gas water heater repair

Gas Water Heater Not Functioning? Common Causes, Troubleshooting Tips, and When to Consult an Expert

Is your gas hot water heater not working? Need a solution? This guide is for you.

Gas hot water heaters can be lifesavers, providing hot water for showers, baths, and household tasks. But when one suddenly stops working, it can wreak havoc with your daily life. In this comprehensive guide, we explore common reasons of gas hot water heater not working, how you can troubleshoot these issues yourself, and when professional assistance might be required. By the end of the article, you will get an answer to “Why is my gas heater not working?”

Let us begin without any ado!

Gas Hot Water Heater Not Working: Common Frustrations

Before we jump in with troubleshooting, let’s review some of the more frequent causes that may leave you with a faulty water heater

Pilot Light Issues

When your gas water heater’s pilot light goes out or doesn’t stay lit, you will not get hot water as it is the source of ignition. There could be several reasons for why your pilot light might be giving you trouble:

Pilot Light Out

If the pilot light goes out, relighting may solve the issue; however, if it keeps happening, then there may be more serious underlying causes at play.

Dirty or Clogged Pilot Orifice

A dirty or clogged pilot orifice can obstruct the flow of gas to the pilot light. This blockage prevents proper ignition. Cleaning the orifice can help restore the pilot light’s functionality.

Faulty Thermocouple

A water heater thermocouple is a safety component that senses if the pilot light is burning. If it doesn’t detect a flame, it shuts down the gas supply to avoid a potentially hazardous gas leak. A malfunctioning thermocouple might unnecessarily shut off the gas flow.

Gas Water Heater Igniter Not Working

An igniter is responsible for lighting the main burner. If the igniter is not working, it can lead to your gas water heater not heating water. This can be due to the following issues:

Broken Igniter

The igniter can become damaged or worn out over time, causing it to fail in lighting the main burner. If you hear a clicking sound but don’t see a flame, a broken igniter might be the issue.

Igniter Wiring Problems

Faulty wiring can prevent the igniter from receiving the necessary electrical signal. This can be due to loose or damaged wires.

Gas Control Valve Problems

The gas control valve performs the critical job to regulate the flow of gas to a burner. If it becomes defective, this could result in your water heater not functioning as intended. Common issues associated with gas control valves include: 

Valve Stuck Closed

If your gas control valve is stuck in its closed position, no gas will flow to your burner, leading to no hot water being produced.

Valve Stuck Open

Conversely, if the gas control valve is stuck open, it can cause a constant flow of gas, leading to overheating and potential safety hazards.

Troubleshooting Your Gas Hot Water Heater

Now that you understand the possible reasons why your gas water heater may no longer function let’s go over how to troubleshoot. Make sure to observe safety precautions and consult the manual of your heater prior to performing any of the following steps.

Relight the Pilot Light

If your pilot light has gone out, the first step should be relighting it. Most gas water heaters come equipped with instructions for this process; typically, you’ll need to switch the control knob over to “Pilot,” press and hold down and use a long lighter to ignite it. Hold for about one or two minutes after lighting and release the knob before continuing your task.

Check the Thermocouple

If your pilot light goes out after being relit, a potential source is likely a faulty thermocouple. As it serves an essential safety purpose, ensure that this component is working correctly. If not, replace it by following the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Inspect the Pilot Orifice

A clogged or dirty pilot orifice can hinder the flow of gas to the pilot light. Turn off the gas supply, remove the pilot tube, and clean the orifice with compressed air or a fine wire. Be cautious and thorough during this process to ensure no debris remains.

Examine the Igniter

If you suspect an issue with the igniter, listen out for its clicking sound when turning on your heater. If there’s no flame present, but you still hear a sound when turning it on, this indicates damage to the igniter, which should be addressed as soon as possible by replacing it.

Test the Gas Control Valve

If you’ve ruled out the issues mentioned above, it’s time to check the gas control valve. Ensure it’s not stuck in the closed or open position, and if it seems to be malfunctioning, consult a professional for repairs.

When to Call the Expert

While the troubleshooting steps above can help you tackle many common gas hot water heater issues, there are times when it’s best to leave the repairs to professionals. If you’re in Derry or nearby areas, our water heater repair experts are always ready to assist. Here are some scenarios when you should consider calling in a professional:

Recurring Pilot Light Issues

If your pilot light repeatedly goes out or refuses to stay lit, it could indicate a more complex problem with the gas system. A pro technician can accurately diagnose and fix the issue.

Persistent Igniter Problems

If you’ve tried replacing the igniter and it still doesn’t work, it’s time to consult an expert. Igniter-related issues may be more intricate than they seem.

Gas Control Valve Malfunctions

Dealing with the gas control valve is not a task for the average homeowner. Any issues with the gas control valve should be addressed by a adept technician who can ensure the safety of your gas water heater.

Aging Water Heater

If your gas water heater is old and has been giving you trouble, it might be more cost-effective in the long run to replace it with a new, energy-efficient model. A professional can assess whether it’s time for an upgrade.

Safety Concerns

In case you suspect a gas leak, turn off the gas supply immediately, evacuate your home, and call your gas provider and a professional technician. Gas leaks are dangerous as well as require immediate attention.

Complex Electrical Issues

If your troubleshooting uncovers electrical problems beyond simple wire connections, it’s best to seek the help of an electrician or a professional water heater technician.

Low Hot Water Pressure

A consistent decrease in hot water pressure can be perplexing. While some causes, like sediment build-up, can be addressed with regular maintenance, others might require a deeper inspection.

Saying Goodbye to Cold Showers: A Final Word

Gas hot water heater issues can be frustrating and inconvenient, but many common issues can often be remedied through systematic troubleshooting. By understanding potential causes for malfunction, you may save both time as well as money by avoiding unnecessary service calls.But remember, safety should always come first, and if you suspect a gas leak, it is vital to reach out as quickly as possible for professional assistance. Daigle Plumbing experts in Derry, NH, are here to help you 24X 7. Call us for a quick repair of your gas water heater.

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