stay lit. I tested the thermocouple and it read 19.3 millivolts while the pilot was being held on. I removed it and tested it with a light and it went to 24 millivolts. I also had a new spare thermocouple and when I installed it it only read 15 millivolts and has the same issue.

  4. Very informative video. I have a unique issue. The pilot will light but when I move the top switch to on and turn the gas up on the front facing knob, nothing happens. Typically it would ignite the pilot and have much a more visible flame but it’s not doing anything now. Any ideas? Thanks for any advice and thank you for taking time to make this video!!!

  5. Are the wires for the thermal switch a special wire? I have some wires that got burned from condensation and heat. Need to replace them and was wondering if they are a special type. Thanks.

  6. PLEASE SAVE MY HUSBAND AND ME! OUR WATER HEATER STILL HEATS THE HOUSE BUT AFTER A STORM THE WATER WILL NOT STAY LITE. MY HUSBAND SAID” THE PILOT WON’T COME ON”. PLEASE HELP ME SAVE MONEY!

  7. Please help. Both our water heater and air conditioner are broken. Have not had hot water in 3 weaks. The pilot light will not stay lite. Replaced the thermocouple and the burner assembly. Used a brush to clean the air register. I lit pilot and let it burn for 2 yours before lighting the burner. The burner would stay on for about 30 minutes and then burner and pilot goes out. Please offer suggestions on what to do next. We are desperate. Thank you. God bless.

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