Hot Water Heater Pilot Light

If your hot water heater pilot light needs to be lit, you can do it yourself.

Pilots are easy and safe to light. Just follow the instructions below.

These instructions are for lighting the pilot on the newer style water heaters.
The newer style has a spark generator and a sealed burner.

If you have an older style water heater that can be lit with a match, click the

link below for lighting instructions. water heater pilot light  water heater pilot light

Lighting A Hot Water Heater Pilot Light

Safety First
Never try to light your pilot if you smell gas. Stand near your water heater. Can you smell gas? Kneel down near the bottom of your water heater. If you smell gas call your gas supplier.

New style gas water heater

Newer style gas
water heater.

Water heater gas control valve

Step One

Set the temperature control
to its lowest setting.

Gas pilot control button

Step Two

Set the on-off control
to the pilot setting.

press and hold button to light pilot

Step Three

Press the hot water heater
pilot button down and
hold it.

Press light button

Step Four

While looking through the the sight glass slowly press the spark generator until you here it click.

view pilot light through window

You should see a spark
from the generator and the
pilot light should light.

Hold the pilot button down
20 to 30 seconds after the
pilot is lit.

If the pilot didn't light you may have air in the line. While holding the pilot button down, press the generator button every 10 seconds until the pilot lights.

Don't forget to hold the pilot button down after the pilot is lit. The thermocouple must have time to get hot before the button is released.

water heater burner

Set the on/off knob to the on position.Turn the temperature control to the desired setting.

You should hear the burner fire up and be able to see the flame through the site glass.

Air vents on these water heaters must be clean in order for the hot water heater pilot light and burner to operate properly.

Most brands have fresh air vents under the burner and/or around the sides at the bottom of the tank. Some have  washable filters.

The burner assembly will have to be removed to clean the vent located in the bottom of the tank.
Check your owners manual for instructions. Most companies have downloadable manuals on their website.

If these water heaters shut down because of a lack of air/oxygen, there is a possibility that the gas control valve will have to be replaced along with the safety shut off switch. So its a good idea to keep the air vents clean.

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