gas hot water pilot light

Re-lighting A Hot Water Pilot Light In 9 Easy Steps

Is your hot water tap suddenly running cold water? Don't panic quite yet, because if it's connected to the mains gas or an LPG bottle, the problem could be as simple and easy-to-fix as learning how to re-light that hot water pilot light.

Not sure what the gas pilot light even is? Luckily, it couldn't be simpler or easier - it's simply a small constantly-lit flame so that whenever you need to burn that gas to produce hot water, it's always ready to rumble! The presence of a constant flame also ensures that if there's a minor gas leak, it will always instantly ignite rather than hang around ready to go 'Kaboom!' or be silently inhaled.

Why has it gone out? It could be:

  • An ageing hot water system
  • A gust of wind
  • A valve/supply/heat exchanger/themocouple problem.

In any case, if you can't see that little blue flame dancing around with your own eyes, it's safe to say that it's gone out - and probably just needs to be re-lit to restore your gas hot water system to full functionality.

Here's how it's done:

1. Is the hot water gas pilot light really out?

When it's lit, you should be able to see the hot water pilot light - but it might also be necessary to remove a small cover. If you can smell gas, stop everything and call an emergency gas fitter.

2. Prepare

We always advise that you wear eye protection, and we also caution that you should follow the manufacturer's instructions rather than these ones. But for just about every gas water heater, our instructions will basically always work.

3. Remove access cover

It may be necessary to remove an access cover for the gas pilot light, but it should just click out. In many cases, this is also where you'll see the manufacturer's specific instructions for how to light the pilot light on your water heater.

4. Turn the knob to 'off'

You'll be turning the main gas control knob by hand in a clockwise direction all the way to 'off' - which is probably labelled with the familiar 'off' symbol.

5. Wait 5 minutes

Don't get impatient, because this little wait is to allow any unburned gas to float away - rather than contribute to a 'Kaboom!'

6. Turn the knob to 'pilot'

Next, turn the knob to the 'pilot light' position, which will probably be helpfully marked by a spark or flame symbol.

7. Press and hold

When in the 'pilot' position, press the entire control knob in all the way and hold it there for 30 seconds. At the same time, click in the ignition button and keep pushing the knob in.

8. Is the gas pilot light re-lit?

Did you hear and/or see the gas hot water pilot light re-light whilst holding the control knob in and pressing the ignition button? If so, just hang in there for another 20 seconds or so to make sure it stays lit.

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9. Let go of the knob

Release the pressure on the knob and double-check to see if the pilot light is now staying lit. If so, you're done! If not, you'll have to sit it out for another 5 minutes before trying the entire process again.

We can help with your gas water heater

If - after a few tries - you're still struggling to re-light that gas pilot light on your hot water system, you might need some professional help. Here at In Deep Plumbing, our technicians are also fully-qualified gasfitters - meaning we can work on, repair, service and install all your gas appliances including hot water systems. We've worked on every type, brand and model of gas hot water systems you're likely to ever find in and around the Gold Coast and beyond, so hit up the friendly Gold Coast plumbers here at In Deep Plumbing today!