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Gas Heater Repair Referral
updated: Dec 02, 2011, 10:53 AM

I have a gas wall heater that is having pilot light problems, that is, it goes out frequently. The guy who installed it some years ago has left town. Does anyone have any suggestions for repair people?

I also have a floor furnace, accessible only by a crawl space and should have that inspected, but that may be a different repair service, perhaps by the gas company?

Places People Are Talking About:

Anderson Systems, Inc.Don's HeatingThe Gas Company

What People Are Saying:

 COMMENT 237503 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-02 11:00 AM

Call the gas company. They are very nice, prompt.
I think they will access and light the pilot light for free.
Let them know the issue with the pilot light going out-- sounds serious.


 COMMENT 237506 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-02 11:03 AM

The gas company will come out and light your heater and inspect it. But you also might want to look up "negative air pressure" and see if that's why the light keeps going out. If your home is sealed too tightly you can have negative air pressure which forces air down the vent and extinguishes the pilot light. This is an indicator that your home doesn't have good air circulation and that can lead to mold problems.


 COMMENT 237511 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-02 11:11 AM

Most likely the thermocouple. Worth a few bucks to try and replace it yourself, vs the $200 repair bill.


 COMMENT 237518 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-02 11:31 AM

Definately contact the Gas Company first. You can make an appointment online. I found them to be polite and prompt, too. They will check and light the pilot for free, and they will tell you if something needs to be fixed. I think they will do simple adjustments for free.


 COMMENT 237528 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-02 12:03 PM

Two possibilities:

1. The thermocouple may need replacing. You can buy these for very little money-- write down the model number or take the old one to the store--any hardware store should have them. Type "replace water heater thermocouple" to google for directions.

2. There may be some debris in the gas line going to the pilot light. I've had this problem with my furnace that is turned off most of the year. You have to take the tube that delivers the gas to the pilot off and blow it out. You could try a vacuum cleaner to suck out the debris--that might work.

The internet has plenty of instructions with photos.

The other thing worth doing is to drain the water heater of a few gallons every six months or so to remove debris inside the tank.

Get to work now.


 COMMENT 237540 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-02 01:00 PM

One caution about the Gas Co. If they inspect and find something they don't like, they'll "red tag" your appliance, meaning you have to make the repair, and then they'll come back to inspect and remove the red tag. Until then, you won't have heat.

Calling a repair firm is a one step process.


 COMMENT 237553P agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-02 01:29 PM

Thank you for the responses. Particularly interesting is the 'red tag' --- any recommendations for repair firms? When I get home, I'll check for the model number and the "thermocouple".


 COMMENT 237556 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-02 01:32 PM

Yeah, my grandma was recently red tagged and went for a week with no heat, but she needed to replace her whole heater. Better safe than sorry though especially when it comes to gas appliances.


 COMMENT 237569 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-02 02:26 PM

Second on the "red tag". When I bought my place, the wall heaters were so old, the gas guy wouldn't turn on the gas until he had capped the supply lines to the heaters disabling the heaters permanently. If your wall heater draws air from the room to fuel the fire, it will likely need to be replaced for safety. Better to try the repair yourself first by replacing the thermocouple.


 COMMENT 237694 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-02 06:36 PM

The floor furnace will probably be red tagged by the Gas Co, per a repair guy, cause they do not like crawling under your house. If you get a good Gas Co guy he will do it...but likely you will get a red tag.


 COMMENT 237779 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-03 08:27 AM

First call the Gas Co. for $25 they will come out at a time convienient for you. I have a gas wall heater and have them light the pilot light every year for free. They check to make sure the heater is in good working order. This year they found a leak in the Control Valve and red tagged it. My landlord contacted Don's Heating and he came within a few days and fixed it. I'm now warm and toasty.


 COMMENT 237781 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-03 08:34 AM

A few years ago, after many years of having the Gas Co out, the Gas CO. man found something that had existed the whole time that I had to pay to have fixed. It wasn't some new problem, but something about the cupboard construction. Wasn't that expensive, but annoying, as he wouldn't light it at the inspection.


 COMMENT 237782 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-03 08:36 AM

Most of the appliance repair firms I've contacted through the Yellow Pages over the years have been courteous and kind. One even directed me on how to do the job myself and save a bunch of $$.... the problem was similar to yours but for the water heater. So call around and see who strikes you as the one you'd like to work with.


 COMMENT 237847 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-03 12:19 PM

The Gas Company will repair/replace faulty parts, unless they are obsolete and no longer available. Many times, this kind of problem could increase the risk of a gas leak and/or fire, so I'd call the Gas Company first and have them do a free inspection.


 COMMENT 237873P agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-03 02:33 PM

If it's leaking any tiny bit of water you need a new one.


 COMMENT 237882 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-03 03:02 PM

don's heating


 COMMENT 237910 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-03 05:47 PM

Whatever you do, DON'T go to Home furnace on DeLaVina.


 COMMENT 237947P agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-03 09:53 PM

Don's Heating!


 COMMENT 238053 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-04 03:19 PM

Anderson Systems, Inc.



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