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Water Heater Pilot Light Has a Yellow Flame? Your Combustion Chamber May Be Dirty

If you’re inspecting your gas water heater and notice your water heater pilot light’s yellow flame, the combustion chamber is likely overwhelmed with dirt and debris — it’s time for a deep clean.

Check Your Water Heater Pilot Light for a Yellow Flame

The combustion chamber inside your gas water heater is where all the magic happens. Here, the burner lights the gas with a very hot blue flame that transfers heat into your water tank.

If any contaminants make their way inside this chamber, they’ll create ash that coats the chamber and the burner, preventing the flame from burning as hot as it needs to.

How to check your water heater pilot light for a yellow flame

  • At the base of your hot water heater is a small window with a metal cover over it. Remove the cover by pulling it up and out.

  • Using a flashlight, look inside the window at the flame. A healthy flame is a hot, pure blue. If you see yellow or orange in the flame, it's not burning cleanly. You may also see rust scale or black flakes inside the chamber. The flakes are the debris that has burned inside the chamber. They can build up on top of the burner or on the screen in the floor of the combustion chamber, and they are another sign that it needs a good cleaning.

What to Do With a Dirty Combustion Chamber

You'll want to ensure your water heater pilot light isn’t yellow. Give your combustion chamber a deep clean to establish a blue flame so your gas water heater can operate efficiently. If you're unfamiliar with the cleaning process, consider hiring a technician to do the job for you!

NOTE: This content is for informational purposes only, and HomeX and its affiliates disclaim all liability related to it. If you decide to perform any tasks based on this information, you assume all risks, including the risk of loss or damage to property or personal injury.

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