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How to Easily Relight Your Water Heater Pilot Light at Home

Are you noticing that the hot water in your home isn’t as hot as it should be? Your water heater pilot light might be out.

Don’t panic; it’s a common issue I always see and can easily be fixed on your own. 

So, before you call an electrician, read my guide to lighting a water heater pilot light.

The Nitty on Relighting Your Own Water Heater Pilot Light

How to Easily Relight Your Water Heater Pilot Light at Home 1

There are steps to take, but you have to turn off the gas supply, locate the pilot light panel, open it, and then use a lighter or match to relight it.

How You Can Relight Your Water Heater Pilot Light Yourself

How to Easily Relight Your Water Heater Pilot Light at Home 2

Relighting a water heater pilot light is simple and can be done in just a few minutes. Here’s my step-by-step guide on how to do it yourself.

Step One: Locate Pilot Light

First, locate the pilot light on your water heater. It’s often located near the bottom of the unit and may be covered by a small metal plate or access panel.

Step Two: Turn Off the Gas

Once you have located the pilot light, don’t do anything until you turn off the gas supply to the water heater by turning the valve on the gas line. This will prevent any gas from flowing to the pilot light while you are working on it.

Step Three: Relighting

Remove the access panel or metal plate that covers the pilot light. You’ll probably need to use a screwdriver to do this.

Locate the pilot light control knob, usually a small, red or black knob near the pilot light. This is the knob that you will use to relight the pilot light.

Hold a long match or butane lighter near the pilot light and switch the control knob to the “Pilot” position. This will allow gas to flow to the pilot light. I’ve used my barbecue lighter before, and it worked great.

While holding the match or lighter near the pilot light, use the control knob to ignite the gas. The pilot light should light up and stay lit. If it does not, repeat this step until it does.

Step Four: Turn the Gas Back On

Once your pilot light is lit, turn the control knob back to the “On” position and replace the access panel or metal plate.

Turn the gas supply back on and test your heater to ensure it works properly. Do this by running the water in the kitchen or bathroom until it gets hot.


What is a Water Heater Pilot Light?

It’s exactly how it sounds. The pilot light is just a small flame inside the water heater that stays lit all the time. When gas hits it, the appliance (in this case, a water heater) starts running and heating up the water through the pipes in your home. Without it, your water won’t be hot.

Where is the Water Heater Pilot Light Found?

Have a peek below the gas nozzle or control buttons. The pilot light should be housed somewhere in the base of the water unit but might differ slightly depending on the model you have.

Look for something that looks like a small access panel. Remove or open it and make sure there’s a tube with a blue flame steadily burning. If it’s not, then your pilot light is out.

Do All Water Heaters Have a Pilot Light?

All gas-powered water heaters have a pilot light.

Voila! You Did It!

That’s it! You have successfully relit your water heater pilot light. Remember to be careful when working with gas, and always make sure that the gas supply is turned off before attempting to relight the pilot light. If you’re still unsure about doing it yourself, here’s a helpful video showing all the steps I just covered.

Are you putting off addressing other problems in your house, like your refrigerator not cooling or evaporator fans not working? We’ve got all the tips you need on our site.