How to Check the Pilot Light on Your Gas Water Heater

Posted in Do It Yourself,Water Heaters
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Pilot Light on Gas Water HeaterIf you smell gas, stop right there! Hot water can wait, call your gas provider. Safety should always be your first concern.

Then, check on the side of the water heater for instructions installed by the manufacturer or your owner’s manual. If neither is available, here are the most common steps to use in Lake Charles and Beaumont.

Depending on the age of your water heater, there are 2 common styles. First decide if you have an older style (access panel that you’ll open to light), or a newer style that has a sealed compartment and the pilot is lit with a push button that generates a spark.

How to Relight an Older Style Gas Water Heater

  • Turn the gas valve to OFF and wait a few minutes
  • Turn the gas valve to PILOT and push down on it (or a red button that is commonly next to it). Hold it down to restart the gas flow through the pilot gas supply tube.
  • Continue to hold the valve or button down, and wait for the pilot to light. If your water unit requires manual lighting, use a grill lighter, if available, to ignite the gas at the end of the gas supply tube.
  • If air is in the line, you may have to continue to hold the light for a few seconds.
  • CONTINUE TO HOLD the button or valve down for at least a minute or so after you have the pilot lit. This will allow it to heat the thermocouple. The thermocouple is a heat sensor that shuts off the gas automatically when the pilot goes out.
  • RELEASE THE BUTTON. If the pilot light goes out again, turn the valve to OFF, wait a few minutes, and then repeat the process over again.
  • Once the PILOT STAYS LIT after you release the button, turn the control to the ON position. The burner should now ignite.
  • If the PILOT DOESN’T LIGHT or stay lit after a couple of tries, it is probably time to call your local plumber for their expert assistance.

How to Relight a Newer Style Gas Water Heater

  • Turn the temperature control to its lowest setting
  • Turn the gas valve to PILOT and press the button down. Keep it pressed down.
  • As you look through the clear window, slowly press the spark generator until you hear it click. You should see a spark and it should hopefully light. Hold the pilot button down for at least 30 seconds more. This will allow it to heat the thermocouple.
  • If air is in the line, you may need to hold the pilot button down and press the spark button every 10 seconds or so until it lights.
  • Once the PILOT STAYS LIT after you release the button, turn the control to the ON position. The burner should now ignite.

Whether it’s maintenance or quick service to your water heater, Roto-Rooter continues to be the #1 name in plumbing. If something is keeping you from having hot water, check out our money saving coupons and then give us a call.

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