How Do You Light a Water Heater?

Light a water heater by waiting for gas to dissipate, turning the control knob to pilot, igniting the flame, holding the control knob pressed in for one minute and turning the knob to the on position. Never attempt to light a gas appliance if you smell gas in the area.

  1. Turn off the unit

    Move the gas switch to the off position. Wait at least five minutes after turning the unit off before attempting to light the heater.

  2. Turn the control knob to pilot

    The unit has a safety valve that prevents gas from flowing until the thermocouple is hot. Press the control knob in toward the tank or press the red bypass button on the module when you are ready to light the flame.

  3. Ignite the flame

    Unless your water heater has a piezoelectric starter, you need a long barbecue lighter to ignite the flame. Once the bypass valve is pressed, quickly move the lighter through the port to light the pilot or press the start button.

  4. Hold the control knob

    Continue holding the knob or button in position for a full minute to allow the pilot to heat the thermocouple. If you release the knob before it is hot, the unit extinguishes the flame.

  5. Set the knob to the on position

    Release the knob, and turn it to the on position. If the water in the tank is below temperature, the larger burner lights immediately when you turn the knob.