My Mobile Home Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps Going Off – Now What?
Have you had trouble keeping the pilot light on your mobile home water heater on? Does it go out with every gust of wind? You most likely have a problem that can be easily fixed. Let’s first talk about why this is happening.
The way the wind flows over the wing of an airplane is the same way the wind blows over the roof. As the wind reaches the surface of your roof, the wind at the top of the roof accelerates and flows quite quickly. This has an adverse effect on fireplaces and chimneys of gas-burning appliances such as boilers and water heaters. Then the wind blows strongly through the chimneys or B-Vents, turning off the pilot light. However, let’s make something clear. If Mother Nature wants to turn off her pilot light, she will, and there is nothing she can do to permanently stop it. All you can do is persuade it not to happen all the time. When you have a gas appliance like a water heater or oven that uses a pilot light, turning it back on every now and then is perfectly normal.
What you don’t want to do to curb this problem is install a screen around the top of the chimney or vent B. This may seem like a common sense solution, but it is very dangerous. In winter, ice and snow will accumulate on the screen material, causing a very dangerous situation. Combustion gases can build up and become blocked. A lethal gas carbon monoxide spill can occur, putting you and / or your family at great risk. Do not solve your problem with this method.
A preferred method of curbing pilot shutdown problems is to install an exterior chimney extension or B vent. The science behind this method is simple once you remember why this problem occurs in the first place. Do you remember that the wind picks up speed when it hits the ceiling? By lifting the chimney or vent B, you are changing the exit point of the flue gases to a higher point, where the wind is flowing at the same rate as anywhere else. The wind will continue to flow faster near the roof surface as long as the top of the vent is not touching, which will not allow the wind to travel down and turn off the pilot. You can purchase exterior extensions at large home improvement stores and wholesale plumbing and heating supply companies.
Remember, solving this problem means working on the top of your roof. If you are not entirely comfortable working at this height, call a professional to keep the pilot light on your mobile home water heater on.