When you feel cold water coming out of your hot faucet tap for more than a minute or two, chances are good that your water heater pilot flame could have gone out. The good news is that this is one problem that can be easily solved as a DIY project or by calling your local plumber. However, don’t attempt this fix if you smell gas nearby; this could be a gas leak in the area. In that case, call 911 from outside the house for emergency assistance.
If your area is clear of the gas odor, try to find the label on your water heater that provides instructions specific to lighting the water heater model that you have. Absent that, grab your flashlight and a barbeque lighter and follow these steps:
- Turn off your gas regulator valve – This is a knob that can be found on the outside of the water heater where the gas pipe enters it. Once you have turned the knob to off, the excess gas should dissipate. Wait at least five minutes for this process to occur to be clear of gas flare-ups.
- Locate the heater’s pilot burner – This is underneath the heater. Remove its access cover.
- Turn the gas regulator valve to “Pilot” – Once set to “Pilot,” press on it and hold it down to start gas flowing to the pilot burner.
- For units with built-in pilot igniters – If your water heater has a built-in electric spark pilot igniter, you will find a red or black button labeled “Ignition” on the top or side of the gas valve. Push that to light the pilot.
Lighting the pilot manually – If the pilot igniter is not built-in, use your barbeque lighter to apply a flame to the pilot burner. Then, press the regulator valve knob for at least a minute after the pilot is lit so the flame heats the thermocouple safety sensor that detects the live pilot flame.
- Slowly release the regulator valve – Turn the valve to “on” after you see that the pilot light is remaining lit.
- Make sure to replace the access covers that were removed during the process.
FloHawks Can Help
If you are having trouble with your water heater and are uncomfortable trying to fix it yourself, there is no reason you should feel the need to shower with cold water. FloHawks can help.