Why Does My Gas Wall Heater Keep Shutting Off?

Ventless gas wall heaters are one of the most convenient ways to add additional heating capacity to your home. They can be installed easily and should last for many years with minimal maintenance. For many homeowners, the initial ownership perks of simple installation and readily available heating capacity can be offset by frustration with their gas wall heater won’t stay on, or where their gas heater keeps shutting off completely.

We’re going to take a look at the leading reasons that your gas wall heater keeps shutting off, as well as reasons why it runs poorly, and won’t turn on or off. In the end, you should have a relatively solid idea of what is wrong and whether you’ll need a professional to safely fix the issue.

Why Does My Gas Wall Heater Keep Shutting Off

There are many potential causes of this common symptom, but there are also some very simple solutions. If you’ve been asking yourself “why does my gas wall heater keep shutting off,” take a look at some of the most common reasons it happens, below.

Thermocouple Failure

For any appliance that needs a pilot light, the thermocouple is one of the most significant safety devices you could ask for. Not only can it control the amount of gas that gets to your pilot light, but it can ensure that your gas supply is cut off in the event that the pilot light goes out for any reason while the unit is lit. When the thermocouple is damaged it can prevent the pilot from staying lit, which can cause the unit to turn off periodically. Sometimes the old thermocouple can be cleaned, but in most cases, they can be replaced for very reasonable rates.

Low Oxygen Supply

One of the signs that your unit doesn’t have an appropriate oxygen supply or airflow is a flickering or weak pilot light. This can happen with a low oxygen supply, but it can also happen with a high supply as well. If the pilot is located in a drafty or breezy area, the pilot may not keep the thermocouple activated, which will cause the unit to shut off. 

In some cases, the condition will be caused by blockages in the pilot tube, commonly from pests or debris. The pilot hole is a very small gas aperture, and to clear it you can use a piece of small-gauge wire or even a needle to clear the carbon build-up and any debris in the tube.

Thermostat Failure

The thermostat is the part of your heater that tells it when it’s cold and that the heater needs to run. The thermostat is crucial for the safe operation of the gas valve, and without it, the furnace will keep inconsistent temperatures or sometimes won’t turn on at all. Some thermostats can be reset, but many of the ones in wall heaters are mechanical valves that cannot be given a “factory reset” like others, and must then be replaced.

Gas Valve Failure

While a failure of the valve is relatively rare, it has happened. If the gas valve has suffered some damage or other defect, the heater will suffer from an incorrect or inconsistent gas supply. This can mean not turning on, not turning off, or not giving the pilot enough gas to keep the heater on.

Get A Trusted Local Expert In Your Corner

The Emory team is fully equipped to handle any HVAC needs you may have. We can make sure that the unit was installed correctly, and we can perform any needed service on the unit itself. Reach out today to speak with a member of our HVAC team.