How to Light a Water Heater Pilot Light

Is your water heater pilot light off? Don't worry; this is a common issue. You can relight the pilot light without expert help. But, to relight a water heater pilot light, you must be armed with the correct information. Otherwise, blindly attacking this issue is highly unwise because you can make a detrimental mistake, leading to deadly consequences.

At Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Phoenix, we understand the risks associated with this task. That is why, aside from recommending having a professional technician out to resolve the issue, we have compiled this article on how to light a water heater pilot. Use it to guide your steps and avert danger.

First, Assess the Situation

Before tweaking anything, you need to check the entire situation. You can do that through the following:

Examine the Pilot Light

Your heater's pilot may be under the gas valve or water tank. And if it is a standard unit, you may have to remove an access panel first. Once you've done that, you'll be able to spot if the pilot light is out.

But, if you have a modern unit with an unremovable panel, it should have a glass you can peek through. And the pilot light is likely out if you can't see a small flame burning through the glass. Proceed to the next phase on how to light a water heater.

Ensure No Gas is Leaking

Your safety is paramount. That is why our article on lighting a water heater can't be complete without focusing on gas leaks.

Don't try to reignite your water heater pilot before checking for leaking gas because the situation can become disastrous fast. Here are several tell-tale signs of a gas leak to watch out for:

  • Rotten-egg smell
  • Hissing or whistling sounds
  • Obvious gas line damage

If you notice any signs of leaking gas, contact Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Phoenix immediately. We will send specialists to assess the situation and suggest the best solution.

Following Manufacturer Instructions

Some manufacturers include detailed instructions on relighting pilot lights on their units. If your device has this feature, it could be on the panel's door. Try finding and using it to tackle this issue successfully. However, if it's nonexistent, don't fret; continue to the next phase below.

How to Relight Your Water Heater's Pilot Light

To relight your water heater's pilot light without putting your loved ones in harm's way, turn the heater's thermostat all the way down or shut it off. Then, cut off the gas supply to the pilot burner using the regulator valve's knob.

Now, let's consider the trickier part. There are two broad categories of water heaters: old-fashioned and modern.

If you have an old unit, you'll need long-reach fireplace matches, a wand igniter, or any other suitable ignition source to relight the pilot light. Don't use a regular matchstick or a lighter to carry out the task because it may lead to burns.

But burning your fingers should not be a big issue if you have a modern heater. Why? The unit should have ignition buttons and knobs you can use to turn on the pilot light without striking a match. Not to forget, newer models have a thermocouple, which is indispensable in the unit.

What is a Thermocouple?

A thermocouple protects your household from all the risks of accumulated unburned gas. Simply put, this device detects when your unit's pilot light is off and cuts the gas supply to the heater. So, it's vital for your safety.

You should check if your thermocouple is running seamlessly by looking out for the following signs of malfunctioning:

  • Contamination signs like discoloration and cracks
  • Damaged connectors
  • Corroded or deteriorated wiring

Water Heater Maintenance & Repair in Phoenix, AZ

Water heaters often develop complications and issues. These include a leaking water tank, faulty gasket, and damaged plumbing connectors. Whereas some, like how to light a water heater pilot light, are relatively manageable, others demand expert attention.

When it comes to repairing or servicing water heaters in Phoenix, Mr. Rooter Plumbing sets the pace, and others follow. We have a dedicated team of experts who are ready to help fix any water heater issue immediately or replace the unit if necessary.

Contact us today for the best water heater maintenance and repair services in Phoenix, Arizona, and the surrounding areas.