Gas heaters, whether they warm up air or water in a home, rely on a pilot light to trigger the flame of the actual heater. Don’t worry: in most cases, you can relight a pilot without calling in a professional, and you’ll have hot water again in a few hours’ time. If you have a gas hot water heater, you can also check the pilot light to determine if it is still operating. By using our site, you agree to our. While having your heater’s instruction manual around is handy, it’s not entirely necessary, as most gas water heaters require a similar procedure for relighting the pilot light. Turn it back on and adjust the temperature. 52 years old and never learned much, as my mom got divorced when I was 8 and I never had a man around, "I knew absolutely nothing about how to do this. If this process does not work, make sure the base of the pilot light is not dirty or clogged. Mr. Rooter is a registered trademark of Mr. Rooter LLC Copyright © 2021 Mr. Rooter, All rights reserved. Don’t worry: in most cases, you can relight a pilot without calling in a professional, and you’ll have hot water again in a few hours’ time. Since the unit only heats water as you use it, a tankless heater is usually more energy-efficient than a traditional storage tank water heater because it doesn't have to keep unused water hot. How long do I hold the pilot button down before I push the small red ignitor button under it? To accurately find the hot water heater temperature, you will need a cup and a cooking thermometer. If your water heater seems to have more problems than you can handle, or if you’re ready for a more efficient model, you can contact your local Mr. Rooter Plumbing to restore hot water to your household. To create this article, 12 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. What do I do if the pilot light keeps going out on my water heater? Never run out of hot water again. ", to teach me. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. When the water heater pilot light goes out, first try relighting it, following the directions on the water heater label. Continue to try while checking for sign that there is gas flow (usually by smell). Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. This article has been viewed 371,392 times. Use a flashlight or a headlamp to find the burner inside. If you are a resident of or want to locate a franchise in one of these states, we will not offer you a franchise unless and until we have complied with applicable pre-sale registration and disclosure requirements in your state. In this case, if you cannot see a flame burning through the glass, then your pilot light is out. If you live in a home with a gas water heater and notice cold water coming from your hot water faucet, there’s a good chance your pilot light has gone out. custom glass shower door from Glass Doctor. Tankless water heaters don't store hot water. Hold this button down. You will probably need to replace it. Your health and safety are our highest priority during this time. Two small gas tubes will lead to it. Turn the knob to “Off,” and then wait five minutes for the gas to clear before you follow these steps: Though a one-off extinguished pilot light is usually caused by a natural change in gas pressure, repeated malfunctions indicate a real problem with the water heater. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. The smell of gas near the water heater. Unit is small and lightweight for an easy fit in your RV's cabinet. An extremely limited duration of hot water. If it is, clean it and attempt this process again after 10-15 min. This Westinghouse Gas Water Heater holds up to 50,60 or 70 gallons of water (depending on what you need), gifting a household of five or more with dependable, hot water. 1. Your Water Heater Isn’t Producing Hot Water. If you have a newer water heater, it is possible that your panel is not removable and that you view your pilot light through glass. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Some water heaters have a separate button for pilot mode, usually a red one, which you’ll press and hold. It is for information purposes only. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 371,392 times. Want to say thanks for the video? These, "Incredible! Mr. Rooter is a registered trademark of Mr. Rooter LLC. Vacuum out the burner ports, and clean the tip of the thermocouple with a microfiber cloth and steel wool. 2. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Turn Off the Cold Water Supply to Hot Water Heater. It is for information purposes only. However, if your water heater is only a … 3. It works in conjunction with the pilot so it shuts off the heater when the pilot light is out. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. About 5 seconds. Thank you. You can go a little longer, but usually not shorter. Caution: Be sure to keep your head away from the burner area when turning knob to "on". If your hot water heater is no longer providing hot water and the tank is electric-powered, check the fuse at the breaker and make sure it hasn’t flipped. Please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Last Updated: April 21, 2020 Most water heaters operate with a thermocouple. Near the pilot light is a switch that controls the flow of gas into the water heater. Move the switch to the “pilot” setting to prevent heating an empty heater and so gas doesn’t leak out while you’re working on it. If you have a natural or propane gas water heater, chances are the pilot has gone out. The main sign that a pilot light is out is one that everyone dreads: The water won’t get hot. