In normal working condition, a gas water heater both heats up the water in the storage tank and keeps it ready for use or it heats on demand. In either of the two cases the heating elements are kept warm by a burner which is also triggered by the gas. If the gas keeps shutting off the burner will fail to turn on and as a result water won’t be heated. Here are reasons why your gas water heater keeps shutting off?
1. Dirty Pilot Burner
Your water heater pilot lights are controlled by gas burners inside. When gas goes to the pilot light through the main valve, the pilot light lights up and once they are on the thermopile automatically activates the main gas burner to heat up the water. This means that as long as the pilot light is on you will get hot water. However, with time the pilot orifice might get clogged with debris or soot. When this happens, there won’t be sufficient amount of gas getting through to create a steady flame. If you notice a flickering yellowish flame instead of a blue flame in your pilot burner the problem is likely to be due to a dirty pilot burner.
2. Faulty Thermopile
A thermopile is that straight metal rod that is next to the pilot burner which is responsible for activating your water heater controls. It converts heat from the pilot light into electrical energy. Hence once the pilot light heats the thermopile, the thermopile will in turn create electrical energy that will power the electronics in the gas controls. However sometimes the thermopile can become dirty or require replacement otherwise failure to there won’t be enough electricity generated to activate the gas controls even though the pilot light might be lit.
3. Faulty Gas Valve
A gas valve is what delivers gas to the water heater. The gas will flow to light your pilot light as well as to the gas burners where it will heat the water. However in case the inner elements of the valve or the valve itself is damaged, it will be unable to deliver required amount of gas for water to heat hence will be shutting on and off.
4. Clogged or Dirty Air Inlet
Nowadays gas water heaters come with air inlets. These air inlets allow for air to pass through which is required for gas to burn. However if they are dirty or clogged then it means there won’t be enough air passing through and hence no sufficient gas.