Ensure Safety & Understand Process: How to Light a Water Heater w/ Electronic Pilot

Welcome to your guide on how to light a water heater with an electronic pilot. This guide is designed to not only help you successfully light the pilot, but to help keep you safe throughout the process. Lighting the pilot of your water heater is an important step in keeping it working efficiently, and we want you to have a safe and comfortable experience as you go through this process.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll go over the basics of what you’ll need, why you’ll need it, and how you can complete the task of lighting your pilot safely and efficiently.

We’ll also cover some helpful tips and tricks for those of you feeling a bit more adventurous, as well as a troubleshooting guide and information on how to maintain your water heater for the long term.

We understand that when things go wrong in the home, it can be intimidating and overwhelming. We hope this guide will provide you with the knowledge you need to approach the task with confidence.

Let’s get started!

Safety Precautions and Tools Needed

Before you attempt to light a water heater with electronic pilot, it is important to take the necessary safety precautions.

One of the most important aspects of lighting your water heater is ensuring that it is done safely. When working with gas and other materials like tools, make sure you understand the risks and dangers involved. As a general rule, never tamper with, adjust, or replace gas components without professional assistance. It is also a good idea to have a fire extinguisher on hand in case of any mishaps.

In addition, be sure to wear the necessary safety gear before beginning the lighting process. This includes protective eye-wear, long pants and sleeve shirts, and closed-toed shoes. You may also want to keep an emergency contact nearby in case of a medical emergency.

Finally, there are a few tools that you will need in order to successfully light a water heater with an electronic pilot. These include a screwdriver, a small pipe wrench, a multimeter (or voltmeter), and a lighter or match.

Overview of Lighting a Water Heater with Electronic Pilot

Lighting a water heater with an electronic pilot is not a difficult process, but it does require caution and diligence. It is important to understand the basics of the process before attempting to light the pilot as any mistake may cause severe damage or even become dangerous.

This process requires that you turn off the gas supply to the water heater. Be sure to check your gas line shut-off valve before proceeding. It is also necessary to know how to relight the pilot and test it to ensure proper operation.

Once you have shut off the gas line and checked the shut-off valve, you will need to locate and access the pilot light. This can be located inside the access panel near the bottom of the water heater. Once the pilot light is located, you will need to remove the flame guard, if applicable.

The next step is to press in on the reset button or knob and hold it for at least 45 seconds. While pressing the reset button, use a long lighter or match to light the pilot. After about 45 seconds, the pilot should remain lit.

Once the pilot has been lit, replace the flame guard and turn the gas valve back on. You will then need to test the pilot light to ensure it is working properly. To do this, press in on the reset button and make sure the pilot remains lit.

If the pilot extinguishes when the reset button is released, this indicates that the pilot was not lit correctly and the process should be repeated. If the process is repeated several times and the pilot still will not stay lit, this may indicate a problem with the gas line and a professional should be consulted.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Lighting a Water Heater with an Electronic Pilot

Lighting a water heater with an electronic pilot can seem daunting and complicated but with the right knowledge and tools, it can be a relatively simple process. Before attempting this, it is important to make sure you understand the basic safety precautions, have all the necessary tools, and read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions. The following step-by-step instructions will help break down the process and guide you through the process safely and successfully.

Step One: Turning off the Gas Supply

The first and one of the most important steps is to shut off the gas supply. The gas valve has two positions, open and closed. When the valve is in the open position, it allows gas to flow into the heater. Before turning the gas off, you should give the pilot light a few minutes to cool down. When turning off the gas, the valve should be turned perpendicular to the pipe, which will cut off the gas.

Step Two: Locating the Pilot Light Access Door

The next step is to locate the pilot light access door. This door is typically located on the side or bottom of the water heater and is held in place by screws. Once you have located the access door, remove the screws and carefully open the door.

Step Three: Locate the Pilot Light Assembly

Once you have opened the access door, you should be able to locate the pilot light assembly. This is typically located on the side of the water heater and is connected to the gas line. It is important to remember to not touch any wires while working on the pilot light assembly.

Step Four: Removing the Pilot Light Assembly

The next step is to remove the pilot light assembly by unscrewing the screws that are holding it in place. Be sure to keep track of the screws as some water heaters require specific sizes. Once the pilot light assembly is removed, you can proceed to the next step.

