Gas Hot Water Heater Lighting InstructionsThe method for how to turn on a water heater involves a few steps. It sounds like a simple thing, but there is procedure that should be followed.

Not sure if this is the right solution for your problem? See 'troubleshooting gas water heater problems' orAre you having problems with your Gas Hot Water Heater? Find expert help here to see if you can handle the problem yourself.

Having trouble with your Electric Hot Water Heater? Find expert advice her to see if it is something you can do yourself to fix the problem.'troubleshooting electric water heaters' for information on identifying your exact problem.

You will have to follow different steps for gas and electric water heaters. Propane water heaters will be the same as natual gas.

Turning On a Gas Hot Water Heater

The steps for starting up a gas hot water heater are listed below, with explanations to follow:

    (1) Close any open faucets or vavles.
    (2) Turn on the cold water supply.
    (3) If the gas was completely off, re-lite the pilot light.
    (4) If the gas valve was turned to 'Pilot', turn it to 'On' 

Step One - Close Open Faucets

If you were working on your hot water tank, you  should have opened a faucet to allow air to get into the tank. This prevents the creation of an airlock. Now that you are ready to turn the water back on, you can close the faucets.

Step Two - Turn On the Cold Water Supply

Before you turn the gas back on and light the pilot, you want to turn on the cold water and let the tank refill. The heating elements should not be turned back on with a partially filled tank.

At this point the tank will fill with water, replacing any that was lost while working on the tank.

This article shows the basic steps to lighting a pilot light on your gas hot water heater.Step Three - Light the Pilot Light

Every water heater has a slightly different procedure for lighting the pilot light. See the article on 'how to light a gas water heater pilot light' for complete instructions.

Step Four - Turn the Gas Valve to On

If you were able to just turn your gas valve to 'Pilot', you will not need to light the pilot light. Instead, you should be able to turn the gas valve to 'ON'.

The water heater should start heating the water at this point. So the burner should fire up. If for some reason it does not, you will need to follow the complete pilot lighting instructions. See the article on 'lighting pilot lights' for information.

Turning On an Electric Hot Water Heater

The steps for starting up a gas hot water heater are listed below, with explanations to follow:

    (1) Close any open faucets or vavles.
    (2) Turn on the cold water supply.
    (3) Remove the lock out tag from the breaker box.
    (4) Turn on the circuit breaker for the hot water heater.

Step One - Close Open Faucets

Gas Hot Water Heater Settings DialIf you were working on your hot water tank, you  should have opened a faucet to allow air to get into the tank. This prevents the creation of an airlock. Now that you are ready to turn the water back on, you can close the faucets.

Step Two - Turn On the Cold Water Supply

Before you turn the power back on, you want to turn on the cold water and let the tank refill. The heating elements should not be turned back on with a partially filled tank, it can damage them.

At this point the tank will fill with water, replacing any that was lost while working on the tank.

Always tag the breaker to "Off" when working on your electric hot water tank. Then remove the tag when the work is done and turn the power back on.Step Three - Remove the Lock Out Safety Tag

This is the piece of tape that you should have put over the breaker warning anyone that gets into the panel not to turn that breaker on. This a safety procedure that can prevent shocks and even death.

Step Four - Turn On the Water Heater Breaker

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There is no indicator light on most electric water heaters to tell you that the unit is on. You should hear some sounds that indicate the the heating elements have engaged and the water is starting to heat.

The water heater should start heating the water at this point. Witin 30 - 60 minutes you should have hot water. Carefully check one of the faucets to make sure the water is getting hot.

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