How To Relight A Gas Water Heater
If you’ve ever experienced the frustration of a cold shower due to a pilot light going out on your gas water heater, you’re not alone. Learning how to relight a gas water heater is a valuable skill that can save you time and money. Whether you have a newer model with automatic ignition or an older one that requires manual relighting, these steps will guide you through the process.
Prepping to Relight Your Water Heater
Before attempting to relight your gas water heater, it’s crucial to prioritize safety. Gas appliances can be dangerous if not handled properly, so follow these steps to ensure a safe relighting process:
- Shut off the gas valve on your water heater and wait for any residual gas to dissipate.
- Use a flashlight to locate the pilot light, which is typically positioned under the gas valve.
- If your water heater has a separate pilot button, press it to initiate the gas flow. Otherwise, you’ll need to light the pilot manually using a long lighter.
- Turn the gas valve to the “Pilot” position and hold it down to allow gas to flow.
- Use a lighter to ignite the pilot light, keeping the gas knob or button depressed for about a minute.
- After ensuring the pilot light is lit, turn the gas valve back to the “On” position and replace any covers or doors.
Steps to Relight Your Gas Water Heater
Once you’ve taken the necessary safety precautions, you can proceed with relighting your gas water heater following these steps:
DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Relighting a gas water heater pilot light is a task that most homeowners can handle on their own. However, if you encounter difficulties or the pilot light continues to go out, it may be wise to seek professional assistance. A qualified plumber can diagnose any underlying issues and ensure your water heater operates safely and efficiently.
Common FAQs About Relighting Gas Water Heaters
Here are some frequently asked questions about relighting gas water heaters:
1. Is it safe to manually light a gas water heater?
Yes, it is generally safe to manually light a gas water heater, but always follow proper safety procedures, such as shutting off the gas and allowing the area to ventilate before relighting.
2. What should I do if my pilot light keeps going out?
If your pilot light repeatedly goes out, it could indicate a more significant issue with your water heater. Contact a professional for a thorough inspection and potential repairs.
3. How much does it cost to repair a gas water heater?
The cost of repairing a gas water heater can vary depending on the nature of the problem. On average, you can expect to pay between $50 to $150 per hour for a plumber’s services.
4. When should I consider replacing my water heater?
If your water heater is over 15 years old or requires frequent repairs, it may be more cost-effective to replace it with a newer, more efficient model.
5. How can I maintain my gas water heater?
Regular maintenance, such as inspecting the unit, flushing out sediment buildup, and scheduling annual tune-ups with a professional, can help prolong the life of your gas water heater.
6. Is it an emergency if the pilot light goes out?
While modern water heaters have safety features to prevent gas buildup, an extinguished pilot light should be addressed promptly to avoid potential hazards. If you detect a gas leak or other concerning issues, evacuate the area and seek professional assistance immediately.