How do you check the pilot on a hot water heater?

Asked By: Tammie Haferung | Last Updated: 28th May, 2020
Category: home and garden home appliances
4.3/5 (18 Views . 36 Votes)
How to Light a Water Heater Pilot Light
  1. Open the door/cover over the pilot light access.
  2. Use a flashlight or a headlamp to find the burner inside.
  3. Turn the gas knob to “Pilot,” press and hold it down.
  4. While still holding the gas down, light that pilot.
  5. When the flame ignites, continue to hold the gas knob or button down for a full minute.

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Also, how do I know if the pilot light is out on my water heater?

The pilot gas line is a small metal tube below the burner assembly and distinctive by the slight upturn at the end. It will be apparent, if the pilot is lit, by the small blue flame burning at the end. If you do not see a small blue flame burning, the pilot light is out.

Likewise, how do you relight a pilot light? Relight the pilot light. Turn the knob to “Pilot,” and let gas to flow to the pilot. Light a lighter or match, then push in the reset button. Hold your flame to the pilot light's opening. Keep the reset switch depressed until the pilot light is burning steadily.

Also to know is, is it dangerous if the pilot light goes out on water heater?

A device called a thermocouple is heated by the pilot light flame. As long as the thermocouple remains hot, gas is supplied to the pilot light. If the pilot light goes out, the gas is shut off and there is no danger of gas accumulating because the pilot light is out.

What causes the pilot light to go out?

Usually, a problem with the thermocouple causes the pilot light to go out. The thermocouple is the small copper rod that the pilot light hits. That's important because gas is always being supplied to the pilot to keep the flame lit. But if the pilot flame goes out, then the gas would still be released.

36 Related Question Answers Found

Do I need to turn gas off if pilot light goes out?

This system will allow a small amount of gas to leak through the pilot tubing. If the pilot light is out, the gas must be shut off at the appliance isolation valve, normally located in close proximity to the appliance. Then you can follow the manufacturer's instructions to relight the pilot.

Can a pilot light cause carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas produced during burning fuel. It doesn't leak from a pilot light that's gone out, but if the light keeps going out even after you relight the pilot, it can indicate that you have other problems.

How much does it cost to replace a thermocouple?

Thermocouple Replacement - $20-$150
Calling a professional plumber to install a new thermocouple should only be up to $150. If you do the work yourself, you will only pay the price of the part which is about $20.

Do I need to turn off hot water heater if I turn off water?

If the element gets turned on without water surrounding it, it gets too hot and burns up. In rare circumstances, you could also get a buildup of dangerous pressure if the relief valve were to fail. So, yes, please turn off your water heater when you turn off your water main.

Why does my pilot light go out when I release the pilot light knob?


The most likely of those is that the thermocouple needs to be replaced. The button you press to light the pilot bypasses the thermocouple. When you release the button, the thermocouple ensures that unburned gas doesn't get released by shutting off the gas when it's not heated by the burning pilot light.

Can you clean a thermocouple?

If the Thermocouple is faulty it will cause the unit to shut down. How to clean? Remove Thermocouple from pilot assembly, using steel wool or emery cloth to lightly clean the tip removing any soot or build up that might have accorded due to an improper pilot flame.

Should the pilot light always be on in a gas water heater?

Your water heater does not have an ignitor. The pilot should always be burning on your water heater. Sometimes the pilot flame is hard to see through the viewing window. To be sure if the pilot is on or off, you need to remove the access door and shield and look at the burner and pilot through the opening.

How do you clean a thermocouple on a water heater?

Before cleaning the thermocouple make sure that you shut off the power supply so that you do not get hurt while cleaning the thermocouple. Now the ends of thermocouple may be corroded. This may prevent power from reaching the pilot lights. Rub the ends of this piece with an emery cloth sandpaper.

How do you test a thermocouple?

Turn your multimeter to millivolts to perform an open circuit test. Place one of the test leads of the multimeter on the side of the thermocouple and the other to the end that enters the gas valve. Ignite a lighter, or other heat source with a flame, at the opposite end of the thermocouple.

Why is my boiler not igniting?


Burner won't ignite: This is the most common cause of a boiler failing to provide heat. If the gas jets on the burner will not ignite, no heat will warm up the water in the tank. The trouble may be due to a failed electronic igniter/pilot light, or perhaps trouble in the gas line.

What happens if the pilot light goes out?

If the pilot light blows out, the thermocouple quickly cools off. It stops generating electricity and the valve closes. To relight the pilot light, you have to push a button that opens the value manually. Then you light the pilot light and wait for the thermocouple to heat up (about 30 seconds).

Should the pilot light always be on?

At the same time, that pilot light is burning off the gas and preventing the poisonous fumes from entering your home. Some pilot light tubes have automatic shut-offs if the flame goes out, but not all of them do, so each and every pilot light in the home should be routinely checked to make sure it is always on.

Is my pilot light out?

Some of the possible serious reasons for pilot lights to go out include loose or broken gas valves, thermocouples or heat exchangers, faulty venting, low gas pressure, or high winds. If you believe there is a serious problem, don't hesitate to contact a professional.

How do I know if my pilot light is out?

The pilot gas line is a small metal tube below the burner assembly and distinctive by the slight upturn at the end. It will be apparent, if the pilot is lit, by the small blue flame burning at the end. If you do not see a small blue flame burning, the pilot light is out.

How much does it cost to have a pilot light lit?


Most service providers will charge a standard fee per visit that typically covers the cost to relight a gas water heater. This service call price can range from $80 to $100. Have you ever relit your own pilot light? Tell us how it went in the comments below.

What happens if the pilot light goes out on a water heater?

If it senses that the pilot light has gone out, the thermocouple shuts off the gas supply to the flame in order to prevent safety issues with your water heater. Over time, thermocouples can begin to malfunction and shut off the gas supply to the pilot light even if it's burning properly. A bent or dirty thermocouple.

Is it dangerous if the pilot light goes out on furnace?

Can a Pilot Light Outage Be Dangerous? The worry here is that when a pilot goes out, the gas valve that supplies the fuel for the pilot flame could still be pumping gas. This can mean a buildup of gas, and when the pilot is relit or relights itself it could result in a very serious explosion.