I have a unique problem with the gas pilots in my house. They all seem to be going out. One day I found both pilots in my fireplaces out. Didn't think much of it. I then found the pilot on my hot water heater out. I turned it on and next day its out again...did that a few days then decided to change the thermocouple. Did that and still same thing happening. Then I called a plumber and he changed the gas valve and thermostat on the water heater. The same thing kept happening. I then remembered the pilots on the fireplace. I turned them both on and turned the water heater pilot on and within 30 minutes all are off again. The next morning I was heating tea on my gas stove and the burner went out.

I don't understand whats happening. I told the plumber what happened and he said I might have negative pressure in my house ( don't know what that means).

Does anyone have any ideas? Please I'm desperate.

thank you


  • 1
    Negative pressure would mean your house is not venting (allowing fresh air in). With multiple areas I would call the Gas company, it is possible your regulator or meter is getting ready to bite the dust. – Ed Beal Jan 21 '16 at 20:59
  • Thank you Ed for the information. I think i'll take your advice and have the gas company check it out. – hmakled Jan 21 '16 at 21:42

Kitchen vent with negative air pressure

A healthy home pulls in air, circulates it, and releases it. You have negative pressure when you are releasing more air than you are pulling in. This could be caused by a blocked intake or an over-working exhaust system. The most common, for a stove, would be a vent hood pulling too much air from your home than it can pull in to keep the fire going (see figure 1 above.) However, since this is happening throughout the house, it could be multiple fans that are leading to the overall problem. The best way to test this, no joke, is to open a window near one of the fires and see if it can stay lit then. If it can, then it is negative air pressure within the home. If it goes out, you might be having issues with your gas line.. possibly a partially closed valve somewhere or issues further down with your meter even.

This is most common with wood fires as they draw a lot of air to keep going, but it's the same concept for any fire. Try opening a window and see where that gets you.

As for fixing negative pressure.. that comes down to the systems in your home. Either you're not getting enough air coming into the home, or your house is pulling too much out. Have you had any changes to your HVAC system?

  • thank you for the reply. I have not had any changes to the HVAC system, but I had my windows replaced about 2 years ago and just had all my doors replaced a couple months ago. – hmakled Jan 21 '16 at 21:41
  • Have you changed the filters and such maintenance to the system? If opening the window doesn't fix it, call the gas company. – TFK Jan 21 '16 at 22:42

Call your gas supplier. ( I'm assuming you have gas piped to you house, and not using propane tanks.) As I found out when I moved from a flat region to one with hills, the gas company comes around a few times a year to check the pressure in the line. It could be your pressure needs adjusting. I also like the negative pressure answer.

As an aside, I didn't let the gas company employee in the first time he came around,because I'd never heard of a pressure check, and I thought he was an impostor up to no good. I called the gas company, and that's where I found out they do check pressure in hilly areas.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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