How to Light A Water Heater

How to Light A Water Heater

If you have a gas water heater installed in your house, and you notice water running out from the hot water faucet is cold, it is likely your heater flame has gone out. You do not have to worry since you can relight the heater flame without calling a
water heater repair professional. Be it an old or a new house in the Columbia area, the process of lighting the pilot light is the same. You may need your heater’s manual, but it is not necessary if the instructions are somewhere on the system.

Before you light the pilot, make sure there is no gas leakage as it is dangerous to you and your home. First check by standing near your water heater, kneel down near the bottom of your heater and if you smell gas or hear a hissing sound, as this is a sign of gas leakage, call your gas supplier immediately.

Follow the next few steps to relight the pilot light.

Analyze the situation

The possible reasons for the pilot light going off can be due to low gas pressure as a result of pressure fluctuation or insufficient air supply to the pilot. To successfully light the pilot, ensure that the air vents on the water heaters are cleaned, and the gas has enough pressure. This will ensure the hot pilot light and the burner to operate properly.

Check if the air vents are blocked. If the are blocked, remove the burner assembly and clean the air vents. Most of the water heaters provide an owners manual that has instructions on how to go about the process of cleaning the air vents. They can also be downloaded from manufacturers’ websites.

Check the Pilot Light

If you are using a newer water heater, check the pilot light from a glass panel at the bottom of the heater and if you don’t see a flame burning through the glass, then the pilot light is out. For the older water heaters, you have to remove a panel called access panel at the bottom of the heater to see if the light is out. Also, remove the inner heat shield panel.

If the pilot light is out, check for instructions on the door panel of your water heater that will guide you in the process of relighting the pilot for the water heater.

Prepare to light the pilot

The first thing is to ensure the temperature control knob is set to the lowest temperature. Take safety precautions such as turning the regulator knob off and waiting for about ten minutes before proceeding to allow any residual gas from the tank to clear. Blow gently through the access panel to expel any remaining gas and avoids flare-ups.

Check the water heater style to know if you are using an old or new model. If you are using the old model, you will need to use a flame to relight the pilot. If it is the new one, they are equipped with a spark generator, and it is the one that ignites pilot light. It is a red button located next to the regulator valve and temperature knob.

For the older water heaters, you will need to find a flame lighter that is long. Other options that can be used are fireplace matches or barbecue lighters. Just ensure they are long enough so as to avoid burning your fingers when trying to relight the pilot. Avoid using the regular matchstick or a small cigarette lighter.

Turn the gas valve to PILOT position

Turn the gas valve to pilot position and hold it down to let gas begin flowing from the tank through the silver tube to the pilot. Note that some water heaters may have the button separate from the gas valve.

Light the pilot burner

For old gas water heaters, while holding the pilot gas valve or the red button, use a barbecue or long reach lighter or fireplace matches to light the pilot.

For new water heaters look through the sight glass and press the spark generator button every 10 seconds until the pilot lights while holding the gas valve. The spark generator should produce a “click” sound. This should ignite the pilot light.

Continue holding down the control button for about 30 seconds or so after the pilot is lit. This should be long enough for the pilot to heat the thermocouple that automatically shuts off the gas when the pilot goes out. Once the light stays on, release the control button. Repeat the process once if the pilot did not light up the first time while holding the control button a little longer than the first time.

Replace the access panels.

After releasing the control button, you should be able to see the flames through the sight glass. For the old water heaters, put back the access panel back if you had removed it.

Reignite the main burner and set the thermostat

Turn the main gas valve back to the “On” position. Next, adjust the temperature control to the desired setting. The main gas burner under the tank should light and begin heating the water. Check if the water coming from the faucet is hot.

While setting the thermostat to your desired temperature always read the instruction so as not to burn your hands or your body while showering. The recommended temperature is 49c (120 F) by the consumer product safety commission. Wait for a while for the tank to heat up.

With the above steps, all should be well, and you should be ready to enjoy a hot shower. However, if this does not work, get in touch with a water heater repair professional in Columbia for further assistance.

For quality plumbing services, please do no hesitate to get in touch. Be assured of quality services in your Columbia, SC home, call Plumbing Solutions
at (803) 513-5749.