How to turn off pilot light on water heater?

Learn with us how to turn off pilot light on water heater safely and efficiently, ensuring your home's safety and energy savings.
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.

Are you aware that a staggering 75% of water heater pilot lights are left on even when not in use? This means that millions of households are unknowingly wasting energy and increasing their utility bills. But why is it important to know how to turn off the pilot light on your water heater?

The pilot light is a small flame that ignites the burner on a gas water heater. It is crucial to understand how to turn it off for maintenance purposes or when leaving your house vacant for an extended period. Fortunately, modern water heaters come equipped with built-in safety features that automatically shut off the gas supply if the pilot light goes out.

So, how can you turn off the pilot light on your water heater? It's simpler than you might think. By locating the water heater, turning the temperature knob to the lowest setting, and then turning the knob labeled “On,” “Off,” and “Pilot” to the “off” position, you can easily extinguish the pilot light. Additionally, to completely shut off the gas supply to the water heater, you can turn off the gas valve along the gas line.

Key Takeaways:

  • 75% of water heater pilot lights are left on even when not in use.
  • Turning off the pilot light helps save energy and reduce utility bills.
  • Modern water heaters have safety features that automatically shut off the gas supply if the pilot light goes out.
  • To turn off the pilot light, locate the water heater, adjust the temperature knob, and turn the designated knob to the “off” position.
  • You can also turn off the gas valve along the gas line for complete gas shut-off.

Is it Dangerous if the Water Heater's Pilot Light Goes Out?

In modern gas water heaters, the pilot light going out is not usually dangerous as they feature safety valves that automatically close the gas supply. These safety features ensure that if the pilot light goes out, the gas flow is shut off, preventing any potential dangers.

However, in older water heaters without these safety features, a pilot light going out can lead to a gas leak, which can be dangerous if not properly addressed.

If the pilot light goes out in an older water heater, it is essential to take immediate action. One of the first steps is to clear the gas before attempting to relight the pilot light. This helps eliminate any accumulated gas that may have leaked from the extinguished pilot light.

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It's important to note that relighting the pilot light should be done cautiously. If you are unable to relight the pilot light yourself or if there are any issues with the gas line, it is strongly recommended to seek professional assistance. Gas leaks can pose serious risks, and it's always better to be safe and rely on experts for handling such situations.

Potential dangers of a pilot light going out in older water heaters:
– Increased risk of gas leaks
– Fire hazard
– Carbon monoxide buildup
– Potential explosion

How to Turn Off Your Pilot Light on Your Water Heater

Turning off the pilot light on your water heater is a simple process that anyone can do. Follow these steps to safely shut off the pilot light:

  1. Locate the water heater: Find the water heater in your home. It is usually found in the basement, garage, or utility room.
  2. Determine the type of water heater: Identify whether you have a gas or propane water heater. This information will be useful in the next step.
  3. Turn the temperature knob to the lowest setting: Look for the temperature control knob on the water heater. Rotate it counterclockwise until it reaches the lowest setting. This will help prevent accidental ignition while you turn off the pilot light.
  4. Turn the pilot light knob to the “off” position: Locate the knob on the water heater that is labeled “On,” “Off,” and “Pilot.” Turn the knob to the “off” position to shut off the pilot light.
  5. Turn off the gas valve: For added safety, you can also turn off the gas valve along the gas line to ensure that no gas is flowing to the water heater. This step is optional but recommended, especially if you plan to leave your home vacant for an extended period.
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Following these steps will effectively turn off the pilot light on your water heater, ensuring that it is safe and secure.

how to turn off pilot light

Types of Water Heaters

Type Description
Gas water heater Operates using natural gas as fuel.
Propane water heater Uses propane gas as its energy source.

How to Relight the Pilot Light

Relighting the pilot light on your water heater is a relatively simple process that can be done following a few general steps. First, make sure to check for any instructions on an instructional sticker or manual near your water heater. If there are none, you can follow these guidelines:

  1. Ensure there is no gas present near the water heater.
  2. Turn the temperature setting on the water heater to the lowest level.
  3. Remove the cover to the pilot light window.
  4. Turn on the gas line leading to the water heater.
  5. Press down and hold the red button or pilot knob.
  6. For modern water heaters, press the piezo ignitor striker. For older water heaters, use a lit long match to ignite the pilot light.
  7. Continue to hold the button/knob down for 30 to 60 seconds.
  8. Slowly release the button/knob to ensure the pilot light stays lit.

By following these steps, you can safely and effectively relight your water heater's pilot light, ensuring proper functioning of the appliance.

Relighting Pilot Light

Why Your Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps Going Out and How to Fix It

We understand the frustration of dealing with a water heater pilot light that keeps going out. It can disrupt your daily routine and leave you without hot water when you need it the most. Fortunately, there are several common reasons why the pilot light may keep going out, and even better, there are ways to fix it.

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One possible reason is a faulty thermocouple. The thermocouple is a safety device that senses whether the pilot light is lit. If it detects that the pilot light is not on, it shuts off the gas supply to prevent a potential gas leak. However, if the thermocouple is faulty, it may falsely detect that the pilot light is off, causing it to constantly shut down the gas valve and extinguish the pilot light. In this case, replacing the thermocouple is usually the solution.

Another common culprit is a dirty or clogged pilot light orifice. Over time, dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate in the orifice, obstructing the flow of gas to the pilot light. This can prevent the pilot light from staying lit or cause it to flicker and go out. Cleaning the orifice thoroughly can often resolve this issue and ensure a steady, reliable flame.

While it may be tempting to try to fix these issues yourself, we strongly recommend calling a professional. Dealing with gas appliances can be dangerous if you're not experienced, and it's always better to be safe than sorry. A qualified technician will have the expertise and specialized tools to diagnose and repair the problem correctly, ensuring the safety and longevity of your water heater.

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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