Water Heaters

How to Turn on Water Heater Pilot

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Water Heaters are the oldest appliances in homes that are still very useful and necessary. They can be affordable, energy-efficient even on coldest days, convenient to use and they provide hot water at your convenience whenever you need it. Most Water Heaters rely on gas for fuel while others use electricity or propane.

Do you know that light that’s on at the bottom of your water heater? The one that you’re pretty sure is just there to make it look like your water heater is on, even though you’re not quite sure what it does? Turns out, that little light has a name – the pilot light – and it’s actually pretty important. In this post, we’ll show you how to turn on your water heater pilot light.

Turn off the Gas Supply

Never attempt to light a water heater pilot without turning off the gas supply. Most Water Heaters have a large wheel or knob to turn off all the gas going to the appliance. Others have a small door that opens when you push in, revealing several buttons with labels such as “light,” “on,” and “off.” Use a box wrench or pipe wrench to turn the gas supply to the off position.

When you’re sure that all gas running to the water heater has been shut down, open up your tank and follow the next steps!

How to Turn on Water Heater Pilot

Lighting The Pilot Light

Check for any type of water leaks. If you notice any, shut off the gas supply before lighting the pilot light.

Look for the little hole located above or near the gas/water mixture tube at the top of your tank; this is where you will insert your matchstick to start up your pilot flame.

Turn On Water Heater Pilot

Insert a matchstick or any thin piece of wood inside the hole to act as an ignition source.

With the matchstick lit, quickly turn on your gas supply and watch your pilot light come alive!

You may notice some slight bubbling around the burners at first. Allow a few minutes for the water heater to heat up, and the bubbling should stop.

If you notice your pilot light “flickering,” turn off all gas supplies and wait for about 10 minutes before trying to light it again.

Turn Off Water Heater Pilot

Once your water is heated and ready, turn off the gas supply and make sure to close the gas shutoff valve.

After closing off the gas supply, turn on your water faucet and allow it to run for a few minutes; this will clear out any debris in the pipes that could be blocking hot water from flowing into your home.

Turn off your water faucet and enjoy your ready-to-go water heater!

How to turn on an electric water heater:

Turning on an electric water heater is quite a simple step, much like turning on your water heater pilot.

Locate the large dial (usually located in the front, top part of your electric tank) and pull it out to turn off all power running to your appliance.

Once you’ve turned off the power supply, look for the small box at the bottom part of your water heater; this is most likely your circuit breaker box for the appliance.

Turn on the power supply and watch your pilot light come alive! If you notice any clicking sound coming from the water heater, turn off the power supply and check all connections (make sure they’re plugged in tightly). Turn on each power supply until you find out which one makes the pilot light come alive.

Turn on your water faucet and enjoy!



Now you know how to turn on your water heater pilot. With this and a little bit of patience, while the flame heats up, you should be good to go in no time! Remember these steps so you can turn your water heater back on next time it goes out.

I hope that this article was informative for helping with understanding how to change the heat setting on a gas or electric hot water system. If there are any other questions about heating systems then do mention them in the comment section!

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