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How To Light Your Water Heater

Are You Getting Cold Water?

Those with a gas heater may see the pilot on the heater go out, which means no more warm water, especially if the pilot went out a while before it was discovered. The pilot should be lit, and once it’s lit, then it can help to heat up the water in the heater, but this can take several hours to heat up the amount of water that fills the entire gas heater.

If you’re getting cold water in the home, then the most likely reason is because the pilot has gone out in the heater, and it needs to be relit. It’s always best to have a professional Orlando area plumber come out to relight the pilot on the heater, especially since there are certain checks that they will do on the water heater before they relight the pilot again.

The Pilot

When a pilot on a gas water heater is being relit, it must be done with caution and care, and it’s never something to take lightly. Many may look at relighting the pilot as something that’s easy like lighting a gas stove, but there are a lot of dangers that may not be readily seen. The first thing that must be done is to check the pilot light to see if it’s lit or not. The pilot light is located at the bottom of the heater, and it’s typically behind an access panel. Open the panel to see if a flame is going, and if there is no flame, then the pilot has definitely gone out.

The newer heaters may not have a removable access panel to get to the pilot, and the pilot may only be seen through a glass, but it should still be visible if the pilot is lit or not.

 Orlando, FL Lighting-water-heatersMake The Necessary Checks

Before anything is done to the pilot light, it’s always best to check for leaking gas. Gas leaks can cause very severe explosions if they are not detected ahead of time, and can simply be caused by static electricity, the use of a cell phone, turning on a light, or any type of spark if the gas leak is intense enough.

It’s possible that the gas has continued going, even when the pilot is out, so checking for a gas leak is absolutely necessary before anything else can be done. While standing next to the heater, check for the smell of gas, and it’s also wise to get on your knees to smell around the valves to see if the scent of gas is present. Everyone should know that natural gas has a rotten egg smell that’s added to it, so it can easily be detected, so smelling this scent means that there is gas leaking in your Orlando home.

If a gas smell or a hissing sound is detected, then don’t light the pilot at all. The gas company may need to be contacted in this situation, just to make sure the leak isn’t too serious and that it can be maintained without harm to anyone in the home or the property. The gas company will be able to give information on what to do to stop the gas leak; that is if there isn’t something physically wrong with the heater itself that’s causing gas to leak.

If there is no gas leaking, then there should be a door panel on the heater with written instructions, which is something even a plumber should read, especially since there are many types of gas heaters out there. The instructions are very specific and made just for the particular water heater that’s in the home, so they should be followed.

Checking the temperature of the heater is also necessary before relighting the pilot, so make sure the temperature is set at its lowest possible setting. The temperature gauge is usually located on the outside of the heater on a box that will have the gauges in the front of it.

It’s then necessary to look for the regulator valve, which should be on the box with the temperature controls, but it may be on top of the box instead of on the front of it. The regulator valve is what helps to regulate any gas flow that goes to the pilot. Make sure the knob is turned to the off position before proceeding forward. It’s best to wait at least 10 full minutes to make sure any gas that may have been in the air is cleared before going to the next step.

Since gas heaters are constantly being updated, it should be easy to determine if it’s an old or new heater. The old heaters require that an external flame is used to relight the pilot, whereas the newer heaters have their own igniter for the pilot. The newer heaters that have an igniter should have a button that’s red, and it may be just inches away from the regulator and temperature valves.

If it’s necessary to relight the pilot manually, then it’s best to get a wand lighter as opposed to a lighter or matches, which can be problematic as well as a danger to the person lighting the pilot because there is the possibility of getting burned. The pilot should be at the end of a silver tube that’s small, and the tube comes out from the control valve.

 Orlando, FL Lighting-water-heaters-2Relight The Pilot

When it’s time to relight the pilot, turn the valve to the “pilot” setting, and make sure to push down on it. Pushing down on this valve will start the gas flowing to the pilot again so it can be lit. If the gas valve button cannot be pushed down, then it should have a red control button near it, and that button may have to be pushed down instead. It’s then time to relight the pilot, which of course should be done with the safety of a wand lighter. The pilot should light effortlessly, even if it’s done manually.

Those that have the newer water heaters will need to press the ignition button to light the pilot. Make sure that the gas valve is continuously held down until the pilot lights successfully, which is typically for about one minute. In gas heaters, there is a thermocouple sensor that will shut off the gas if the pilot goes out, so if this happens again in the future, the gas should be shut off if the pilot goes out for any reason.

Once the pilot is relit, then the gas valve or control button can be released, and as long as a pilot stays lit, then everything is good to go. If an access panel was removed, replace it, and close the panel that had the instructions on it. The main burner should be turned back on, which will then start warming up the water in the heater.

Water Heater Repair

Those that have a heater that leaks gas, has a broken pilot, or is not properly heating the water may need water heater repair, and this service can be provided by a reliable plumber that has the experience to fix the heater.

For water heater repair of any kind, contact Shamrock Plumbing & Drain Cleaning, Inc. in Orlando, FL at (407) 734-0870.

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