Steps After Lighting

Now that you have successfully lit the water heater’s pilot light, there are a few steps to take to ensure it stays running appropriately. Make sure to follow these steps to keep your water heater in top condition.

  • Leave the access door open for at least 1 minute before closing.
  • Check around your water heater for any gas leaks.
  • If you notice any unusual smells, immediately turn off the water heater and ventilate the area.
  • Turn off the control knob and ensure the pilot light is burning steadily.
  • Wait for the water temperature to reach the desired temperature before using hot water in your home.
  • Check the thermocouple to ensure it is functioning properly.

Once these steps are completed, you can rest assured that your water heater is up and running and will continue to operate safely and efficiently.

Tips & Tricks for Lighting a Water Heater with Electronic Pilot

Literaly lighting up your water heater with an electronic pilot for the first time can be intimidating. But with a few simple tips and tricks you can ensure success.

Tip #1: Keep Calm and Proceed Carefully

Doing anything with gas and fire carries significant risks and the potential for disaster. So, although it might be tempting, try to limit the amount of multitasking involved – stay focused, take your time and read all instructions that come with the water heater twice before attempting to light the pilot. If at any time you feel uneasy or unsafe, it is best to have a professional do the work.

Tip #2: Get Familiar with the Process

Before taking any actions, you should get familiar with the process of lighting the electronic pilot on your water heater. A good starting point is to refer to the manual of your water heater product. Read it carefully and understand the basic steps for lighting the pilot. There are also many helpful online resources that provide detailed instruction on how to properly light an electronic pilot.

Tip #3: Adequately Prepare the Area

Ensuring the space around your water heater is clear and free from obstruction is the key to a successful operation. To do this, start by moving away any objects that could be a potential hazard. Additionally, make sure the area is well-ventilated to allow for an easy escape of gas during the process.

Tip #4: Properly Gather the Tools

In some cases, special tools may be needed to complete this task. Make sure to have a reliable lighter, a screwdriver, adjustable wrench and any other tools that are specified in your water heater’s manual. By having the right tools on hand, you can save yourself a lot of time and energy.

Tip #5: Make Sure the Gas is Turned On

Before beginning the process, you need to make sure that the main gas line is turned on. If it isn’t, then the electronic pilot won’t be able to light. Therefore, double check that the main gas line is indeed on in order to avoid any potential issues.

By following these tips and tricks, you will be able to successfully light a water heater with an electronic pilot. With a bit of patience and preparation, you can safely complete this task with confidence.

Troubleshooting Guide

Many times, problems with lighting a water heater can be due to simple mistakes that can easily be corrected. If you’re having trouble with your water heater not staying lit after the pilot light is lit, here are some tips on troubleshooting the problem.

Check for Any Drafts or Air Leaks: One of the common causes of a pilot light going out is air leaking into the area around the pilot light. Check for any drafts coming from windows, vents, or doors. You may also want to check if there are any gaps between the water heater and the wall behind it.

Check Gas Line Connections: If the connections on your gas line are loose or incorrectly fitted, this can cause the pilot light to be extinguished. Make sure all connections are securely tightened, and if necessary clean any dirt or debris from the line.

Check the Pilot Generator: Sometimes the issue can be due to a malfunction in the pilot generator. This can happen if the pilot has been burned out by a large flame over time, which can create a break in the wiring and stop the pilot from staying lit. If this is the case, you may need to replace the generator.

Clean the Burner/Pilot Assembly: If the burner or pilot assembly is clogged with dust or other debris, this can prevent the flame from staying lit. Clean any dust from the burner or pilot assembly, and check for any blockages caused by mineral build-up which can occur over time.

These are just a few tips for troubleshooting your water heater if the pilot light won’t stay lit. If you’re still having trouble, it’s best to seek professional help as your water heater may require repairs or replacement.

Maintenance Guide

It is important to maintain your water heater regularly so it runs properly and safely. Keeping up with regular maintenance will ensure that your water heater lasts longer and operates at peak efficiency.

Here are a few key components of regular water heater maintenance:

  • Clean the area around the water heater, including vents, to ensure proper air flow.
  • Check all the hoses, pipes and connections for signs of corrosion or wear. Replace any damaged parts.
  • Inspect the tank and heat exchanger for signs of corrosion or leaks. Replace any damaged parts.
  • Check pressure relief valve to make sure it is functioning properly.
  • Check electrical components, such as the thermostat, for signs of wear or damage. Replace any damaged parts.

