How to restart pilot light on water heater?

Struggling with a cold shower? Learn how to restart pilot light on water heater with our step-by-step guide for a quick and safe solution.
Steve Donaldson Master HVAC technician
Steve Donaldson
Master HVAC technician at Quality Comfort Home Services

I am Steve Donaldson, a Master HVAC technician with a rich background in addressing heating issues, especially when it comes to various types of water heaters. Leveraging my extensive expertise, I offer insights and advice to help individuals maintain a warm and secure home environment. Reach out to me at steve.donaldson@tedreviews.com for valuable tips from a seasoned professional in the industry.

Steve Donaldson Master HVAC technician
Steve Donaldson
Master HVAC technician at Quality Comfort Home Services

I am Steve Donaldson, a Master HVAC technician with a rich background in addressing heating issues, especially when it comes to various types of water heaters. Leveraging my extensive expertise, I offer insights and advice to help individuals maintain a warm and secure home environment. Reach out to me at steve.donaldson@tedreviews.com for valuable tips from a seasoned professional in the industry.

Did you know that a simple pilot light can be the key to hot water in your home? That's right! The pilot light on your water heater is the essential flame that ignites the burner, allowing your water heater to produce hot water. But what happens when the pilot light goes out? Don't worry, we've got you covered!

Whether you have a gas or electric water heater, restarting the pilot light is a relatively straightforward process that you can do on your own. In this article, we'll guide you through the steps to safely relight the pilot light on your water heater, ensuring a steady supply of hot water in your home.

So, if you're ready to take control of your hot water situation, let's dive in and learn how to restart the pilot light on your water heater!

Key Takeaways:

  • The pilot light on your water heater is responsible for igniting the burner and producing hot water.
  • Knowing the type of water heater you have is crucial before attempting to restart the pilot light.
  • Gas water heaters require specific steps to relight the pilot light, while electric water heaters do not have a pilot light.
  • Common issues with the pilot light include a dirty thermocouple or malfunctioning control valves.
  • Ensure proper safety precautions and consider contacting a professional plumber for assistance if needed.

Types of Water Heaters

Before attempting to restart the pilot light on your water heater, it's important to know what type of water heater you have. The most common types are electric, gas, and tankless water heaters. Electric and tankless water heaters do not have a pilot light and require a different approach for troubleshooting and restarting. Make sure you understand the specific type of water heater you have before proceeding.

How to Restart the Pilot Light on a Gas Water Heater

If you have a gas water heater, follow these steps to safely restart the pilot light:

  1. Turn off the heater mode on your thermostat.
  2. Locate the gas shut-off valve and turn it to the off position. Wait for any residual gas to clear.
  3. Once the area is clear, find the pilot light underneath the gas valve and open any necessary covers.
  4. Press and hold the pilot button or turn the knob to the pilot position.
  5. Use a lighter to carefully ignite the pilot light. Be cautious when using an open flame.
  6. Continue holding the knob or button for a few seconds to ensure the flame remains lit.
  7. Turn the gas back on by turning the gas valve to the on position.
  8. Replace any covers that were removed during the process.
  9. Finally, wait for your water heater to heat up and confirm that hot water is flowing.
Explore further:  When is it cold enough to put the heating on?

Note: For visual reference, follow the instructions provided in the image below:

how to restart pilot light on gas water heater

Safety Tips:

When dealing with a gas water heater, always prioritize safety. If you smell gas or suspect a gas leak, immediately turn off the gas supply at the main shutoff valve and seek professional assistance. Carbon monoxide poisoning is also a concern, so ensure proper ventilation and have your water heater regularly maintained by a licensed professional. If you're not comfortable or experienced with relighting the pilot light, it is recommended to contact a professional plumber for assistance.

