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How To Prevent An Expensive Service Call When Your Gas Heater's Pilot Light Won't Stay Lit

In nearly 30 years working in lp gas sales and service, the most frequent service calls that I get are pilot burner blackouts. The majority of these calls take less than 5 minutes to take care of, but cost the consumer $30 to $50 depending upon driving time. The only tools that I have to take in are a screwdriver, flashlight, and a can of electronics duster.

First, it helps to have a fundamental understanding of how the pilot works. The gas flows through a small orifice into the pilot tube. Due to something called the venturi effect, air is pulled into the tube through holes in its side. This air is blended with the gas in television to produce a mix for optimal combustion, characterized by a strong blue flame. You can find further information on plumber primrose hill @ .

This flame strikes a thermocouple installed in front of the pilot tube. When the thermocouple is heated, it produces a small electric present. This present runs the gas valve.

If a percentage of dust is sucked into the pilot tube, it can interfere with the mixing of the air and gas. This might cause the pilot to display an intense yellow idea or to be minimized in size and strength. This flame will not heat the thermocouple sufficiently, causing the valve to shut down the gas flow, and the pilot to go out.

The system is designed by doing this to serve as a safety. When the thermocouple cools, the heater 'thinks' the pilot has gone out, and cuts off all gas going through the valve. This would prevent the possibility of a surge if it was really out.

In most cases, the dust can be simply burnt out of the tube with a can of electronics duster (like you use to dust your keyboard). Just slide the straw to the bottom of the pilot tube, pull it back a bit, and shoot. Slide the straw up and out as you blow.


Fan the spray and permit it to dissipate for a few minutes before relighting the heater, as these dusters will burn. The majority of also have a bittering representative added to prevent abuse. This produces a really undesirable odor when it burns.

Understanding how numerous gas devices operate can save you hundreds of dollars in unnecessary service calls. The most common calls typically include cleaning some part of the device that could have been done by the house owner with a little understand - how.