How to Light Your Water Heater
Lighting a Water Heater Step One: Natural Gas or Electric Water Heaters
A building’s water heater is an essential appliance that is fueled by either natural gas or electricity. Every natural gas-powered water heater has a pilot light that our customers must light in order to start the mechanisms that will heat water inside the appliance’s holding tank.
We recommend keeping the instruction manual provided by a water heater’s manufacturer in order to understand how to light the appliance safely.
Most water heaters also have the pilot light instructions posted on a label on the outside of the appliance’s holding tank, but this label frequently become damaged and difficult to read. The first thing you need to know before attempting to light the appliance is if the water heater is powered by electricity or natural gas.
If a Oklahoma City homeowner determines that a water heater is fueled by natural gas, then check for the odor of this fuel. To avoid a dangerous explosion, do not attempt to light a water heater where there is leaking natural gas.
Never light a water heater when there is any water on the floor, ceilings or walls that indicates that water pipes or the appliance is leaking moisture. Contact a water heater technician to repair a leaking water heater or to replace it with a new appliance.
Lighting a Water Heater Step Two: Gas Water Heater with No Electronic Igniter
Our customers in the Oklahoma City area will probably need a bright flashlight to perform these steps in a dimly lit basement or utility closet. Locate the water heater’s thermostat valve before turning it to the lowest temperature setting. This knob is usually a bright color such as red and is located on the side and toward the bottom of the water heater’s holding tank. Find the pilot control valve on the top of the gas control valve and adjust this knob to the pilot setting.
Next, take off the access panels that are located at the bottom of the water heater to reach the combustion chamber and pilot light. These access panels may have tabs or screws that hold the devices in place. If there are screws, then our customers need to use the appropriate style and size of screwdriver to remove the screws. Make sure to have a small container to hold the screws in order to replace the access panels after the water heater’s pilot light is lit.
To light the pilot light, hold down the pilot button that is located next to the water heater’s pilot control knob. The only way to light the pilot light is by holding down this button for 30 seconds to remove the air from the gas line. Next, release this button slowly while watching to make sure the pilot light remains lit.
If the pilot light does not come on, then repeat the steps until it does before placing the access panels back on the water heater’s holding tank. Last, turn the pilot control knob to the on position and adjust the thermostat to the correct temperature setting.
Lighting a Water Heater Step Three: Gas Water Heaters with Electronic Igniter
The method for lighting a water heater with an electric igniter is slightly different. With this method, our customers can adjust a water heater’s thermostat to its lowest setting. Manufacturers place this dial on the front of a gas control valve that is located on the side of the water heater’s holding tank at the bottom of the appliance.
Turn this pilot control knob that is located on top of the gas valve knob to the position that is labeled pilot. Press and hold down both the pilot igniter button and the pilot button at the same time. This is easy because the pilot control knob and the pilot button are next to each other and in close proximity to the gas control valve.
Make sure to wear protective eyewear while watching through the glass-fronted access panel as the pilot light ignites. This process can take up to 30 seconds to bleed air from the gas line.
If there is air inside the line, then the pilot light will not remain lit. When the pilot light does not stay on, then our customers must repeat the previous steps. However, if the pilot light does stay on, then turn the pilot light to the on position before adjusting the water heater’s thermostat to the desired water temperature.
Lighting a Water Heater Step Four: Electric Water Heaters
Electric water heaters do not have pilot lights to worry about, but if the appliance is not heating enough hot water, then it needs an adjustment to its thermostat.
An electric water heater can have problems with other components that require a repair from an expert technician.
For additional information about lighting a natural gas or electric water heater in the Oklahoma City area, call Hull Plumbing today at (405) 246-9763.