Hi, I have a Whirlpool Energy Smart gas water heater with flame lock that all of a sudden often fails to maintain a tank of hot water throughout the day (has never done this before). One time I take a hot shower, then after a few hours, no hot water. I go to the heater and the status light indicator says normal (1 flash every 3 seconds) and the pilot light is still lit. Another time was before showering (ugh).

This happens throughout the day and every time I go check the heater, theres a normal indicator light and the pilot light is lit, it just refuses to crank up any gas/heat unless I reset it by turning the heater off for a few mins and turning it back on; pilot light stays lit, it fires up without any problems and I get hot water after a few minutes. This has been my band-aid solution but its getting annoying.

I have little sense of any of this and dare not mess with anything for fear I will do something stupid/unsafe. Also have a CO and smoke detector next to my heater for safety. I have searched a little through the stickied Whirlpool thread here but it seems that most people have a completely failed thermocouple and their pilot lights won't light at all, but mine works fine per se. Any advice would be appreciated.