Monday, February 27, 2006

Relighting the Pilot Light on a Hot Water Heater

At some point it will probably become necessary for every homeowner who has a hot water heater to relight the pilot light on the heater. Whether the pilot light went out due to a malfunction, or if it was turned off intentionally when the homeowner was planning to be away for an extended period of time, the procedure for relighting it is the same.

Follow these simple steps to relight the pilot light on your hot water heater:

1. Be sure to start by setting the gas control knob to the off position. Then turn the thermostat down to its lowest setting (in most cases this is done by turning the knob clockwise). After the control knob has been tuned off, wait five minutes to allow any accumulated gas to clear from the water tank. If you still smell gas after five minutes has passed, you should stop immediately and call the utility company for emergency service.

2. If no gas smell is present, open or remove both the inner and outer access doors to the burning chamber, using a pair of pliers or a wrench. You will probably need to use a flashlight to find the end of the pilot light tube. This tube extends from the gas control value and into the burning chamber itself. Move to a spot where you can comfortably and easily reach this point to see what you are doing.

3. Twist the control knob over to the pilot position, then immediately hold a match close to the end of the pilot light tube. Press and hold the reset button on the gas control valve, then remove the match as soon as the pilot light goes on. Keep the reset button depressed for another minute.

4. If the pilot light on the water heater does not remain on, repeat the steps listed above. If the pilot light does stay on, turn the gas cock located on the control valve to the on position, then set the thermostat to the temperature you want. Replace the inner and outer access panels and you are done. Of course it goes without saying that proper safety procedures must always be followed when working around the hot water heater or any other gas powered equipment. Be sure to test the air carefully for the scent of gas, and if you smell gas when no smell should be present, call the utility company immediately. If you have not read the safety procedures and precautions that came with the hot water heater, be sure to do so before you attempt to relight the pilot light.

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