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.
Give us a call today at (800) 356-4295 to schedule an appointment or use our online tool to schedule an appointment that best fits your schedule.
Thinking of upgrading your hot water heater? Whether you are building a new home or retrofitting an older one, there are benefits to considering a tankless water heater. Water heating is one of the largest ongoing expenses in most homes, accounting for about 25% of a home’s energy budget.
A conventional storage water heater is the most common type of water heater. It heats and stores water in a large cylindrical tank. It is always on and is continually heating the water in its tank, maintaining the set temperature at all times, regardless of whether it is being used or not. At some point, the hot water will run out, and you will have to wait while the unit recovers and heats more water.
Technology has improved and tankless hot water heaters are becoming more popular in homes across the country. Instead of storing water in a tank, tankless water heaters heat the water as it flows through the unit on its way to a faucet or fixture. Tankless units heat the water whenever you need it, providing a continuous supply of hot water on demand.
For some, the choice is easy. For those with questions, here are some of the factors you may want to think about:
Initial Costs - Depending on models and retailers, the installed cost of a conventional tank water heater in your residence can range from $900 to $1,500. In general, the installed cost of a typical tankless unit can range from $2,300 to $4,500. Tankless water heaters cost more and can potentially be more complicated to install, so consider payback carefully.
Operating Costs - Since they only heat the water that you use, tankless options offer lower operating costs and lower utility bills over the life of the unit. On average, tankless water heaters are about 25-30% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters.
Lifespan - Tankless hot water heaters are durable and have a life expectancy of 20 years or more – nearly double a conventional water heater’s life of about 12 years.
Storage and Space Requirements - Compact and able to be installed almost anywhere, tankless hot water heaters eliminate the need to store large quantities of water and the risks associated with leaks. Leaking conventional water heaters are one of the leading causes of residential property loss due to water damage. Not to mention, there is usually a closet or significant amount of space in a garage or basement required for a tank water heater.
Rebates and Tax Credits - Unlike conventional hot water heaters, federal, state, and local tax incentives and credits may be available for your tankless hot water heater. Also, many utility companies also offer incentives.
If you are not sure if a tankless unit will best fit your needs, FloHawks can guide you through the options and help you get the right system for your home’s lifestyle. No matter the type, make sure you have a professionally licensed and insured plumber like FloHawks install or repair your water heater system. A poorly installed water heater can cause some serious plumbing problems in your home. It could ultimately cost you more money in repairs, shorten the lifespan of the unit, and keep the water heater from living up to its promises.
Our licensed and insured FloHawks professional technicians are available 24/7 to help with your water heater or any other household plumbing or septic issue. Call us today at (800) 356-4295 or contact us online.