What Is A Pilot Light On Water Heater
A pilot light is a part of any gas-powered appliance. In simple words, the pilot light ensures that the appliance stays lit. It is a small flame, and you can find it on a furnace, gas fireplace, gas-powered water heater.
The pilot light enables the process of heating the water. When your water heater is turned on, the gas is released to the primary burner, in charge of heat production. Then, the pilot light starts and lights up the gas, which provides heat.
So, if there is an issue with the pilot light, there is no heat available to warm the water and the purpose of the water heater is compromised.
Keep reading to find out what to do if the pilot light on your water heater keeps going out.
Watch this video to know more:
Adjust The Water Heaters Temperature Settings To The Preferred Temperature
Continue pressing the pilot light control button for about 20 to 30 seconds or until you have a steady blue flame through the observation window.
You can adjust the water heaters temperature setting to the desired level once you ascertain flame stability. Most people dial it up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, although 105-degree water is already pleasant.
You might want to listen to your water heater as the temperature increases.
How2Plumb prepared a video for everyone, showing how effortless it is to light a water heater pilot. The short film is slightly different from what I described here, but the general steps are essentially the same.
Consider Water Heater Repair
When water heaters are manufactured, they are made to last for years, and some can have 10 years or more of use, but maintenance is the key. Those who havent considered getting water heater repair need to look at the functionality of their heater, especially if its been malfunctioning lately. Whether the heater is gas or electric, get maintenance on the heater every year, and get water heater repair when its needed.
Your water heater can be maintained or repaired by Daniel Cordova Plumbing, Drain & Sewer in West Covina, CA at 962-0885.
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How To Light A Water Heater With A Lighter
Keep an eye on your water heaters pilot light for the next few hours. If it goes out again, turn off your water heater and call for repairs. A pilot light that wont stay lit usually indicates that your thermocouple is dirty or even bent.
How To Tell If The Pilot Light Is Out On Your Water Heater
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If you own a gas water heater, than chances are at some point your pilot light has gone out. The pilot light is an important part of a gas water heater and when its not lit, or functioning properly, your “hot” water will run cold. Learning to do some simple troubleshooting and how to light the pilot can save you some money by fixing the issue yourself versus calling a professional plumber.
Although, electronic ignitions are common on newer gas water heaters, many older heaters still use pilot lights. If your water heater uses a pilot light, it’s not uncommon to have issues. This article will help you troubleshoot the problem and determine what to do next.
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Is It Dangerous If The Water Heaters Pilot Light Goes Out
In most cases, it isnt dangerous when the water heater pilot light is extinguished. This is because modern gas-fueled water heaters feature valves that automatically close the supply of gas when the pilot light goes out.
This is a very important safety feature, and if your water heater didnt do this, then you would have a natural or propane gas leak on your hands, which is a serious explosion hazard. That being said, this situation can be dangerous when the water heater is in an enclosed space.
For example, if your pilot light has gone out due to a lack of combustible air, it can create a build-up of carbon monoxide in the area. Carbon Monoxide is extremely dangerous and may even cause death.
Regardless of where your water heater is located, we highly recommend purchasing a carbon monoxide detector. They are inexpensive and can be positioned near your water heater. Should the carbon monoxide levels rise to unsafe levels, the detector will alert you.
How To Check If Your Pilot Light Is Out
Visually checking for a flame is worth doing, even if your gas control valve indicates theres an issue with the pilot light. Youll typically find the water heaters burner chamber door below the gas control valve at the bottom of the unit.
Depending upon your water heater, youll need to either remove the door or open it in order to view the burner chamber and the pilot light tube. If you see a flame, the problem isnt with the pilot light. However, if you dont, then the pilot light has gone out.
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Can I Turn Off My Pilot Light
Generally speaking, theres nothing wrong with turning off your water heaters pilot light. Although, keep in mind, that you wont have access to hot water once the water in the tank has cooled.
In fact, there are some scenarios where turning off your pilot light makes sense. For example, experts often recommend that you do so when going on vacation. Turning off your water heaters pilot light will save money on your energy bill since the water heater wont keep the water warm while youre away.
Some homeowners prefer to turn their water heater to the pilot position instead of totally turning the pilot light off. Although, the heater will still use a small amount of gas to keep the pilot lit, it will be less of a hassle to turn the water heater back on when you return since you wont need to relight the pilot.
Where Is The Pilot Light On Hot Water Heater
You will probably need a flashlight for this next part. Your hot water heater pilot light can usually be found beneath the water tank on your unit. You may need to remove an access panel to access it. Some newer models may have the pilot light behind a glass panel. The casing for the pilot light should look like a small silver tube. If there is already a flame burning at the end of this tube, your pilot light is already on, and you will need to call a plumber to diagnose any other problems you may be having with your water heater.
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What Do You Do When The Pilot Light Goes Out
If possible, you should relight the pilot light according to the manufacturers instructions for your unit. However, the process is fairly similar across different models of gas water heaters.
First, determine whether your water heater has an automatic or manual igniter. According to Mullen Plumbing, Heating and Cooling of West Virginia, you should be able to tell by looking at the control dial. If theres an ignition button, you have an automatic igniter. No ignition button? Your pilot light will have to be relit manually.
How To Tell If An Electric Hot Water Heater Is On
Since electrical water heaters do not make a lot of noise while operating, it can be hard to tell if they are on or off. However, with the help of some indications, you can tell if your electric water heater is on or off.
Firstly, you can check if the operating light is on or off. Some electrical water heaters have a small light that turns on while working. So, if you see a small red or green light, the electrical water heater is probably working.