It is important to complete these tasks at least once a year, depending on the water and air quality in your area. Additionally, you should check the flame of your electronic pilot every month. A healthy flame should be blue in color and should not produce any strange odors. If you notice any issues with your electronic pilot, contact a professional as soon as possible.

Also remember to consistently check all the labels and instructions attached to your water heater. This includes instructions on how to light your water heater with an electronic pilot. Safety is always the priority, so make sure you read and follow all instructions to ensure the best results.

By performing regular maintenance on your water heater, you can ensure that it is running efficiently and safely. It is important to complete regular maintenance and to replace any broken or worn-out parts to keep your water heater working properly.


Lighting your water heater with an electronic pilot can seem like a daunting task, but with some preparation and the right tools it can be done quickly and safely. Starting with safety precautions, outlining the steps involved and troubleshooting any common problems that may arise, we have shown you how to successfully light your water heater for optimal performance. Our guide has also shared tips and tricks for getting the most out of your water heater and explained how to maintain it to ensure its longevity.

We hope this guide has provided you with enough information to go forth and light your water heater with confidence. Doing so will create a safe and efficient environment that will provide you with many years of enjoyment and peace of mind.

Resources & Links

For more information and guidance on lighting your electronic pilot water heater there are several important resources to consider. The most important of these is the manufacturer’s instruction manual for your particular type of heater. This will provide detailed information about the safety precautions, tools needed, and steps to follow in order to light the pilot.

Another great resource is online tutorials and videos which can help to visually demonstrate the process, making it easier to understand. There are also general websites that provide helpful tips and advice on how to properly use and maintain water heaters.

Finally, if you are still having trouble you may want to consult with a professional contractor or plumber who will be able to provide informative advice and guidance on lighting and maintaining your water heater.

These resources can all be extremely beneficial when it comes to learning how to light an electronic pilot water heater. Make sure to take extra time to read through the instructions and understand the safety precautions involved before tackling any major projects.

Frequently Asked Questions about Lighting Water Heaters with Electronic Pilot

If you’re planning on lighting a water heater with electronic pilot you’ll likely have some questions. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions with answers to help you out:

  • Why Would I Light My Water Heater With an Electronic Pilot? – Lighting your water heater with an electronic pilot can be more accurate and easier to control than manual lighting. It can also offer greater efficiency to your heating system.
  • Do I Need Special Tools or Equipment? – You will need some specific tools, such as a gas valve key, to safely light a water heater with an electronic pilot. Additionally, a voltage tester should be used to check for power before proceeding.
  • How Long Does the Process Take? – Generally, the entire process will take no more than 15 minutes, depending on the heater’s model and how familiar you are with the procedure.
  • Are There Any Safety Precautions I Should Take? – Yes, there are several safety precautions you should take when lighting your water heater with an electronic pilot. Make sure the area is well ventilated, wear protective clothing, use only authorized materials and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • What Are Some Common Problems That Could Arise? – Some common problems that may arise include clogged burners, faulty wiring, improper connections, and improper lighting of the pilot. If any of these issues arise, consult a professional for assistance.

These questions and answers should give you a better understanding of how to light a water heater with an electronic pilot and the common questions you may have. Remember to always keep safety in mind when attempting any kind of repair work.

Final Tips and Warning

Lit is important to keep safety in mind when lighting a water heater with an electronic pilot. Always read the instructions that come with the heater before attempting to light it, and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Wear safety glasses, gloves and protective clothing to prevent potential injury. It is also important to never leave the pilot light unattended.

Before lighting the pilot, make sure that all of the combustion air openings are cleared of dust and debris, and check the burner and pilot orifices to ensure they are not blocked. Also check the thermocouple to ensure it is working properly.

Take care to only use the correct gas for your model, and avoid using excessive amounts of gas while lighting or adjusting the pilot. Make sure to turn off both the gas and electrical power sources before attempting to light the pilot.

Once the pilot is lit, adjust the flame height to the manufacturer’s specifications and let it burn for a few minutes before turning the gas supply back on. Once the water heater is running, periodically check the pilot and burner for proper operation.

Finally, it is important to have a qualified service technician inspect and service the unit regularly to ensure it is operating safely and efficiently. This should be done at least once a year.

Following these steps and tips will help to ensure safe operation of your water heater.