How To Light Pilot Light Water Heater

Hello there friends! Are you having trouble with your water heater? Have no fear, your friendly neighborhood plumber is here to help! Today we’ll be talking about what to do if your water heater’s pilot light goes out, and I’ll even give you a step-by-step guide on how to light it back up. So put on your tool belts and let’s get started!

Why Did My Pilot Light Go Out?

Before we dive into how to fix the issue, let’s talk about why your pilot light might have gone out in the first place. There are a few common reasons:

  1. The thermocouple could be malfunctioning, which is a safety feature that shuts off the gas valve if the pilot light goes out.
  2. The gas supply could be interrupted due to a faulty gas line, valve or a power outage.
  3. If you have an old water heater, the problem may be corrosion or a damaged pilot light assembly.

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If none of these issues are the culprit, it’s best to call in a professional plumber who can identify and fix the problem.

How to Light Your Water Heater’s Pilot Light

Now that we’ve identified the problem, it’s time to light the pilot light.

  1. First, locate the gas valve and turn it to the “off” position.
  2. Next, locate the pilot light assembly and turn the control knob to “pilot.”
  3. While holding down the control knob, press the ignition button or use a long lighter to light the pilot light.
  4. Once the flame is lit, keep the control knob held down for 30-60 seconds to allow the thermocouple time to heat up and register the flame.
  5. If the flame stays lit when you release the control knob, turn it back to the “on” position and your water heater should be functioning normally. If the flame goes out after releasing the control knob, repeat the process from step two.

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Preventing Your Pilot Light from Going Out

To prevent your pilot light from going out, it’s important to regularly maintain your water heater. Here are a few tips:

  1. Flush your tank every year to remove sediment buildup, which can cause issues with your pilot light.
  2. Check the pilot light assembly for damage or corrosion and replace if necessary.
  3. Replace the thermocouple every few years to ensure it’s functioning properly.
  4. Ensure air vents are unobstructed to provide proper air flow to the pilot light.


What should I do if I smell gas?

If you smell gas, immediately turn off the gas valve and leave your home. Call your gas company or a qualified plumber to come investigate the issue.

Can I light a pilot light myself?

Yes, you can light a pilot light yourself using the steps outlined above. However, if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, it’s best to call in a professional plumber.

How often should I check my pilot light?

You should check your pilot light regularly to ensure it’s functioning properly. We recommend doing so at least once a month.


And that’s it, folks! With these tips and tricks, you’ll be a pro at lighting and maintaining your water heater’s pilot light. Remember, if you’re ever unsure or uncomfortable with any aspect of water heater maintenance, call in a professional plumber. Happy plumbing!

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