How to Light a Water Heater with Electronic Pilot

Every home needs a water heater since it keeps our rooms warm and allows us to shower in the morning or unwind in a hot bath at the end of a long workday. But, of course, without this gadget, we couldn’t even make a little toast!

Nevertheless, it is conceivable that occasionally our electric water heater will stop being able to ignite. The water heater pilot could not burn at all, or it might flash briefly before going out. But why is this even taking place? Why is your gadget acting in this manner? And how to light a water heater with the electronic pilot?

how to light a water heater with electronic pilot

To give you the most comprehensive knowledge on the minute aspects useful for igniting water heaters, we tried our best to investigate the topic before writing this article.

How To Light A Water Heater With Electronic Pilot In 7 Steps

If you are sure your water heater is fueled by gas, read the user manual’s directions for relighting the pilot light. Instructions are typically placed on the tank’s exterior on gas water heaters.

Read also: Gas Hot Water Heater Venting Requirements

Understanding the type of water heater in your home is crucial for proper maintenance and troubleshooting. Whether you have a traditional gas water heater or a more modern type with an electronic pilot, each requires specific steps for lighting and upkeep.

If there are no instructions on the tank, and you don’t have access to the owner’s handbook, follow these steps:

  1. Open the door or cover covering the access to the pilot light. It is beneath the gas line valve. However, some types may have an open gap where you can see the pilot light burning. Your water heater is a sealed burner assembly if it lacks an empty hole. Do not try to take the lid off. A sealed burner assembly or a Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant (FVIR) device prevents the ignition of flammable vapors outside the water heater.
  2. To find the burner, use a flashlight or headlamp. Two little gas tubes run to the burner.
  3. Turn the gas valve to the ‘Pilot’ position slowly and continue holding it there. This action initiates a gas flow, enabling you to ignite the flame. If your model has one, press and hold down the pilot mode button to maintain the gas flow during ignition.
  4. Light the pilot while keeping the gas knob or button down. Your water heater can have a red or black ignition button, or you might have to manually ignite it with a long lighter, depending on the type.
  5. Hold the knob or button down until the flame starts to burn, then gradually let go of it to ensure the pilot light stays lit.
  6. When you hear a whooshing or “whump” sound from the burner, lighting up can be heard when the gas knob is turned to the “On” position.
  7. Once the pilot light is lit, replace the access cover.

For those with newer models, particularly power vent water heaters, lighting the pilot light might involve additional steps due to their unique venting system. Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines specific to your type of water heater for the correct procedure.

How To Check Pilot Light On Water Heater

If you find that the water remains cold no matter how long you run the faucet, it’s likely that the pilot light of your water heater is out. To address this, you need to access the water heater.

It’s important to know your specific type of water heater, as the process to check and relight the pilot light can vary slightly depending on the model.

Most water heaters include a pilot light underneath the gas control valve at the bottom of the heater.

Examine the burner chamber by opening the door or access panel. A steady blue flame should be coming from the pilot light tube. The pilot light is out since there isn’t any flame.

What Do You Do When the Pilot Light Goes Out?

If at all feasible, relight the pilot light per the directions provided by your appliance manufacturer. Nevertheless, the procedure is the same for all gas water heater models.

Then, how to light a water heater with an electronic pilot? Identify if your water heater has a manual or automated igniter first. You ought to be able to know by glancing at the control dial, claims Mullen Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling of West Virginia.

You have an automatic igniter if there is an ignition button. No ignition key? You will need to relight your water heater pilot manually.

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Heater Technician is a skilled author and water heater expert with years of experience in the field. He has authored several articles and books on various aspects of water heater installation, maintenance, and repair.