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How to Light your Water Heater

If your water happens to get cold while you’re taking a shower, the pilot light under your water heater probably went out. This happens from time to time, and it is not a major problem that you cannot fix on your own. You are not in any danger either because gas heaters will not emit fumes like gas stoves.

An automatic shut off valve immediately blocks the gas whenever the pilot light goes out. If you happen to smell gas, you may have a problem with the thermocouple or some other small component. You should seek help from a professional if a gaseous odor is lingering near your tank.

Know How to Correct the Problem

It doesn’t take long for the water to heat up, so you should not be in this predicament for long. The average person does not know how to correct the problem, so they may live without hot water for hours or days.

Some people may even call a technician or handyman to fix this problem because they have no troubleshooting skills. With a bit of patience, anyone can complete this simple task–and they will be saving hard-earned money in the process.

Depend on Your Model

Depending on your model, you may need a grill lighter and screw driver to complete this task. The grill lighter has a long nozzle that will allow you to light the burner from a safe distance. Newer models have strikers attached to the controller that sits on the tank’s exterior. Strikers will allow you to light the burner without bending down and putting your hand inside the tank.

First Things First

First, you need to find the knob that regulates the gas flow. On most water heaters, it is the smaller knob sitting on top of the controller. It should have an OFF position, which stops the flow of gas, and a PILOT position, which keeps the flame burning.

Turn this knob to the OFF position, and wait about 10 minutes so you can see if gas is seeping from your unit. If you detect any fumes, even if they are faint, stop the process and seek assistance from an HVAC specialist immediately.

If everything seems normal, unscrew or remove any panel that obstructs your access. Turn the gas regulator knob back to the PILOT position. To send gas into the burner, you will need to press a separate red button on the controller. On some models, the pilot knob doubles as the gas-flow button.

If you have this type of water tank, you would press the pilot knob down. Once the gas reaches the burner, you can use your grill lighter to ignite the pilot. When you see the flame, you may want to let it burn for a while before you replace the panel.

Not all Units are the Same

Every unit works differently, and some tanks may have a few quirks because of their age. You may need to repeat this process if the burner doesn’t catch fire on the first try.

If your flame seems a bit weak, you can hold down the gas-flow button for 45 – 60 seconds to make it stronger. You may also want to check for any debris or obstructions that may be keeping your flame from burning bright.

The Water Tanks

The process for water tanks with attached lighters is pretty much the same. However, the procedure is much easier because you can light the tank while holding down the red gas-flow button. You should hear a clicking noise which sends a spark to the pilot whenever you press this button. The word IGNITION should be on the button’s surface, and the color of this device should be black or red.

When the flame comes on, it should sound like a blast of wind in a vacuum. A blue bright flame should be burning under your tank if everything worked out well.

You can use the heat regulator to raise or lower the flame beneath the tank. Turn the knob to the highest level so you can quickly warm up the standing water in your tank.

Be Sure to Replace Your Panel

Replace the panel when you think everything is functioning properly. Allow the water to heat up for about an hour before you run your faucets.

When you have hot water, try to be a bit conservative so you will not run out so quickly. You may also want to reduce the flame a little so you can conserve natural gas.

A Threat to Little Rock Homeowners

If the thermocouple was not in place, a diffused pilot light could pose a threat to Little Rock homeowners. Luckily, water heater manufacturers figured out how to stop the flow of gas when a flame is not present.

This handy apparatus has a valve that opens and closes whenever it detects a change in temperature. Heat from a flame will open the valve while cool temperatures will seal the opening to block the current.

Check your pilot light regularly so you can prevent this problem from occurring in the future. It only takes a few seconds to check your boiler for the bright blue flame.

Living without hot water can be truly inconvenient, especially if you have a busy large family. Keep an eye on your water heater and maintain it regularly to avoid any sort of discomfort.

Is your pilot light in your Little Rock, AR water heater broke? Call Arrow Plumbing today at   (501) 322-8606 , and we’ll assist you with your water heater.


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