My GE water heater pilot light keeps going out and I have to
relight it every time I want to take a shower. It not hard to relight, but it is colder than you know what if
I forget to relight the pilot. How can I fix the pilot myself? I am not sure if my GE hot water heater is
under warranty or not. If the heater is under guarantee, will GE send someone out to my house to repair the
water heater and pilot light?
Warning: GE recommends that you do not attempt to
repair your own water heater, but that you should call a qualified GE service
There are several reasons that your GE water heater pilot will
not stay lit.
These are the most common reasons for a water heater pilot light
a.Bad thermocouple-nothing lasts forever, install a new
b.Loose thermocouple-in rare cases, the thermocouples dislodged during
shipping and needs reinserted into its guide.
c.Safety switch in the control valve is bad, replacing the gas
valve is your only option; there is no safe procedure to field repair a gas control valve.
d.Bad control valve-replace the water-heater gas control
e.Oxygen sensor tripped-only a qualified GE technician should attempt
to replace an oxygen sensor. In fact, most of the time, GE would rather authorize the replacement of the
entire water heater than pay a tech to repair an oxygen sensor.
f.Combustion or flue venting issue-Make sure the exhaust vent in
coming from the top of the water heater is clear and unobstructed all the out of the building. The vent
should also extend 18 to 24 inches above the highest roofline. If the vent is to short, even the slightest
breeze will blow the pilot light out.
g.Restriction in gas supply line- Not as common, if the gas supply
line fills with water or other debris, it restricts the gas flow to a point that even the pilot will not stay
lit. Contacting your gas or propane supplier is your first and best option. They will in most cases come out
and inspect the service line free.
Worn out, old, burnt and loose thermocouples are the leading
causes for GE water heater malfunctions. In the past, it was no big deal to just reach in, remove, and
replace your thermocouple from inside the water heater combustion chamber. Modern water heaters; however, now
have a sealed combustion chamber. In order to replace or maintenance a water heater thermocouple or burner,
you have to disconnect the thermocouple, pilot tube, burner gas supply tube and pilot igniter from the gas
control valve, and then remove the sealed access door. A small adjustable wrench is all you will need to
unscrew the tubes and thermocouple. You must install a new airtight seal each time the access doors removed
to prevent carbon monoxide from escaping it the home.
GE will assist you in your water heater repair during the first
year of the warranty period. They will give you phone numbers of authorized GE water heater companies and
technicians. This first year labor guaranty is limited. If you choose to hire your own plumber, and they are
not authorized GE service agents, you are responsible for any addition cost of repair.
GE parts are under warranty until it expires for your unit. Call
the 1-800 phone numbers on the front of your Water Heater, and ask for new parts right
away.Delivery of new parts could take several days.