A water heater pilot light is used to ignite the gas that heats the water. You may go for a long time and not realize that your pilot light has been faithfully serving you.
When the pilot light stops working you do not have hot water. Then you notice. A malfunctioning pilot light may be a sign of another problem. It could be that it just needs to be lit again.
Don't they have electronic ignition systems that will just light the gas when needed? Yes, they do. Most gas furnaces have such a system. Why don't water heaters? They do, but it is a matter of cost. A high efficiency hot water heater with electronic ignition will run you a $1,000 or more. Whereas, a standard gas model might be as little as $350.
The added cost results in the majority of units still using a water heater pilot light. This article will help you with the issues that a pilot light can cause.
Water Heater Pilot Light - Information
What Can You Save?
How Hard Could It Be?
Lighting a water heater pilot light is not that hard. It should take less than ten minutes.
Check the Simple Things!
You're at the simplest problem you can have with a gas hot water heater. Sorry, there is nothing easier.
What Can Go Wrong?
A pilot light that won't stay lit may be indicative of a more serious problem. You will be without hot water if you cannot fix it. You can get a lot of complaining when this happens.
Water Heater Pilot Light – The Steps Involved
Gas water heaters are equipped with a thermocouple. The thermocouple senses when the pilot light is lit. When the thermocouple goes bad it will not send the right signals to the gas valve. When that happens the gas valve will turn off and the burner will night light. Additionally the water heater pilot light will go out.
Does the pilot light refuse to stay lit? There is a good chance you have a bad thermocouple. For instructions on how to change it, see 'Gas Water Heater Thermocouple' for instructions on what to do.
- Step One - The lighting procedures are different on various models of water heater. Following the instructions is a must.
- Step Two - In this step there are instruction on using a gas water heater that has an ignitor.
- Step Three - For a water heater that has a manually lit pilot light see this step.
- Step Four - Other problems with pilot lights are discussed in this step.
The 'Next' section discusses 'Pilot Light Instructions'. Check the 'Home Repair Topics Menu' at the top of the page, if this is not your problem.
Last Updated on September 30, 2014