If you’ve just started running your bath and find the water cold, you may have come to the conclusion that your water heater pilot light may have gone out. And you’re probably right. But before you hop down there to stare at your water heater, it’s best knowing first how to do it and why it may have gone out in the first place. While you could always call someone to help you or ring up your mom or dad, sometimes it’s best just to strap on your boots, find a flashlight, look up a good tutorial online and do it yourself. Becoming more independent with caring for your house is one of the many steps to becoming more mature. Now, take back your freedom and get ready to draw up a hot bath!
What Causes the Pilot Light to Go Out?
There isn’t one answer, but what’s usually the problem has to do with the thermocouple. This device has two wire ends that meet, and it’s used to measure the temperature of the water. In some instances, your pilot light might just be going out due to the thermocouple being dirty. If this is the case, then the simple fix is turning the pilot light off and taking a simple piece of sandpaper to clean the thermocouple gently. That might do the fix. Another reason your pilot light might be going out could be due to the thermocouple being bent or damaged. If the thermocouple is simply bent, then all you have to do is turn off the pilot light and bend it to where it’s closer to the pilot light. However, if it’s damaged then you’ll be forced to replace it.
Something to keep in mind is to always go with safety first. Don’t try to relight your water heater if you smell gas. If you smell gas it could mean there’s a gas leak. Make sure you leave the house and dial appropriate services, like 911.
Locate the Gas
You won’t need much if any tools at all to relight your pilot light. Just a good sense of knowing what you’re doing and probably a flashlight and barbecue lighter will do the trick. The first thing you’ll need to do is locate the gas regulator. Nine times out of ten, there will be a knob which is the gas regulator, usually located just on the outside of the gas pipe, which connects to the water heater. Flash around your light for assistance if you're stuck in the dark.
Find the knob and put it in the “off” position, then give it five minutes before proceeding. Then under the water heater, find the pilot burner. Move anything that might be blocking you from seeing it.
Lighting the Pilot Light
Finally, locate the gas regulator and put in the “pilot” position while holding it down. On some models, you’ll find an already built-in, piezoelectric pilot igniter. If your model doesn’t come with this feature then get out that barbecue lighter and hover the end over the burner and ignite it. Afterwards, you’ll have to hold down the knob for the regulator valve for at least one minute. Doing this will allow the thermocouple to heat up. Let up on the regulator valve. If you release the knob and the flame stays lit, turn the switch from “off” to “on”. If all goes well, you should hear a sound similar to a woosh. That should let you know, you did it successfully.
Whenever approaching household repairs and fix-its always be cautious. Being smart and finding resources online that aid in letting you in on info you might have not known before is always great a great idea to keep your pocket money from being stolen by a simple fix, toted as a complicated job. If you are going to be looking for services to jobs similar to lighting a pilot light, like pipe fixes, simple jobs or even complex tasks, make sure you take into account who you’re hiring! Using online review sites that let you look at the locals are great for ensuring you and your family are in the best hands!
If you’re going to tackle a project by yourself, make sure you do plenty of research. Don’t ever go into a project if you’re unsure of how to fix the problem. You risk getting hurt or making the problem bigger! Before starting a project be safe, have emergency kits ready. You may not need an emergency kit when it comes to simply relighting a pilot light, but if you’re going to be playing with electricity, fire or anything else there’s really no such thing as too safe.
With all that in mind, you’re ready for getting back that hot water! Don’t let your basement scare you into cold showers!