Have you ever found yourself waking up late for work, and you go to jump in the shower and you have cold water! What could this possibly mean…sounds like you have found yourself stuck in a situation where your water heater’s pilot light goes out.

What is the problem?

The usual suspect tends to be your thermocouple.

Is this something you can attempt to fix yourself?

Yes, this is very possible, repairs to this particular part of your water heater’s pilot light are usually cheap and easy to fix yourself.

What is a thermocouple and what is it there for?

This is a very important safety device, if the pilot light does go out, it’s main job is to shut the gas valve to the water heater. If this valve was unable to be shut off with the help of the thermocouple, gas would travel into your home and continue to be trapped inside your home. This would then cause a huge safety hazard for you and your entire family. If there is a malfunction with your thermocouple, it will shut the gas off even if the pilot light is still lit.

Here are three common thermocouple issues:

1. You have a Bent rod

If the thermocouple’s rod gets bent away from the flame, the flame may not be hitting the flame. There for the thermocouple thinks the flame is not lit and will then shut the gas safety valve.

2. Your rod covered in soot

The soot can insulate the thermocouple from the flame, you should clean the soot off with a wire brush or sandpaper.

3. Malfunctioning thermocouple

The thermocouple may be beyond help and needs a contractor to replace it.