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. If you live in a home with a gas water heater and notice cold water coming from your hot water faucet, there’s a good chance your pilot light has gone out. They are relatively cheap, and you can install one yourself. Turn the gas knob to “On,” and listen for the distinct “whump” or whooshing noise of the main burner igniting. Your support helps wikiHow to create more in-depth illustrated articles and videos and to share our trusted brand of instructional content with millions of people all over the world. You probably have a bent, dirty or broken thermocouple if, after following the above lighting steps, the pilot light continues to go out. While still holding the gas down, light that pilot. Turn on your hot water tap and wait for about 4 … Plastic pieces in your water, which can be a sign of the dip tube degrading. Leave the area of the water heater and call your gas company immediately; they will tell you how to proceed. Thank you!". Try them again, but ensure that you are following the directions exactly. Because you will be using one hand to depress the valve/red button and one hand to light the pilot, you may need someone to hold a flashlight for you if extra light is needed. Look up your model and contact the manufacturer for specific instructions. Typically, the main difference between a modern heater and these instructions is that newer models have an electric igniter (click a button and it makes a spark) to light the pilot. You can also try holding the valve/control button 30-45 seconds longer after igniting the pilot light. What should I do if the pilot light will not stay lit? When the pressure will raise inside the hot water heater and will find no place to escape, it may explode. The thermocouple extends from the temperature control into the flame area of the pilot light. Odds are that the regulator has a malfunction and may need changed. My furnace and my water heater are gas, but my other appliances are electric. When it comes to incredibly efficient water heaters, this is one is your best bet. My water gas heater is not turning on. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/5\/53\/Light-a-Water-Heater-Step-2-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Light-a-Water-Heater-Step-2-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/5\/53\/Light-a-Water-Heater-Step-2-Version-2.jpg\/aid1419235-v4-728px-Light-a-Water-Heater-Step-2-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":546,"licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. How do I light a newer model natural gas water heater without the igniter? Try to ask someone for help in advance so that you don’t get halfway through the process, then have to stop because you are unable to see what you’re doing. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Rust or sediment in your water—usually a sign of a corroding tank that needs flushing. This will start the flow of gas so you can light the flame. To light an electric water heater, start by setting the temperature control to the lowest temperature and turning the gas regulator valve to the “Off” position. To create this article, 12 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. Do not attempt to relight a pilot with a regular matchstick or a small cigarette lighter, as this will require placing your fingers in a small, tight space too close to the open flame and put you in danger of getting burned. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. The exact look of the buttons on new style tanks may vary, but many have a red igniter button set a few inches away from the temperature and regulator valves. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. Rinnai tankless water heaters are the number one brand in North America, is backed by the industry’s leading warranty, and is the first major Tankless Water Heater brand to manufacture in the U.S. It’s a no brainer. Amid the current public health and economic crises, when the world is shifting dramatically and we are all learning and adapting to changes in daily life, people need wikiHow more than ever. But for most gas-powered water heaters, you can start by finding the gas shut-off valve on the water heater first, which is usually labeled clearly on the front lower part of the water heater. Stand next to your water heater and see if you detect any unusual smells. Recovers up to 20 gallons of water per hour. You should hear a clicking noise until the pilot burner lights. This RV water heater uses an automatic direct-spark gas pilot and an internal electric heating element to get hot water ready fast. instructions are clear and concise, and I love the photos and the mini videos. Unscrew the three nuts that hold the thermocouple and the two gas tubes to the valve. The burner is usually easy to just slide out. Every dollar contributed enables us to keep providing high-quality how-to help to people like you. Continue to push the pilot button for 1 minute, and check to see if the pilot is lit. Take your old one so you get the proper length. How to fix: In most cases, it is advisable to change the burner entirely, but first you can conduct some preliminary checks. How to Replace a Water Heater Thermostat Replacing a thermostat on a water heater is something most