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How to Light a Water Heater Pilot? – Follow 6 Step Solution

how to light a water heater pilot

The pilot light on hot water heater is the source of energy and warmth in your water heater. When the pilot light on the water heater is on, it is able to ignite the gas burner located in most gas water heaters, which heats the water inside your tank.

In this post, we’ll be guiding you on the simple process of how to light a water heater pilot, as well as the materials and/or tools you need to complete this task.

The Tools Needed to Light Pilot Light in Water Heater


Before lighting water heater pilot, you first need to secure the tools to do the job. Luckily, these are tools that you can acquire anywhere, and more importantly, they are most often found in your very own toolbox!

The tools to light a gas water heater pilot light are as follows:

  • A lighter – In many cases, you will need a lighter to ignite the pilot light.
  • A handheld flashlight (optional) – This tool can help you find the burner, especially if the water heater’s in a place with dim lighting.

Steps to Lighting Water Heater Pilot


Step 1: Find the access panel

The first step in lighting water heater pilot is finding your access panel; this is usually located under the gas valve. In some cases, you can just simply peer in the gap inside the heater, which is where we would light the pilot light on hot water heater.

Step 2: Locate the gas burner

To light a gas water heater pilot light, you have to first search for the gas burner. It would be stored inside the heater, and you would see two gas tubes leading into it.

Step 3: Twist the gas knob

Find the gas knob with a label either saying “Pilot” or “Pilot Light.” Twist the knob so it would be pointing towards “Pilot,” then press down on it. This would allow gas to flow in and help you light the flame.

Step 4: Light it up!

While you hold down the gas knob or button, light the pilot light.

For many water heaters, using a long lighter to relight pilot light water heater is recommended. In other models, there are ignition buttons, usually colored red or black, that when pressed, would create a spark to light pilot light on water heater.

When the flame is lit, continue to press down on the gas button for a minute or so to make sure that the pilot light on hot water heater would stay lit.

Step 5: Turn the gas knob to “On”

Once you’re convinced that there is a strong flame going on, slowly turn the gas knob to “On” to activate the main burner. You might hear a distinct whooshing or even a “whump” sound when the main burner ignites.

Step 6: Close the access panel

Now that you have turned on the pilot light of your water heater, close up the access panel, making sure that you securely close it.

After you relight the pilot light, it might take a while for the water to be fully heated, but in about 40 minutes to an hour, your hot water should be flowing as if nothing ever happened.


Wasn’t it quite simple to turn pilot light on water heater? We hope that we have made the task easier for you.

We would love to hear whether we have helped you. Please feel free to leave a comment below to share your experience in following our guide as well as what you have learnt.

It would also be wonderful if you would also share this article with others for them to know how to light a water heater pilot.

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