Common Causes of Pilot Light Issues Solution
Dirty or faulty thermocouple Clean or replace the thermocouple
Clogged pilot gas tubes Clean or unclog the gas tubes
Kinked flex tubes Straighten or replace the flex tubes
Malfunctioning control valves Repair or replace the control valves

How to Restart an Electric Water Heater

If your electric water heater is not producing hot water, it can be frustrating. However, unlike gas water heaters, electric water heaters do not have a pilot light. So, if you're wondering how to restart an electric water heater, there's no need to look for a pilot light. Instead, follow these troubleshooting steps:

  1. Check the breaker box: Make sure the circuit breaker for the water heater is turned on. If it has tripped, reset it and see if the hot water starts flowing again.
  2. Inspect the heating elements: Electric water heaters have two heating elements – one at the top and one at the bottom. If either of these elements is faulty or burned out, it can prevent the water from heating. Consult the manufacturer's instructions to locate and inspect the heating elements.
  3. Test the thermostats: Electric water heaters also have thermostats that control the temperature of the water. If a thermostat is malfunctioning, it can cause the water to be too hot or too cold. Use a multimeter to test the thermostats and replace any faulty ones.
  4. Contact a professional plumber: If you have checked the breaker box, inspected the heating elements, and tested the thermostats without success, it may be time to call in a professional plumber. They can diagnose the issue and provide the necessary repairs or replacements.
Explore further:  Discover the Top 7 Water Heater Elements for Hard Water!

Remember, working with electricity can be dangerous, so always exercise caution and follow safety guidelines. If you're unsure or uncomfortable performing any electrical troubleshooting, it's best to leave it to the experts.

Need more assistance with your electric water heater? Contact us for reliable and prompt service from our team of experienced plumbers.

electric water heater

Common Issues with Pilot Light

There are several reasons why a pilot light may not stay lit or ignite. One common issue is a dirty or faulty thermocouple. The thermocouple is a safety device that detects whether the pilot light is on. If the thermocouple is dirty or malfunctioning, it may not register the presence of the pilot light and shut off the gas supply. Cleaning or replacing the thermocouple is a simple troubleshooting step that can often solve the problem.

In addition to the thermocouple, there are other potential issues that can cause problems with the pilot light. Clogged pilot gas tubes can prevent the flow of gas to the pilot light, making it difficult to ignite and stay lit. Similarly, kinked flex tubes can restrict the gas flow and cause the pilot light to go out. Malfunctioning control valves can also prevent the pilot light from staying lit.

If you find that you are experiencing frequent issues with your pilot light, it is recommended to contact a professional plumber for further assessment and repair. They will have the expertise to diagnose and resolve any underlying issues with your water heater, ensuring that your pilot light stays lit and your hot water remains consistent.

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Safety Precautions and Professional Help

When it comes to dealing with a gas water heater, prioritizing safety is of utmost importance. If you detect the smell of gas or suspect a gas leak, it is crucial to take immediate action by turning off the gas supply at the main shutoff valve and seeking professional assistance. Gas leaks can be extremely dangerous and should never be taken lightly.

Another important consideration is carbon monoxide poisoning. Gas water heaters produce carbon monoxide, which is a colorless and odorless gas that can be fatal in high concentrations. To prevent carbon monoxide buildup, ensure that your water heater has proper ventilation and that the exhaust flue remains unobstructed. It is also recommended to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home for added safety.

Regular maintenance of your water heater is essential to ensure its safe and efficient operation. We advise having your gas water heater inspected and serviced by a licensed professional at least once a year. A professional plumber will have the expertise to identify any potential issues, such as gas leaks or faulty components, and perform the necessary repairs.

If you do not feel comfortable or experienced in relighting the pilot light on your gas water heater, it is best to leave this task to a professional plumber. They have the knowledge and skills to handle gas appliances safely and efficiently. Attempting to relight the pilot light without the necessary expertise can lead to further complications or even accidents.

Steve Donaldson Master HVAC technician
Steve DonaldsonMaster HVAC technician at Quality Comfort Home Services

I am Steve Donaldson, a Master HVAC technician with a rich background in addressing heating issues, especially when it comes to various types of water heaters. Leveraging my extensive expertise, I offer insights and advice to help individuals maintain a warm and secure home environment. Reach out to me at steve.donaldson@tedreviews.com for valuable tips from a seasoned professional in the industry.

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