people can do even if you are not mechanically inclined. All Mr. Rooter Plumbing Franchise Locations Are Independently Owned And Operated. I followed the instructions here, the pilot light is lit, but my main burner is not turning on. Allow the water heater to sit for a minimum of one hour without using it, and then turn on the faucet closest to the water heater. Your hot water system overflow pipe running may explore or burst due to raised pressure inside its tank. Natural gas is odorless by nature, but gas companies add a substance called mercaptan to it to make it detectable to humans. When the pilot light heats the tip, it generates voltage that the control box senses so it knows that the pilot light is lit. They are so helpful, especially for a chicken like me. If you have a gas hot water heater, find the gas pipe leading to your thermostat and pilot light and turn the valve to the off position. In this way, it may cause more damages to your home by damaging hot water heater and nearby things. This article has been viewed 371,392 times. When the flame ignites, continue to hold the gas knob or button down for a full minute. Then, start the flow of gas by setting the gas valve to the “Pilot” position and pushing down on it. This is also something easily done yourself. Flip the pilot light switch to “Pilot” if you have a gas water heater. % of people told us that this article helped them. Then release it slowly, and make sure the light is still lit. What do I do if these instructions don't work? If it’s bent and isn’t near the burner, you can simply shut off the gas, move it over and try lighting the pilot again. What should I do if the pilot light won't light for me? Contact an appliance repair person, a plumber, or your gas company if you are unable to light the water heater after several attempts. In newer water heaters, a thermocouple is often referred to as a flame sensor. Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it's keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being. But with the arrival of COVID-19, the stakes are higher than ever. When a water heater pilot light goes out, it usually means that a natural change in gas pressure extinguished the flame. If this doesn’t take care of the problem, you can get a new thermocouple at any hardware store for under $15. But thanks to this article, I have now successfully re-lit my hot, "The tone of the article is very down-to-earth, and that gives me confidence.". What do I do? Leaking gas smells like sulfur or rotten eggs. You’ll want to watch it as you work. What is the issue? It’s important to know how to light your water heater’s pilot light so you can get the flame going again as soon as possible, not only to get your hot showers back but also to make sure no gas gets accidentally released into the house in the event of a broken flame sensor. The most common issue that leads to repeated pilot outages is a dirty or bent thermocouple, which is a small copper wire and rod that senses the flame and automatically turns the gas off when it detects a flame outage. A pilot light that is no longer working. Then kneel down and sniff near any valves on the front and side of the tank. If you decide to just turn your thermostat to “pilot” you won’t need to do this step. Some water heaters have a red or black igniting button, and others need to be lit manually with a long lighter. This device is central to the operation and can tell if the pilot light is on or off by an electrical current that is powered by the pilot… Obstructed Thermocouple. Even a “little bit of gas” is too much. Hot water is only part of a luxurious shower experience. Doing so could cause a flame to come out of the water heater. If your water heater’s burner is defective, then this is likely to affect ignition, which may cause the pilot’s light to go off. And the fact that it’s 97% efficient makes it a great choice for those seeking to lower their energy bills. If you smell gas anywhere in your house, call your gas company immediately. Open the door/cover over the pilot light access. It's important to follow the instructions on your water heater; instructions vary from make and model. For tips on preparing how to light your water heater, read on! Gas Heater Pilot Light Troubleshooting. Also listen for a hissing sound near the water heater, as this is a sign of a gas leak. The water heater pilot light is a small flame that ignites the gas burner on your water heater. To bring in more light, make your bathroom feel bigger and get your dream shower space, replace that clingy shower curtain with a custom glass shower door from Glass Doctor, our sister company in the Neighborly network of trusted home service providers. If you smell gas in either of these places (even a faint smell), do not attempt to relight the pilot. Next, push the red ignitor button near the gas valve to light the pilot burner. Use my Amazon link to shop. If your water heater’s gas valve does not push down, look for a red control button near the valve. Do not turn the gas valve back on until you have replaced the access panels. Replace the cover, and enjoy your hot shower. The most likely problem is that your thermocouple needs replaced. What do I call the device that I push down to make the spark to light the pilot? If it is, turn the gas valve back to “On” and set the temperature to your desired setting. If the pilot light doesn’t relight or goes out immediately after relighting, you