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How to Light Your Water Heater

Good quality water heaters will faithfully serve without any problems, probably the reason why most people have no idea what a pilot light is because it rarely fails.

The pilot light in a water heating system is responsible for the igniting the gas that heats the water. Therefore, when there is no hot water from the hot water faucet, the probability that the pilot light stopped light is very high.

Wenatchee, WA lighting-water-heatersA malfunctioning pilot light may also be the reason. There is no need to panic because the problem. Just try and figure out if the problem is the pilot light first. If it is, the pilot light just needs to be lit again.

Do not rush to call a water heater repair company before trying to light the pilot light. A service company will charge a service fee, and some may likely say that the thermocouple is defective and needs to be replaced, which will cost an extra 150 dollars. It is also possible that they may say that the equipment should be replaced. Avoid the unnecessary costs and charges by trying to light the pilot.

The process of lighting the pilot light requires taking necessary safety precautions, checking for possible reasons why the pilot light is off, identifying the type of heating system installed in your Wenatchee home, reading the instructions, preparing to light and then lighting the pilot light.

Safety Precautions

The process of lighting the pilot light is very simple and safe if any possible accidents are avoided. A possible cause for an accident may be gas leakage. The gas is highly explosive when it comes in contact with fire. Therefore, before even thinking of lighting the pilot, it is paramount that a check is done for gas leakage.

Carry out a smell check. This does not require any special equipment. The gas is mixed with a substance that has an egg-like smell that is easy to detect by sniffing. Just get closer to the water heater and sniff around it for any unusual smell.

Gas leakage can also produce some hissing sound. Be sure to listen for a hissing sound as you sniff around the equipment. Do the sniffing around the valves at the front and the back.

If there is no hissing sound and no gas smell, then all is safe to light the pilot light. If otherwise, please contact the gas company who will advise on what to do.

Check if Pilot Light is Off

There are high chances that the pilot light is off. Sometimes this may not be the case, but it is very rare. Just to be sure, check to confirm.

On the old models of water heaters, the access panel at the bottom of the tank needs to be removed to get a view of the pilot light. On the newer gas water heating systems, look through the glass. If there is no flame, then the pilot light is off.

Check for Possible That May Have Caused the Pilot Light to Go Off

The reasons for the pilot light going off may be due to lack of gas supply, or there is no air circulation. Therefore, check if there is gas supply and if there is ensure the pressure is sufficient. It is important to note that fluctuation in gas supply pressure can cause the pilot light to go off. When the light is off, no gas ignition can take place and consequently no heating will occur.

This is the same case with lack of air supply. Air aids in gas combustion. Just check the air vents and clean them if they are blocked. Follow the instructions on the manual for the best approach to cleaning the air vents of specific model.

Read Pilot Lighting Instructions

On most water heaters, the pilot light instructions are mounted on the side of the gas tank. The instructions vary for some models. Hence, it is advisable to read them to confirm the steps.

Some steps will require waiting for a few seconds or even minutes. Follow the instructions to ensure successful lighting and for safety purposes. Do not proceed to light the pilot light if there is smoothing that is not clear. Take note of how long you have to wait on some steps.

Preparing the Light

Having gone through the instructions, you probably have an idea what you need to do and have to light the pilot light. From the instructions, it is required that the temperature setting knob and gas valve knob need to be adjusted. The temperature setting knob need be adjusted to the lowest temperature and the gas valve knob to “OFF” position.

Wenatchee, WA lighting-water-heaters-2Depending on the model the equipment, you will need to wait for some minutes for any gas to clear from the system. Most models recommend a waiting time of about 10 minutes. To completely clear the gas, blow gently to expel any remaining has.

Old models of water heaters require manual ignition using a lighter. If one installed in your Wenatchee home is the old one, get a long match lighter. This will be easy and safe to use as the risk of burning your fingers is reduced.

Lighting the Pilot Light

With everything in place, you should be ready to light the pilot light. Go to the valve regulator and turn the knob to “PILOT” position. Once turned to the “PILOT” position, press and hold down the control button and gas will start flowing in the gas supply tubes. For some models the gas valve and the control button are separate.

Now ignite the pilot using the spark igniter on new water heaters and using a match lighter on old models. Continue holding the button for a few seconds after lighting the pilot. Repeat the process if the pilot light goes off and hold down the button a bit longer.

Now set the temperature setting knob to on position and the heater system will start heating the water.

If you’re in the Wenatchee, WA area and need assistance lighting your water heater, Call Allied Plumbing & Pumps today at (509) 662-6622 today.

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