How to Light Your Water Heater

The discovery that your hot water heater is not working is never a pleasant one, and one of the most common reasons why a hot water heater is not producing heated water for you relates to the pilot light. If you have noticed that your hot water is not functioning properly, you can easily inspect the unit to find the pilot light area.

Typically, this is a small area located at the base of the unit. If you see a flame in the pilot light area, the issue is not related to the flame, and professional repair work is needed. If you do not see a flame, you can attempt to re-light the pilot light. However, there may be issues that require repair work that have caused the pilot light to go out, so professional repair work may still be needed.

 Mobile, AL Lighting-water-heatersUnderstanding Why a Pilot Light Goes Out

There are various working components related to the pilot light that could cause it to go out, and there may also be issues with the gas line. For example, there is a thermosensor that may have triggered the flame to go out, and it may have become damaged in some way. On the other hand, there may have been a sudden drop in pressure in the gas line that was not related to your hot water heater, and this may have corrected itself. When this happens, you may simply need to re-light the pilot light to resolve the problem.

As you attempt to re-light the pilot light, keep in mind you may need professional repair service on the unit.

Accessing the Pilot Light

The first step to take when re-lighting the pilot light is to locate the gas regulation valve, which is usually located at the base of the unit near the pilot light. Turn the valve to the “Off” position to stop the flow of gas. Then, open the pilot light area. Allow several minutes for the gas that has built up in the area to dissipate. After a few minutes have passed, check the pilot light area to determine if there is a blockage over the gas feed for the pilot light. If so, clear the area so that the debris is moved out of the space.

Re-Lighting the Flame

Using a long-handled barbecue lighter, you can re-light the flame. Turn the valve to the “Ignite” or “On” position. Some models will require you to continue to press on the valve switch while lighting the flame, and others may have an ignition button that you will need to press while the flame from the lighter is present in the pilot light area.

You typically will hear a ticking or clicking sound to know that you are doing this right. The flame should light up and remain light, but you may need to keep the valve turned to the “Ignite” position for a minute to ensure that the thermosensor detects the light. When you move the valve to the “On” position, the light should stay lit. If it does not, you may find that you need specialized assistance from a plumber in the Mobile area to diagnose and repair the problem.

Mobile, AL Lighting-water-heatersFinalizing the Work

At this point, the pilot light should be lit. You simply have to turn the valve to the “On” position and close the hatch to the pilot light area to finish the work. Keep in mind that the water tank may require several minutes or longer to heat water back up. Therefore, do not be concerned if the water in the tank remains cold for awhile even after the pilot light has been re-lit.

When to Call a Professional For Assistance

There are a few instances when you may need to contact a professional plumber for assistance with this process. First, if you smell gas when you approach the gas tank, you should exit the home and contact a Mobile area plumber immediately. A gas leak with the hot water heater requires immediate water heater repair service, and this can be a life and safety issue until the matter is addressed.

You may also need to call a plumber if the light will not remain lit for you or if you cannot get it re-lit. Some of the components may be old or dirty and may require service or replacement. In some cases, the entire water heater may require a replacement, but this is rare.

If you need water heater repair work for your system, you may be wondering which company to call. We have been serving the local community for many years, and we offer the fast, reliable response that you are looking for from your plumber.

If you are ready to contact us for assistance, call Drain Busters Plumbing & Rooter Services today at (251) 245-8838 in Mobile, AL. We will head out to your home immediately to provide you with the service you need.