How To Relight Your Hot Water HeaterLearning how to relight your hot water heater is a skill every homeowner should have, this quick tutorial will guide you through the process. If you have an older hot water heater and noticed that you don’t have any hot water right now, you might have to relight your pilot light.  the pilot light can go out for a number of reasons, it could be a fluctuation in gas pressures, the thermocouple might be getting weak and need to be replaced, or something might have blown the pilot light out.

Whatever the case, if you want hot water you’re going to Me to learn how to relight it. Don’t worry, the steps are pretty simple and it should only take about 5 minutes.

Step 1 – Find the gas valve

Locate the gas valve, it is typically at the bottom of your hot water heater. You will notice the gas line is going into it. The gas valve regulates the gas flow to both your pilot light and the burner below the hot water tank. There are typically 3 settings on the gas valve, they are on, off and pilot. For right now turn the valve to the off position and wait 5 minutes for any gas that might have built up to dissipate. You can also remove the access cover to the main burner compartment by lifting or unsnapping it. You should be able to illuminate the main burner and pilot with a flashlight now.

Step 2 –  Turn the gas valve to Pilot

The next step is to turn your gas valve to the pilot position, press down on it and hold it down.

It should not stay down on its own, you need to apply force to keep this valve open when it’s in the pilot position. If it is staying down on its own, you might have to replace the gas valve. The pilot is a safety feature that only allows gas to flow from the regulator if the pilot light is lit. if the button is staying down and you are not applying any Force to it well in the pilot position, this means a smaller amount of gas will continue to flow unburnt. This can lead to a potential gas explosion.

Now that you have tested the pilot light button and it is requiring forced to hold it down go ahead and do that. If you have a new hot water tank you might have a piezoelectric spark ignitor, you should see a red or black button that is labeled “ignition”.  Push the button to ignite the pilot light well still holding down the gas valve in the pilot position. You will hear a clicking noise as the igniter Sparks. if you have an older hot water tank, you might have to use a BBQ Lighter and hold it close to where the Pilot’s gas line is located underneath the burner.

Continue to hold down the pilot button on the gas valve for at least one full minute after the pilot light has been lit. The reason you need to do this is you are heating up the thermocouple, which is a safety sensor and detects the presence of heat from the flame. After holding the pilot button down for a full minute, you can start to slowly let It up. The pilot light should stay on at this point, if it doesn’t repeat these steps and try again, allowing a little more time for the thermocouple to heat up.  If after a couple of attempts the pilot light refuses to stay lit, you might have to replace the thermocouple or have a problem with your gas valve. It might be time to call in a professional plumber at this point.

Learning How To Relight Your Hot Water Heater Is A Simple Task

Step 3 –  Turn the gas valve to the on position

For safety purposes, at this point, if the pilot light is staying lit you should replace the access covers before turning the gas valve to the on position. Sometimes when the gas is turned back on you will get what is called flame rollout. This is when a large amount of gas is first ignited and can come completely out of the hot water tank combustion area. If you have the access doors in place this will not happen.

Now that the access doors are in place you can turn the gas valve to the on position. You should hear a whoosh sound as the gas is ignited.  this is a good time to set the thermostat on your gas valve to an appropriate level. You do not need the temperature of the water in your hot water heater to exceed a hundred and twenty degrees Fahrenheit or 49 degrees Celsius. This will help prevent any scalding from the water being too hot at the taps, and it’ll also save you some money.

Give your water heater 20 to 30 minutes to heat the water back to the desired temperature, then go up and turn on a hot water tap to make sure everything is working good.

You Now Know How To Relight Your Hot Water Heater

Congratulations you just learned how to relight your hot water heater. This is an excellent skill to master, it can save you a lot of money by not having to call in a professional plumber, and should only take you about 5 minutes. For a plumber in your area how will help you relight your hot water heater check out the professional plumbers on