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How to Light Your Water Heater

The extinguishing of the pilot light on a hot water heater is a rather common issue to deal with. You will know almost immediately when the pilot light to your water heater goes out, and this is because you will not have access to hot water from the heater any longer. The water that is inside the tank will quickly cool off, and you will only be able to draw room temperature or even chilly water from the hot water heater. Water heater repair work generally involves re-lighting the pilot light, and this process may be easier to complete than it sounds. Keep in mind that a professional plumber can assist you with this process so that it is safely and quickly completed.

Arlington, VA Lighting-water-heatersLocating the Gas Regulator Valve

When the pilot light on your hot water heater goes out, you may want nothing more than to relight the pilot light so that you can have access to hot water for bathing, cooking and more once again.
The first step to take is to locate the gas regulator valve, which is responsible for regulating the flow of gas to the pilot light. This valve is typically located at the bottom of the hot water heater where the gas pipe connects to the heater unit. You should turn this valve to the “Off” position. Then, remove any coverings that are over the pilot light, and look at the pilot light area with a flashlight. This will tell you if there are any blockages that you need to know about before lighting the unit.

Lighting the Pilot Light

If there are no visible blockages to the pilot light area, the next step is to re-light the pilot light. Use a long-handled barbecue lighter for safety when performing the re-lighting process.
Turn the gas regulator valve to the “Pilot” position. Some models may require you to press and hold down on the valve knob so that gas can begin to flow to the pilot light area once again. Other models may have a red ignitor button that you can push, and this may be labeled “Ignition.” You can push this button down.
Both options generally will create a clicking sound that tells you that the gas is present, and there may be a spark that is visible. Light the pilot light using the long-handled lighter when you hear the clicking sound. This will usually result in the pilot light being re-lit, but if it does not, your heater will require professional repair service from a plumber.

 Arlington, VA Lighting-water-heaters-2Monitoring the Light

After the pilot light is lit, the work is not done yet. The regulator valve knob should be compressed for approximately one minute after the flame is ignited, and the reason for this is so that the safety sensor can detect the flame. If the light is extinguished when you let pressure off of the valve knob, you may have not waited long enough. Otherwise, there may be a problem with the sensor or the valve that requires professional attention from a licensed and experienced plumber in the city of Arlington.
In most cases, the pilot light will remain re-lit after pressure is let off of the valve. Then, you simply have to replace the covers that you took off to access the pilot light and turn the regulator knob to the “On” position. This should complete the process, but make sure that the pilot light remains lit after the work is finished.

Understanding Why the Pilot Light Went Out

It is important to note that some hot water heater pilot lights simply go out just because, and this may happen randomly every few months in your Arlington home. However, some of these issues are caused by a malfunction of the equipment, such as an issue with the thermocouple safety sensor or the regulator valve itself.
In some cases, there is a blockage that must be removed. In other cases, the gas pressure dropped significantly, and it may have been restored. Some of these issues may correct themselves, such as a change in gas pressure. However, others will require professional attention to resolve the problem. If this problem persists or if the problem recurs frequently, these are signs that you need professional water heater repair service.

Call a Professional For Assistance

Re-lighting the hot water heater can be intimidating for some people to do, and some people would prefer to have a professional complete the work for them. For example, one reason for this may be because the hot water heater uses gas, and you may not be comfortable turning the gas valve line on and off or re-lighting it on your own. Others may want to know why the water heater pilot light went out and may want a professional diagnosis.
If your water heater light has recently been extinguished, now is a great time to contact The Plumbing Dr at (703) 525-9280 in Arlington, VA.