My Water Heater is old and about a year ago it stopped relighting automatically. I have been putting it on vacation mode, pushing down on the knob and clicking the restart pilot light button, turn it on & then turn the dial on thermostat mode. It stays on for about 15 minutes or more and then goes out. Sometimes it says on for a day or two but goes out. I have been doing this for a year. Is this okay to do or should I replace it? Thanks!

[Here is the Water Heater Model Label] Not sure what year it is. 2002 I think? [1]

  • 2
    How old is it? There is usually a simple repair for a pilot light failing to stay on, but the parts and service call will cost probably $150. It may be as something you can do though like re-position the sensor that the pilot heats or putting in a new sensor. Or even turning up the flame on the pilot light. Is this a model with a standing pilot light? Do you relight the pilot with a match or is it a piezoelectric sparker with a push button. Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 20:38
  • I think it is 17 years old? Not sure. It has a 2002 on the label above. I just uploaded an image. I moved into the house six years ago. I looked all over the furnace for a written date when the water heater was installed but could not find one. It is a piezoelectric sparker with a push button. I don't relight it with a match. Thank you for your response.
    – user68817
    Commented Apr 23, 2017 at 0:50
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    For what it's worth, it seems like replacing a 17 year old water heater will likely pay for itself relatively quickly with efficiency improvements. Commented Apr 23, 2017 at 1:09

1 Answer 1


You should properly repair the problem. You are dealing with gas, there is some risk in that. You're also burning your time messing with it so often.

  • Thank you. I got a new thermal coupler repair kit about a year ago but haven't installed it. I need to hire someone to do it. Not sure if this will fix it. I might buy a new heater. It is expensive. Thank you for your response.
    – user68817
    Commented Apr 23, 2017 at 0:56

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