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The pilot light on my gas water heater is out. What now?

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

A water heater is an essential appliance in many households, providing hot water for bathing, cooking, and cleaning. However, if you find that the water in your home is suddenly cold, it's possible that the pilot light on your water heater has gone out. Lighting the pilot light is a simple process, and in this blog post, we'll walk you through the steps.





First, it's essential to understand that gas water heaters have a pilot light that ignites the burner, which heats the water. If the pilot light goes out, the burner won't ignite, and you'll have no hot water. The good news is that relighting the pilot light is a relatively easy process.


Before you begin, gather your tools. You'll need a screwdriver and a long match or lighter. Then, make sure that you turn off the gas supply to the water heater. You can find the gas supply valve near the bottom of the tank. Turn the valve to the "off" position, and wait for a few minutes to allow any remaining gas to dissipate. Remember: righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.


Once you've turned off the gas supply, locate the pilot light assembly. You can typically find it near the bottom of the tank, behind a metal panel. Remove the panel to access the pilot light assembly.


Now it's time to light the pilot light. First, locate the pilot burner and the pilot gas supply tube. You should see a small red or black button near the pilot burner. Press and hold this button down to allow gas to flow to the pilot burner.


While holding the button down, use a long match or lighter to ignite the pilot burner. Keep the button pressed down for around 20 seconds to allow the thermocouple to heat up. The thermocouple is a safety device that detects whether the pilot light is on. If the thermocouple doesn't detect heat from the pilot light, it will shut off the gas supply to the burner.


After holding the button down for around 20 seconds, release it. If the pilot light stays on, you can replace the metal panel and turn on the gas supply. If the pilot light doesn't stay on, repeat the process a few times, making sure that you're holding the button down for long enough.


It's essential to note that if the pilot light won't stay on, there may be an issue with the thermocouple or another component of the water heater. In this case, it's best to call EAMS Plumbing at 916-479-3109 to inspect and repair the water heater. By following these steps, you'll have hot water again in no time.



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