Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have 2 GE 28 gallon water heaters, both of which have the same problem. The water heater is turning off after a while, and I have to light the pilot again to got hot water. What could be causing the pilot to extinguish when the main burner shuts off?

share|improve this question
Do you know the model number of the heater? – Tester101 Oct 4 '13 at 10:45
  1. 'Gusting" of the combustion air can be caused if the shrouding around the base of heater is loose or missing. Such gusting can knock out the pilot.

  2. Another cause of pilot extinguishing is a too rapid start up of the main burner. Usually there is a small baffle around the pilot, protecting it.

  3. Too high a pressure of the gas would also cause a too large main flame. This would have to be checked at the meter by a qualified technician. This, obviously, is a dangerous condition. Other gas appliances (gas stove) might reveal this condition.

  4. Conversely, too low a pressure (and therefore, low gas flow) might make the pilot more sensitive.

Once the pilot is knocked out, cooling of the gas valve thermocouple will prevent restarts.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.