Secondly, you can check for any noises or feel the warmth of the container. If you hear any noise coming from inside the container, like some bubbling noise, the water is probably boiling, and the device is working.
Also, you can touch the water heater container with the back of your hand to see if it is hot after about 10 minutes.
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Can You Manually Light A Water Heater With An Electronic Pilot
The pilot light can go out because of various reasons. However, relighting a pilot light is a simple task, and you can do it effortlessly. Moreover, if you have an automatic igniter, the job is simple.
Make sure that the gas supply to the water heater is turned on. Locate the gas valve that controls the gas supply to the water heater. Turn the valve so that it is parallel to the pipes.
Next, you will have to remove the cover of the control panel. On the control panel of the water heater, you will see the gas control knob and the striker knob. The gas control knob is usually red, and the striker knob can be black or red.
Turn the control knob to the pilot mode and push down on the knob. Keeping the gas control knob depressed, press the striker knob repeatedly. Do it for about 90 seconds till the status light starts to flicker.
After you see the flickering status light, keep pushing the gas control knob down to allow more gas. Allowing more gas will prevent the pilot light from going out. Finally, close the control panel cover.
Lack Of Combustible Air
Another reason your gas water heater pilot light wont stay lit could be due to not having enough combustible air. Your water heater requires air to keep the pilot light burning. Otherwise, the flame goes out. Ensure that the water heater is not surrounded by clutter, lint, or debris to increase the amount of combustible air. Keep the surrounding area as clean as possible.
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How To Change The Thermocouple
Luckily, you can change the thermocouple. Heres how:
Once youve followed these steps, check again to see if the pilot light comes back on. Note that you might have to call an expert to change the thermocouple when dealing with a sealed tank system.
Signs That Pilot Light Has Gone Out
In this part of the article, well explain three main reasons why the pilot light isnt working:
In the next paragraph, we explained how to check this issue.
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Take Advantage Of Your Warranty
In most cases, most water heaters tend to come with a 1 or 2-year warranty. If your pilot light malfunctions during this period, you can always go back to where you bought it and get it fixed. This is exceptionally beneficial because, in most cases, they may replace any damaged equipment or replace the water heater entirely.
How To Relight Rheem Water Heater
You should relight the pilot before starting the water heater. Hold down the pilot button on the gas control valve to let the air in the gas line bleed and get some gas down into the chamber.
I highly recommend you do it because as long as there is air in the gas chamber area, it will be challenging to light the water heater. Now, follow the below steps to relight the pilot:
- Rotate the gas control knob counterclockwise to set it to the off position.
- After 5 minutes, turn the gas control knob clockwise to set it to the pilot position.
- Locate the igniter button and keep depressing it while pressing the gas control knob all the way in. Repeat this several times until the status light begins to blink.
- Once the status light is blinking, take a look through the sight glass window to verify the pilot is lit.
- Now, release the gas control knob and set it to the desired setting.
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Cant Fix The Hot Water Heater Pilot Light When To Call The Pros
There comes a point when you have done all the troubleshooting and DIY fixes you can, and it is time to call in experienced professionals. Once you do, they will clean the unit to ensure no dirt, debris, or mineral buildup is causing a water flow issue, check the water pressure, inspect your thermocouple, gas lines, and more to determine the best course of action to get your water heater back up and running.
Its always a good move to call a licensed plumber for water heater services when you:
- Arent comfortable handling gas appliances
- Want a safety check or maintenance services
- Need to repair or replace the thermocouple
- Have a gas leak or a cracked or damaged gas burner
- Require a faulty gas valve repair or replacement
- Own a water heater 8-12 years old, as you might consider getting a quote on a new one.
Press The Igniter Several Times For 90 Seconds
You should see a small red or black button next to the gas control valve. This component is the igniter, similar to the switch you use on your gas stove or furnace. Pressing it creates a spark to ignite or light the water heater pilot tube.
It would be best to press the igniter repeatedly at five-second intervals for 90 seconds. If the pilot light doesnt ignite, wait for another ten minutes before repeating this step. If the pilot light on water heater out after three to four attempts, you might have a different problem.
Problems in gas pressure or a thermocouple issue might cause your pilot light to turn off frequently. Inadequate combustible air or excessive draft can also be pilot light concerns you might want to consider.
Its worth remembering that some gas water heaters dont have an automatic ignition system. These products require you to use a long-stem lighter, similar to what you use in igniting a gas stove.
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How To Reset Tankless Water Heater
Thermal safety reset capabilities are also included in on-demand systems. You can almost certainly count on having to remove the cover of your tankless water heater in order to have access to it if you need to reset it. Because each manufacturer will have their unique set of instructions, we recommend that you get out your owners manual to handle this issue.
How To Relight The Pilot Light
First check if there is an instructional sticker or manual near your water heater that will have model specific instructions. The process may differ depending on your model of water heater and if the instructions below dont match up with your settings, then you may have to call the manufacture or a plumber.
If you have a modern water heater, relighting the pilot light will not require a match. If you have an older type water heater which requires a match and you dont feel comfortable with this, give Wittmaier Plumbing a call to update to a more energy efficient model 858-1965.
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Find The Pilot Light Assembly And Its Reset Switch
The pilot light of a furnace is typically located at the bottom of the device, controlled by a knob. Typically, the knob is labeled with three different settings:
If you are unable to locate the pilot light and reset switch on your furnace, consult your furnaces owners handbook for a schematic indicating their placement. If you are unable to locate the hardcopy handbook, you can look for it on the manufacturers website.