Instead of a constant flame, an intermittent pilot only lights when the unit needs to burn gas. Whenever the unit needs to start heating, the pilot automatically turns on and then shuts off again as soon as the heating cycle is complete.
A basic water heater will run three to five hours a day to keep its tank heated 24/7. That's going to cost you.
When you turn on a hot water tap, a flow sensor in the tankless water heater unit activates. If the tankless unit is gas-powered, this sensor turns on a fan inside of the unit, draws in air, opens the gas valve, and ignites the burner. With an electric tankless unit, the sensor activates an electric heating unit.
Also, tank-type heaters burn energy (gas or electricity) day and night to maintain the water temperature, regardless of whether or not anyone's using hot water, a phenomenon known as standby heat loss.
Your gas water heater will turn off if it isn't getting the fuel it needs. There are a few different problems that can prevent your heater from getting enough gas. Although these problems are most often caused by a faulty gas valve or a leak.
The pilot light on most water heaters can be found at the base of the unit just under the gas control valve. Open the access door or panel to the burner chamber and take a look inside. You should be able to see the pilot light tube. If there's a steady blue flame, your pilot light is operational.
If the pilot light goes out on a storage or instantaneous hot water heater, space heater or a ducted heater, you will not have a gas leak. This is because all modern gas appliances with pilot lights have a fail-safe device that closes off the gas to the appliance in the case when the pilot may go out.
Generally, it's best to keep your water tank full and heated throughout the year. You can turn off your water heater when it is done safely, but only do this when you have a problem or if the tank won't be heated anytime soon. Turning off your water heater to save on energy bills is not usually recommended.
That's important because gas is always being supplied to the pilot to keep the flame lit. But if the pilot flame goes out, then the gas would still be released. After a while, the gas could collect in your home and become a health hazard.
In most cases, it may not be necessary to turn off the water heater, but it also won't hurt, either. However, there are two reasons when you should turn off the unit to prevent too much pressure or heat from building up inside the tank: The tank is empty (or close to it) and won't be refilled for a long period of time.
If an electric water heater is not producing hot water, it could be a simple problem like a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker. Additionally, some electric water heaters have a circuit-style safety switch located near or on the thermostat.
One way to know that your water heater is not working as it should is if you're experiencing inconsistent water temperatures. Inconsistent water temperature could signal an issue with the thermostat, but it could also point toward a problem with the heating element, which is a bigger issue to address.
While today's water heaters are better designed than older models, they still require regular maintenance in order to prolong their lives. With regular inspection, draining, and flushing, you can expect a gas water heater to last anywhere from 8-12 years and an electric water heater to last anywhere from 10-15 years.
For gas water heaters, it usually takes on average 30 to 40 minutes for the water in the tank to be completely heated.
The average gas heater takes between 30 and 40 minutes to fully heat up the water in its tank. The average electric heater takes about twice as long as the average gas heater to fully heat up the water in its tank, so you can expect it to take between an hour and an hour and 20 minutes to heat up.
Although this is an area of concern for many people, the reality is that boilers are built so that the gas supply to the pilot light is shut off if the flame goes out. Whilst the cause of pilot light failure needs to be investigated, extinguished pilot lights aren't going to cause a gas leak.
The pilot light, however, is an actual old-fashioned flame inside your furnace. This flame is supplied by your gas line and should always be lit.
If your gas water heater keeps turning off, the problem most likely lies with the thermocouple. This vital component detects when the pilot light is lit and then allows gas to flow to the burner. A faulty thermocouple will shut off gas to the burner as well as the pilot.
The water heater will still turn on and off to maintain the water temperature inside of the tank. Think about if you have ever gone away for a prolonged period of time. Normally there will be no water use for days or weeks and this causes no problems to the tank.
If your hot water heater doesn't have a vacation setting, simply manually adjust your temperature to resemble Vacation Mode by lowering the temperature to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, or the lowest setting your thermostat allows. You may also choose to turn your hot water heater off completely.
Is it normal for a hot water heater to smell like gas? The short answer is, “No.” Here's the long answer: Natural gas is odorless. The chemical mercaptan is added to natural gas to better detect when a leak is occurring.
1376. Note that it is totally normal on automatic pilots (pilots that do NOT stay lit all the time) to smell a little natural gas when the are first turned on.
PG&E gas service technicians are available to safely turn off or relight your appliance pilot lights.
If you've replaced your water heater within the past few years, you may have been surprised to learn that your new unit doesn't use a traditional standing pilot light. As with furnaces, most new gas water heaters no longer use pilot lights for ignition and instead typically use some type of electronic igniter.