Noticing your gas water heater keeps switching off, just when you’re getting ready to step into a steamy hot shower? Frustrating, we know, but the good news is that this hot water supply problem can be solved.
To find the solution, the first thing you need to figure out is why your water heater isn’t working properly. Here are 4 possible reasons why a water heater turns off all the time.
WARNING: A strong “rotten egg” smell from your natural gas water heater could signal a gas leak. Switch off the gas supply if possible and evacuate your entire household. Then, from a safe place outside your home, call Enbridge immediately, followed by an expert from Hot Water Ottawa.
1. Faulty Gas Valve
If the water heater’s gas valve is faulty or damaged causing gas supply problems, it will cause the whole system to shut down. With a bad gas valve you won’t even be able to ignite the pilot light.
Do NOT attempt to fix a broken gas valve problem on your own. Gas valve repair or replacement is a job for a qualified, licensed professional.
2. Damaged Thermocouple – Dirty Thermocouple
What’s A Thermocouple?
A thermocouple is a simple, yet vital water heater component. An electrical switch located right next to the pilot light keeps the natural gas supply flowing to power your hot water heater.
When your thermocouple is not functioning properly, gets damaged, dirty, or bent out of shape, it will stop functioning as it should and may lead to your water heater continually shutting down.
Before you investigate a faulty thermocouple, make sure the gas is off, and the thermocouple is cool. If you find that the thermocouple is dirty, scrub it lightly with fine-grain sandpaper. For a bent thermocouple, you can try bending it very gently back into shape so that it will extend into the pilot light’s flame. However, if the thermocouple is actually damaged, you’ll need a skilled HVAC technician to replace it.
3. Dirty Pilot Light Burner
Your water heater’s gas flame might leave deposits of soot or dirt that block the tip of your pilot light burner tube. When you attempt to ignite a dirty pilot burner, either the pilot burner won’t light at all, or it will give off a flickering flame that appears as a pale yellow, much weaker than the normal intense blue. First, turn off the gas supply so that the burner tube can cool. Then scrape the inside of the tube carefully with a needle to see whether you can get rid of the blockage. If that doesn’t help, call for expert cleaning (and repair, if necessary).
4. Dirty Air Inlet
Your air inlet ensures an adequate supply of air to the main gas burners, necessary for proper combustion. Modern air inlets are fitted with fine screens for filtration. However, sometimes your air inlet screen gets dirty or clogged with so much dust, dirt, or pet hair that the airflow will be blocked, and the water heater will repeatedly turn off.
The clogged air inlet screens need to be cleared of debris, but it’s generally located at the bottom of the water heater, making it difficult to access. You might be able to reach it with a vacuum cleaner brush designed for tight spots. Otherwise, have it professionally cleaned.
The Hot Water Specialists Will Keep Your Water Heater Working
Get – and keep – your water heater working right, with Hot Water Ottawa water heater repair and installation. We’re your National Capital Area hot water specialists, and you’ll love our fast, professional service.
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