How to turn on gas water heater pilot light new or old

How to Turn on Gas Water Heater Pilot Light – A Step-by Step Guide 2021

How to turn on gas water heater pilot light- new or old

You come home to have a hot water shower, and turn the water heater on as usual. But what if you realize that the water is not heating up, although you have turned the water heater’s tap correctly? This is a situation where most homeowners start to panic.

Some people will immediately begin to call water heater repair technicians for help without realizing what’s wrong. Yes, it is frustrating when that happens. But the reason for this could be that the pilot light has started to malfunction all of a sudden. That is, in case If you are using a gas water heater of course.

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Well, guess what, turning the light back on is something that can be done by anyone without calling out for help. That’s right calling out water heater technicians for the slightest issue is over. But, make sure to read this article till the end if you want to learn how to turn on gas water heater pilot light.

Reigniting the light can be easily done on your own. I promise to equip you with the right knowledge to help you relight the pilot light on your water heater Securely.

Time to check your water heater by taking the appropriate safety measures

First of all, we need to make sure whether the pilot light is actually out. To do that we need to remove the access panel first. This can be seen at the bottom of the heater

Here, you need to look out for a little burning flame. If you can’t see any type of flame, that means the pilot light is dead. Water heaters with the latest designs will have a panel which is removable. But it’s fine as long as it’s made with glass or some material that’s transparent.

Now take a deep breath, but do you smell rotten eggs after doing it?

Ok, let’s begin the inspection. We are good to go as long as there are no gas leaks. The easiest method we can use for checking gas leakages is by observing whether there’s any hissing sound. The Other method is the smell.

Now you might think that checking for gas leaks isn’t that hard because it gives a bad smell if there are any leakages, right? Wrong, original gas does not have a smell.

But thankfully gas manufacturers usually add odors into gas, not to make us suffocate, but to help us detect any gas leak easily. This smell is usually considered as spoiled or rotten eggs. Just observe it with your sense of smell and see if you can feel that crappy smell of gas.

It’s smell over sound, so do some sniffing to be on the safe side

If it’s an enclosed area, you will be able to smell the gas quickly since there will be a lot of gas that’s trapped inside if a such a gas leak is present. But human senses get accustomed to a certain order with time.

So if you want to be a hundred percent sure that there is no gas leak as such, you can go down on your knees and start sniffing at the bottom of the water tank.

You don’t need to feel embarrassed about the sniffing since it’s your own house and you need to know what’s going on with it. So, if you even have a slight doubt of any odor of rotten eggs, do not try to light the pilot light.

This is where you’ll need the help of your gas company. You can call them up as soon as possible and they will advise you accordingly. Luckily, most of the gas companies do have 24-hour service. Unfortunately, if they don’t, you will have to wait till business hours.

What if you are not getting any odor nor the hissing noise?

Even after doing all of the tests I’ve recommended. That means we are good to go. This is where we can move on and check the interior door panel for the directions to find out how to turn on gas water heater pilot light.

First Locate the temperature controls. We want to put the heat to the minimum. Now off the regulator valve. If You have trouble locating it, it’s usually Located at the front of the water heater. As the name implies, the regulator valve is the thing that regulates the flow of gas.

Now that you have turned the regulator off. I suggest you wait for 15 minutes although most would suggest waiting for only 10 minutes would be adequate. Why I’m asking you to wait for 15 minutes is because there should be enough time for the tank to clear out any remaining gas from the atmosphere. This is important since we don’t want to take a risk as this gas is inflammable.

How to turn on gas water heater pilot light? Ours is an old lady

Whether it’s new or old we can find a solution to turn the pilot light on. But before looking at the old models let’s find out how to relight the newer versions first because the new ones come with a pilot light ignitor on its own.

But some new water heaters will have to be relighted separately. If that’s the case, you have to first find it prior to starting the flame. You’ll be able to find the pilot at the end of the tiny tube that’s sticking out. Tip: the tiny tube is usually silver, so it’s hard to miss.

Surprisingly, even the old water heater designs are not that hard to handle. The only thing is that the old water heaters don’t come with a pilot light igniter on their own. So therefore, we will have to find our own way in relighting the pilot using our flame.

Tip: you can use a lighter which has a long stem for maximum safety. There you have it. Now you have learned how to turn on gas water heater pilot light on both old and new models.


Whether it’s a new home or a new water heater, there shouldn’t be too much stress to turn it on. With the information in this article, you should be able to turn almost any water heater on without any complications. Was this information helpful? Let us know in the comments below.

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