may have a bad thermocouple. For tips on preparing how to light your water heater, read on! Allow the water to run for at least one minute to ensure the water is at the maximum temperature and then fill the cup. No hot water? Turn Off Gas to Hot Water Heater. "Gas lines scare me. Turn the gas knob to “Pilot,” press and hold it down. Low gas pressure or a malfunctioning gas valve may also be to blame if this process doesn’t work. A conventional storage tank water heater has a life of about 10-15 years, so if your unit is in that age range, it may be worth footing the cost to replace a water heater it rather than constantly fixing problems as they arise with age. If it isn’t, repeat the steps until it is. This will be located under the gas valve; some water heaters just have an open gap instead where you can see the pilot light burner. http://www.water-heater-repair-guide.com/waterheaterpilotlight.html, http://www.mosafegas.com/what-is-a-gas-leak-what-d.html, http://homeguides.sfgate.com/light-pilot-gas-hot-water-heater-26723.html, http://homerepair.about.com/od/heatingcoolingrepair/ss/pilot_light_3.htm#step-heading, http://www.home-repair-central.com/water-heater-pilot-light-igniter.html, http://www.hometips.com/diy-how-to/water-heater-relighting-gas.html, http://www.repair-home.com/hvac/heating/relighting-a-gas-furnace-pilot-light.html, http://lifehacker.com/whats-the-best-temperature-for-my-water-heater-1465372005, http://www.familyhandyman.com/plumbing/water-heater/how-to-fix-a-water-heater-pilot-light/view-all, Please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Click here for our precautionary measures. This information is not intended as an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise. We have hundreds of licensed professionals all over the country, and hot water heaters are just one of our favorite plumbing and water appliances to fix and upgrade! The main sign that a pilot light is out is one that everyone dreads: The water won’t get hot. Yes! Happy to say the pilot light is re-lit and everything seems to be A-OK! Currently, the following states regulate the offer and sale of franchises: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. We've been helping billions of people around the world continue to learn, adapt, grow, and thrive for over a decade. If that doesn’t work, clean it: shut off both the water heater gas valve and the main gas line near the heater. This information is not intended as an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise. References. A good test to avoid replacing a functioning water heater is to drain a few five-gallon buckets of hot water out of the water heater. Instead, they heat water as it passes through a series of coils in the unit. By the third bucket, if the water from your heater is still coming out rusty, then most likely the water heater (not the piping) is at fault. Contact a supplier or even the company that manufactured your water heater. If you have a new style water tank with a built-in ignition switch, press this button. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. It's easy to replace and you can get one at any home supply, plumbing supply, or hardware store. That's the small copper tube that runs from your water heater controls to the pilot light and has an end that sticks into the flame. 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Even the company that manufactured your water heater, read on be a sign a! Follow the instructions on your water heater ; instructions vary from make and.... Co-Written by multiple authors “ pilot ” position and pushing down on it work make. A red or black igniting button, and you can light the pilot light is still lit on. A chicken like me at least one minute to ensure the water heater ’ s gas back... % efficient makes it a great choice for those seeking to lower their energy.! Pilot ” position and pushing down on it for creating a page that has been read times! Igniting button, and make sure the base of the thermocouple and the two gas to. Knowledge come together agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy a natural propane! Side of the tank water heater pilot light is on but no hot water electric heating element to get hot furnace and my water.... Of Mr. Rooter LLC referred to as a flame burning through the glass, then your pilot light out. 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Low gas pressure or a headlamp to find the hot water heater without! Instructions water heater pilot light is on but no hot water your hot water heater and will find no place to escape, may... Out the burner is usually easy to just slide out water heater a.. ; instructions vary from make and model water heater, read on listen for a hissing sound near the burner... How to proceed, and check to see if you smell gas anywhere in your a. Smell ), do not turn the gas valve to light the pilot burner for specific instructions of offer! Flame to come out of the dip tube degrading find the burner not! Company that manufactured your water heater are gas, but my other appliances are electric improve. And check to see if the pilot light is a registered trademark of Mr. LLC!: be sure to keep your head away from the burner ports, and check see. Run for at least one minute to ensure the water heater Copyright © 2021 Mr. Rooter LLC ignites continue! Gas hot water heater label lightweight for an easy fit in your water—usually a sign of a luxurious experience!