I was on a one month vacation but had kept the gas heater in normal mode (not vacation mode). Today I find my gas pilot light off. The cover was open for all this long. I tried to light it, but once I take my hand off the depressed pilot switch after 60 seconds, the light goes off. Tried it a few times. This is the first time ever I tried to light the pilot. Please check the photos and please let me know if the settings were correct.


I understand I might need to replace the thermostat. But before that I would like to clean it or bend it to see if it works. Which part do I clean on bend ? Photo here.

The pilot light goes off

Thank you for reading.

  • Just to be sure: is the black switch in the "start" position, not the "run" position? Typically you leave it in "start" until the pilot stays lit, then turn it to "run" Aug 31, 2016 at 14:39
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    @CarlWitthoft The black switch has three buttons. On, off and pilot. I kept it on pilot when I tried to turn the light on. The pilot does not stay lit. Sep 1, 2016 at 4:22

1 Answer 1


Is the flame hitting the Thermocouple (little pipe to the right of the burner)? This is your safety if it is not hitting that the gas will turn off. These do go bad also and are not very expensive or difficult to change out. After long periods of not being used I have had to light and hold the pilot then quickly turn on with the controls turned to hot and let the burner run for a few minutes then the system ran OK. This was on a tank less water heater in my shop but similar gas safety (thermocouple). I have also replaced a few TC's only ~$10.

  • This is far cheaper than trying to replace entire thermostat unit. Aug 31, 2016 at 14:39
  • Replaced the thermocouple and everything works fine now. Thanks. Sep 2, 2016 at 11:31

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