Relighting the Pilot on Your Water Heater

Here’s how…

This happens often in the fall, here in California. We have lots of windy days, and Water Heater Pilot lights get blown out. It’s easy enough to fix, but wear your play clothes as the area around Water Heaters is often dirty.

1. Gather the following tools: screwdriver (philips, and flat), flashlight, pliers, bar-b-que lighter.

2. Sweep the area in front of the gas valve, where you will be laying on the ground.

3. Turn the temperature setting to Pilot Light.

4. Open the cover at the bottom of the Water Heater just to the right of the gas valve.

5. Turn off the gas for 5 minutes and fan or blow out the area inside the cover you just removed.

6. Use your flashlight to see inside the lower compartment. You can see where the pilot light should be about 8″ inside. Let your eyes follow the copper tubing from the gas valve to the pilot assembly.

7. Check to make sure your bar-b-que lighter is working and practice sticking it inside the opening to the end of the pilot assembly.

8. On top of the gas valve is a knob, usually red, with 3 settings. Off, Pilot, On.

Turn it to the pilot position and turn the gas back on.

9. Push down on the knob and hold it down. Light the bar-b-que lighter and hold the end to the pilot light. This will take a minute or 2 to light since it has been off while you waited for the residual gas to dissipate.

10. Once the Pilot Lights, continue to hold the knob down for a slow count to 60. Let up on the knob. If the pilot stays lit, put the cover back on and turn the knob to ON and adjust the temperature to where it was before you began.

Suggestions/ Cautions:

Every Water Heater has lighting instructions on the side just above the gas valve, read them first.

Double check that the knob is in the PILOT position before you attempt to light the Pilot.

And last, many of the local gas providers provide a lighting service for their clients. If you prefer you can call them.

This is not a difficult process. It took longer to tell, than it does to do. After lighting a pilot a couple of times it takes only about 10 minutes before you have Hot Water.