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How Do I Light My Pilot Light On My Hot Water Heater?


To light the pilot light it is important to follow the correct steps to do it safely and correctly. Any person can attempt to relight the pilot light but at times there might be a problem that needs a gas fitter to repair it. Here at The Local Plumber, our professional gas fitters will be able to resolve any pilot light concerns for Melbourne locals. 

The steps to light the pilot light on the hot water system are:

  • Make sure there are no flame or ignition sources nearby
  • Access the control panel and turn the gas knob to the off position
  • Wait five minutes then relight the pilot light by turning the knob to the relit option
  • Repeatedly press the ignition button
  • When the pilot goes back on keep holding the knob for 20 seconds then check to see if a flame is present

How Do I Light My Hot Water Heater Pilot Light?

Any person can light the pilot light if it has gone out but it is important that it is done safely and correctly. Relighting the pilot light needs to be done with extreme caution to prevent any fire or health safety risks. Below is a guide on how to light the pilot light:

  1. Ensure that there are no ignition or flame sources near the heater before attempting to relight the pilot light. Also note if there is a gas smell around the water heater, if there is do not attempt to relight the pilot light and contact a qualified tradesperson to inspect for a potential gas leak
  2. When the safety checks are done put on protective glasses and also ensure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the appliance and how to relight it but most systems will be similar in the process
  3. Find where the access panel is and remove the cover, this is often done by lifting it up then towards you. The pilot light relighting instructions are often found inside of the access panel as well
  4. Turn the gas control knob to the off position which is often turning the knob clockwise to a small dot or line indicating the off position, make sure to turn the knob with your hands and not with a tool
  5. Wait five minutes after turning the knob into the off position to allow all of the unburnt to escape. This is a crucial safety precaution to make sure that there is no gas present while relighting the pilot light
  6. After five minutes it is time to relight the pilot so turn the knob in the access panel to the pilot position, often symbolised by a spark or flame symbol
  7. When it is in this position hold down the knob for around 30 seconds and repeatedly press the igniter button 
  8. The pilot should slight after doing this but keep the knob pressed for another 20 seconds after the pilot is relit
  9. Release the knob and look for a blue flame where the pilot is. If there is a blue flame then you have successfully relit the pilot light if it did not work then turn the gas control off, wait five minutes then repeat the steps again
  10. When the pilot light is working turn the control knob anti clockwise until it reaches at least five and then close the access panel

It is recommended that a licensed gas fitter works light the pilot light because they will be able to do it efficiently, safely and also know what caused it to go out then how to stop this issue from happening in the future – our Emergency Plumber team here at The Local Plumber is here to help!

Why Does the Pilot Light Go Out?

There are many reasons why the pilot light has gone out, some of the more common causes that result in it needing to be relit are:

  • Dirty Thermocouple – if the thermocouple is dirt then it will need to be cleaned to ensure that it does not turn off the pilot light. Make sure the gas is off before carefully cleaning it and removing any dirt. 
  • Bent Thermocouple – the thermocouple might also be bent which will prevent the flame from reaching it and the pilot will not be able to be lit. To fix the problem turn off the gas and carefully bend the thermocouple into its correct place.
  • Old Thermocouple – if you have cleaned the thermocouple and tried fixing its shape but it still will not light the pilot then it might need to be replaced by a licensed tradesperson.
  • Dirty Pilot Opening – the pilot light opening is where the flame comes out of but if it is dirt then the flame will be unstable, resulting in a yellow flame and will not be able to heat the thermocouple properly. Once the gas is off insert a small needle in the opening to remove any clogs and test to see if the opening is cleaned.
  • Poor Pilot Location – if the location of the system that needs the pilot light is in an enclosed area then there might not be enough oxygen. This can mean the pilot light will burn out constantly and considering relocating the system is needed.

Reliable Gas Fitting Services for Melbourne

The Local Plumber offers professional gas fitting services where we can help with all kinds of work including to light the pilot light. Our fully qualified plumbers are able to relight the pilot light and also repair or replace it if needed. We can work on all other gas fitting services as well as any other plumbing services, such as Blocked Drain work, for all Melbourne areas, ranging from Inner Melbourne to West Melbourne. For trusted pilot light, gas fitting and all plumbing services – rely on The Local Plumber!

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