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How to Light a Water Heater

If you’re having issues with the hot water at your home, the first thing you should inspect is your hot water heater. A loss of pressure in the gas line can cause the heater’s pilot light to go out. When that’s the case, you should be able to fix it quickly. The basic steps for how to light a water heater presented here will educate you about the process. Each water heater has directions printed by its pilot light area. You’ll need to consult those as well to follow all safety procedures.

How to Light a Water HeaterTools You’ll Need

Some water heaters have an ignition button. If yours does not, you’ll need an extra-long lighter to manually light the pilot.

  • Flashlight
  • Extra-long lighter

How to Light A Water Heater Steps

*Always check the manufacturer directions listed on the water heater.

  1. Locate the gas shut off valve on the lower front of the water heater.
  2. You should see a knob with ON and OFF markings.
  3. Find the pilot light area at the bottom of the water heater.
    1. It may have a door or cover over it or it may just be an open alcove.
  4. Shine the flashlight into the alcove.
  5. Look for 2 small tubes leading to a small pilot burner.
  6. If you see no flame, then the pilot did go out.
  7. Near this area, you should see a knob with a label that says PILOT.
  8. Turn the knob to align with PILOT.
  9. Press and hold the knob in the PILOT position.
  10. If your water heater has an IGNITION button, press it according to the written directions.
  11. In the absence of an IGNITION button, extend the extra-long lighter toward the pilot burner with the small tubes.
  12. Hold the IGNITION button or keep the lighter lit until you see the pilot flame start.
  13. Keep pressing down on the knob in the PILOT position for 1 minute.
  14. Release the button.
  15. Confirm that the pilot stays lit.
  16. Turn the gas shut off valve to ON.
  17. Listen for the sound of the main burner igniting to confirm reactivation of the water heater.
  18. Make sure to set temperature to original setting. Hot water should not exceed 120° F.
    *Caution Hot water can cause servers burns if mishandled.

Watch Out for Water Heater Failure

Relighting your pilot light should be a rare occurrence. If your water heater pilot goes out repeatedly, parts like the thermocouple may be failing. A master plumber from Oliver can inspect your water heater and replace any broken parts, or we can help you install a new water heater. Persistent trouble with a water heater should not be ignored because it’s a gas-burning appliance. Contact Oliver for a water heater repair estimate today!

Need help with this project?

If you do not have the time, tools, or experience necessary to complete the project, please contact the professionals at Oliver for help.

Contact us today at 1-888-810-2681 Get a Free Estimate
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