Gas heaters, whether they warm up air or water in a home, rely on a pilot light to trigger the flame of the actual heater. If this pilot light ever goes out, the heater has no way of actually turning on to heat the water or air that your particular type of heater circulates to warm the house or other elements. Knowing how to maintain the heater and troubleshoot the everyday type of issues with pilot lights will help you avoid costly repairs.
Gas is funnelled to the tip of a pilot light via a supply line that is connected to a natural gas or propane supply. As the gas passes through the tip of the pilot light, it is ignited by the action of the pilot light, which is either electronic or manual.
Over time, this tip can become corroded with soot and residue, blocking the gas from exiting the tip. It must be cleaned to operate at full capacity. A toothbrush works well, but you can also run a piece of flexible wire in and out of the orifices on the tip to scrape debris off. You should check at least every six months for the best results.