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Blog Series - Water Heaters: Back to Basics, Part Three: Gas Valve - Lighting the Pilot

Running out of Hot Water sucks!...Image this:
Suddenly you have a COLD SHOWER!  What now? You could call a service repair plumber, or you could try to relight the Gas Valve’s Pilot Light.  It is a temporary fix to simply re-light the pilot as there are likely to be reasons why the Pilot Light went out to begin with.  So, we do recommend scheduling a plumber so that a professional can evaluate your Water Heater. What do you do?
Our Blog series Water Heaters: Back to Basics will be a four part series discussing just the basics of Water Heater component, functions of components, and some top troubleshooting tips.  Our goal in this blog series is to inform some of our core audiences – service techs and distributors – so that whether it is a house call to service or making sure the customer gets the repair parts that are right for the job, we want to help our readers improve business, customer satisfaction, and profits through the education we offer.

Previously, Part Two discussed Electric Heater: Thermostat & Heating Element and Gas-Fired Water Heater components: Flue, and Draft Diverter (or Hood) – click here to read

Part Three:

Gas Valve - Lighting the Pilot

In Part Three in our series we talk about a Gas Water Heater component the Gas Valve.  It is the Gas Valve that is the start and stop of a Gas Water Heater and very important to understand how the Gas Valve works and how to Light the Gas Valve, then emergency Water Heater Service calls can be fast, high quality, and good for both the professional and the customer.

What is the Gas Valve?

Gas Valves turn on/off gas from supply to appliance. In some cases they con

Find Pilot Light near the Gas Valve

What is a Pilot light? 

A Pilot Light is a standing flame that remains lit so that when a demand to re-heat the Water Heater tank there is a flame that can be fueled by the Gas.

Where is it?

1) Most Water Heaters have the Gas Valve and the Pilot Light at the bottom of the Water Heater.

2) You may need to remove a cover to see the pilot light.

3) Then look for a window – this is where you see the pilot light flame.

CAUTION: Flammable gas! Window should have a clear glass protecting flame – if your window is missing a glass plate, the schedule a plumber to replace immediately as this is dangerous and is a sign other reasons are causing issues that a professional needs to investigate.

Look for blue flame in Pilot Light view port

4) Though the glass window (view port) you should see a small blue flame.  If you see no flame try these steps below.  Call a service plumber if: flame is not blue – orange and yellow pilot indicate gas issues, and if glass window is broken or missing. View port window should never be broken or removed – glass is protective safety feature from flammable gas.

5) This is what you should see once gas valve opens to flame pilot light to ignight burner.  In this stage your water Heater is heating the tank.

Lighting the Pilot Light

If no blue flame is seen in the view port window (picture 4 above), then the steps below will help yo attempt to light the pilot and get hot water again.  The steps below work for most Honeywell Gas Valves.  If you have a different model or manufacturer, then you will want to contact a service plumber of the manufacturer.

If you are still having issues, then try watching this helpful video presented by our friend at HotWater101.com

Schedule a service repair plumber anytime to get expert advice and solutions.

For more advice or question, visit our home page at PepcoSaels.com and Live Chat us anytime during business hours:

M-F 8-5 Central Time.


Next in Part Four we be talking more about Gas: the Burner and Thermocouple so we can know more about how it Gas Water Heaters work.

For General Water Heater Maitnace tip, vist our partners at hotwater101.com - watch this video

Visit us on Twitter @PepcoSales and Facebook/PepcoSales

Kevin Parham
June 16, 2017