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Gas Heater Issues
updated: Mar 01, 2014, 8:36 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

Is any one else having issues with their natural gas today? Our gas heater was working yesterday, but last night the pilot light went out, and we have not been able to re-light it. The gas stove seems to be weak, also. Not sure about the water heater at this point.We are on the Mesa near Shoreline Park. Not able to get an appointment with The Gas Company until at least Tuesday. Hurray for fireplace; guess we will be living in the living room for a few days.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-01 09:05 AM

Call the gas company, they can send someone out to help. Doesn't have to be really cold, just nice to feel cozy in this weather. I have the fireplace going, our only heat.


 COMMENT 499057 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-01 09:15 AM

I have a gas furnace -- turned off now for the rest of the year--and a wood stove. The stove works well enough for mild chilly days. You problem may be some debris that is clogging the gas tubing at the pilot light. It's easy to disassemble that and blow it clear. Might even work to bang on it a little, or get a vacuum cleaner nozzle near it while tapping it. Google is your friend.


 COMMENT 499065 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-01 09:21 AM

I've had similar pilot light problems with my hot water heater. I know we're talking about different appliances but it is only to say that the Gas Co. will not repair appliances even if it's as simple as a cheap thermocouple that needs replacing. I'd consider calling an appliance repair company to take a look at your heater rather than wait in the cold.

A thermocouple is a simple device that both carries gas to the burners and keeps the gas on while the pilot is burning and shuts it off when the pilot goes out.


 COMMENT 499074 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-01 09:41 AM

second thermocouple


 COMMENT 499081 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-01 10:07 AM

replacing the thermocouple could solve the problem, but only for a little while. after you replace your second thermocouple, start budgeting for a new furnace.


 COMMENT 499104P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-01 10:39 AM

If the exhaust on the roof for the furnace goes straight up, the part where it lights can get wet in heavy rain. Ours does that sometimes. The furnace keeps trying to relight every 30 minutes or so until the house either warms up on its own during the day or until the lighter dries out. They say we should change the exhaust pipe to have a couple angles, but that would involve roof work.


 COMMENT 499111 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-01 10:49 AM

OP here: it is not only the heater, the gas pressure seems to be fluctuating on our stove also. If you read my post, you will see that we did call The Gas Company, got the phone system, and were only able to make an appointment for them to come out Tuesday at the earliest. I am going to try to call them and let them know of the pressure problem, if I can get through the phone system. And hey, it's not really all that cold, we have a fireplace in the living room and it heats the front of the house quite well. We are not freezing like in the mid west. :-)


 COMMENT 499126P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-01 11:24 AM

you could fudge a bit with the gas co. Tell them you think you smell gas - they're out to your place fast ! Of course, this advice comes from a friend who did just that, and then it was discovered they really did have a gas leak !


 COMMENT 499306 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-02 07:19 AM

With gas pressure fluctuating in an entire area, call the So Cal Gas Company again and if no response, call the fire dept (start with the business or office number, not 911) . Major pressure fluctuations in an entire neighborhood can be evidence of a damaged gas main or even a serious leak somewhere. They will be out well before Tuesday. Your furnace may still have a bad (or somewhat out of position) thermocouple or a partly blocked pilot orifice. That (as the modern gas company will surely tell you) is your problem, but they will come out for free to diagnose any problem that associates with a gas odor or possible leak.


 TED agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-02 10:36 AM

We regularly have the gas heater go out and refuse to start when it rains - the rain gets down the exhaust pipe and the system automatically shuts off when it senses that.

the trick is to do what is called a cold start - you shut the system off for 5 min or more and then restart - if you have a pilot light that you have to light, you'll have to light it - ours is automatic. fyi


 COMMENT 499402 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-02 12:38 PM

OP- you say the range is weak as well? have you checked the burner of the water heater? is your gas meter
at the curb? it sounds like you're having pressure problems. probably somewhere between the meter and the house. water may have gotten into your yardline/house line. this is a common problem with all this rain we've had, the water can easily overtake the gas pressure. (keep in mind, the pressure going thru the meter is only about a third of a pound),which means your yard line may be shot. water may also be getting in thru the Gas Co. side, ( meter and regulator). the Gas Co. can diagnose this. but, you might be looking at some plumbing work that'll need to be done. good luck!


 COMMENT 499595 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-03 12:22 PM

You could hire a licensed, bonded and insured heating contractor. If there is a dangerous problem with your gas heater, the Gas Co. will shut it down, and then you will need to hire someone.


 COMMENT 499773 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 10:29 AM

402, 0.3 psi = 43.2 lb/sq ft = .7 ft of water. So a gas line would have to have more than 6 inches of standing water above a gas line to force water into a gas pipe under pressure. Unless your soil is beach sand, saturated soil does not act like standing water.

Maybe it could happen, but my guess is that a wet vent is a more likely scenario.


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