Proudly serving Birmingham 

Over the Mountain

Cahaba Valley Plumbing

​The most common failures of gas water heaters involve the pilot/thermocouple assembly.  A thermocouple that has been in use for a period of time, and then turned off during a vacation can fail.  The failure is caused by it cooling completely and then being reheated. 

​The pilot has a tapered air vent built into the assembly called a venture.  The venture sometimes gets clogged with lint or other debris.  The other most common cause of failure with a  gas water heater is rust.  Rust formson the uncoated baffle and falls onto the burner assembly.  Once the burner assembly orifice is clogged with rust the water heater will fail to light.  This rust can also clog the venture of the pilot and/or the burner assembly.


​Cahaba Valley Plumbing can diagnose and repair any of these common problems.

See our services list and learn more about Cahaba Valley Plumbing.

​There are so many different types, brands and models of control valves/pilot assemblies.  We only carry 18" and 24" thermocouples on board our trucks.  But we will get your part as quickly as possible.  We have access to all local and national vendors.

​Cahaba Valley Plumbing repairs, replaces many different gas units, both residential and commercial, including commercial water heaters, boilers, pool heaters, and decorative gas logs.

​Cahaba Valley Plumbing recommends quality Real-Frye gas logs and Rheem water heating products. Our Plumber can install any brand.

Natural Gas Water Heaters are more efficient than electric water heaters, and cost less to operate.  Gas water heaters do, however, have a greater initial cost for the unit and the installation.  Gas water heaters should never be repaired or installed except by a professional.  The dangers associated with them are significant.  Every local jurisdiction governing a plumber within the Birmingham, Alabama area require the permitting of and the inspection of gas water heaters.  On all installations.​

​See the following link regarding carbon monoxide:

www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA-carbon-monoxide-english.html

​Residential Gas water heaters are simple in their function, however.  The control valve is the heart of the system.  The incoming gas is fed through an electromagnetically charged pilot valve to the pilot assembly.  This valve is energized by a thermocouple.  At first the pilot valve is held open manually until the pilot is lit. When the pilot is lit the thermocouple begins to heat up.  Once it has been heated enough to produce a few millivolts, the electromagnet becomes energized and holds the pilot valve in the open position.  Once the pilot is lit and functioning the unit is read to operate.

​The built-in thermostat of the control valve senses the tank water temperature.  When the temperature falls below the set point, the main gas valve opens.  When the water has reached full temperature, it automatically closes.

​The thermostatic control can lose calibration over time.  This can be overcome by changing the temperature setting up or down.  

​Gas Water Heaters & Other Gas Appliances (and Possible Problems)