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My Hot Water Heater’s Pilot Light Won’t Light. What Can I Do?

I have a HOTPOINT Natural Gas water heater that has worked great up until this morning. I noticed the water was warm and not hot like it usually was. Well, about 15 minutes later it was completely cold. My fiance has tried lighting it repeatedly but to no avail. He follows the instructions PERFECTLY but still nothing. I’m starting to think that something else is wrong with it. Please, if you can help us, let me know. I’m desperate!

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  1. Comment by Allahoo
    February 24, 2010 @ 1:49 am

    Well if your fiance is following the instructions perfectly then something else might be wrong with it. It should tell you in the instructions what you need to do if it doesn’t light up after certain amount of tries. If i remember correctly from lighting up my water heater(which goes out everyonce in a while but i’m always able to get it back on) you need to contact a professional.
    One question though. Does it not light up at all when he presses the botton or does the ignitor light up but the fire does not start or starts but goes out after few seconds?
    If the ignitor itself doesn’t light up then you definately need to ask a professional for help. But if the ignitor lights up but when you turn the gas on, it goes out after a few seconds or minutes then i think it has something to do with the out side cover which when you try to put back on, the fire goes out again. if that’s the case tell him to keep playing with it and may be light the ignitor put the cover back on(by doing that he won’t be able to see the fire light up, but he should hear the fire come on) and then turn the gas knob to on position.
    Any questions feel free to email me and ask.

  2. Comment by SmartyPa
    February 24, 2010 @ 3:56 am

    If you are as frustrated as you sound, call a plumber and get the darn thing fixed. Unless your boyfriend knows what he is doing, he doesn’t need to be trying to repair a gas appliance. I know you hate to spend money on something like this right at Christmas. Who would? But you hate to be without hot water too. If you have to have a new heater, the plumber can advise you of this and what options you have. Maybe he can get it up and running until after the holidays, at least.

  3. Comment by Jordan
    February 24, 2010 @ 6:45 am

    How old is your water heater? If it’s more than 12 years old, it should be replaced anyway. They seldom last much longer than that. For the cost of a new one, it probably wouldn’t be worth the cost of repairing the old one. Home Depot is open till 5 today. Go pick yourself up a new one. Merry Christmas!

  4. Comment by Harley Drive
    February 24, 2010 @ 10:25 am

    the thermocouple has burnt out(flame failure device) $5.95 in home depot or any plumbers supply ten minute job or in england B&Q , homebase, wickes etc or a plumbers merchants

  5. Comment by paul s
    February 24, 2010 @ 11:50 am

    this is a no brainer. does the Pilot light at all and it goes out after you let go of the button if so change the thermal couple any hardware carries them

  6. Comment by Corky R
    February 24, 2010 @ 2:18 pm

    If, as it sounds, the pilot will simply not even light, (that is no flame at all), then there are only three possibilities. Either the gas supply is cut off, either with a valve, or from the main supply, or the spark igniter is not making a spark, or the gas valve/thermostat, (the large grey box on the outside of the tank), is shot. Those are the only three reasons a pilot light won’t light at all. If the pilot lights, stays lit for a short time and then goes out, that can be either a weak thermocouple or the gas valve itself. So, wherever your unit falls in these scenarios, that’s the list of possible problems. I deal with this stuff all the time in my repair business and I frequently have to go in and repair problems that others have tried to do, but just messed it up. This is a terrible thing to have happen at this time of year. I hope you can get it fixed. If you live in SW lower Mi, give me a call. If it turns out to be the valve, and the unit is over 8 years old then a new one might be the economical way to go.

  7. Comment by Julie
    July 22, 2010 @ 9:41 am

    One of the hoses on my gas water heater sprung a leak, and the entire garage flooded, and it was extremely humid inside. I replaced the hose, and a fan has been blowing on it trying to dry it out. However, now the pilot light won’t come on. It sparks when you push the button, but will not ingite. Can anyone help? I’ve taken cold showers for the last three days and it’s not very pleasant – lol. Thank you!

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