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Hot Water Heater – How To Light a Pilot Light

Every home is reliant on hot water. There is nothing more frustrating than your hot water system not working. Something that can wrong is the pilot light going out. Relighting the pilot light is not difficult if you know how to do it. This article will help you to light the pilot light. If you are unsure how, or you are concerned about safety, then call a licensed plumber to do this for you. Safety is important when working with gas.

Many modern gas-burning appliances have switched over to hot surface or electronic ignition; there are still a lot of standing pilot systems manufactured and being used. If you own a standing pilot type system, you should know how to check and light your pilot without calling a plumber.

The following steps will explain how to light your pilot light, what to look for when doing so and a few different methods you can use to get the fire burning.

How To Light a Sealed Combustion Pilot

With a sealed combustion chamber, it is not necessary to, nor should you, access the burner assembly. Everything that is required to light this pilot is mounted right to the burner control module and there is a looking glass in the access panel that you can use to visually verify ignition. This access is bolted shut for a reason and should only be accessed by a licensed and professional plumber.

  1. Switch the gas control knob on top to the “pilot” position.
  2. Press and hold down the control knob itself to allow gas to flow into the system.
  3. Press the electronic spark button, which is located on or mounted to your control module until you hear it click. You may need to click the button a few times before the pilot is lit. Be aware there may be a bit of air in the line that takes a few seconds to “bleed” out.
  4. Take a look to confirm ignition and keep holding down the knob for approximately 30-45 seconds so that the pilot can heat up the thermocouple enough to confirm ignition to the thermostat in the control module. If the thermocouple doesn’t heat up enough, the pilot will stop burning and go out.
  5. Let go of the control knob. Have a look to confirm that the pilot stayed lit.
  6. Switch the gas control knob to the “on” position. If the pilot was out long enough for the water temperature to cool, the burners should kick on within just a seconds. If the water has not cooled down, there may be no call for the burners to come on, therefore don’t be surprised if it doesn’t fire up right away.


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