How to Light Your Water Heater

The water heating system is a complex appliance and contains many delicate components to maintain its performance. It isn’t uncommon, however, for the water heating system’s pilot light to go out.

If you have returned from a trip or suddenly find yourself having to re-light the pilot light on your Cartersville home water heater, follow these steps for maximum safety.

Canton, GA lighting-water-heatersWhat Are the Steps to Lighting a Pilot Light if it Has Gone Out?

The very first step is to shut off the gas completely. Gas can still be present even if the pilot light isn’t lit, so it is important to perform all water heater repair work only after the unit has been shut off. Next, you need to locate the gas valve. The setting should be changed to “pilot” and the valve should be pushed down.

It should remain held down in order to release the flow of gas through the tubing. Once the indicator light switches on, the pilot can be lit. Once you’ve lit the pilot light, continue to press the control button.

The button may have to be pressed for at least a minute or more. Release the control button and switch the setting to “on”. You may have to repeat the process again if unsuccessful on the first attempt.

Cleaning the Parts as a Step in Troubleshooting

There are several reasons why the pilot light can’t be successfully lit. Remember to turn off the gas prior to cleaning any of the parts. The first water heater repair step to take is to disassemble parts, and wipe them clean.

Clear out any obstructions in the valves, venting, thermocouple, pilot tube thermostat and all other components that are accessible in your Cartersville home. Once you’ve cleaned the parts, perform the steps above once more.

After Cleaning the Parts, the Unit Still Won’t Remain Hit

The next troubleshooting step is to check and verify that the thermocouple isn’t bent. If the thermocouple happens to be bent in the wrong direction, the pilot light may have trouble being lit.

The thermocouple should always be bent toward the pilot light. Again, it’s extremely important that the thermocouple has had a chance to cool down properly. Additionally, the gas should be turned off prior to bending the thermocouple.

Check to see whether or not the vent is positioned correctly. A vent with holes in it or poorly positioned could cause problems with the pilot light. The vent should be facing toward upward. This is to prevent any problems with backdraft. The vent cannot share its space with the one dedicated to the furnace.

What Happens if the System Still Doesn’t Light Properly?

That means that the water tank may have parts that need to be replaced. A bad gas valve could cause re-lighting issues. If the gas valve is bad, the gas can’t travel to the burner or reach the pilot light. The thermostat could have also gone bad. The thermocouple actually be damaged. Parts failure is a common reason for a malfunctioning system.

Basic Recommendations for a Gas Water Heater

The water heating unit should be inspected at least once a year. The air intake area should never be obstructed. The gas water heater should also be placed on either a metal or wooden surface.

Every two months the relief valve should be opened temporarily. The relief should be replaced if there are problems opening and shutting it. Any corrosive elements should be stored far from the unit. As a part of maintenance plan, a professional will make sure that all of the minor repairs required like parts replacement will be professionally handled.

What Are the Most Common Reasons a System Fails?

Canton, GA lighting-water-heaters-2One of the most common reasons for pilot and other problems is neglect. The system should be regularly inspected and damaged parts should be replaced. Poor installation is another common water system problem. If the installation wasn’t performed by a professional, a number of things could wrong.

Insufficient safety devices are another common reason for system failure. There are devices that can detect both change in pressure as well as change in temperature. These devices are usually affordable to install. Incorrect temperature settings can also be a factor in water heating system damage.

Obstructions in the venting can restrict airflow. This means that the pressure can build up and release gas into the area. It can also cause the burner to malfunction.

Sometimes, parts just have to be replaced by a professional experienced with water heating tank repairs. If you have found that none of the basic troubleshooting or cleaning steps have resolved the issue, consider contacting a professional repair technician to replace the parts.

Parts have to be replaced from time to time on the unit because of its age.

Minor maintenance performed keeps the system reliable for years to come. If you need a professional to trouble shoot your water heating system or make any repairs, contact Georgia Plumbing Experts in your Cartersville, GA area at (770) 790-0821 to learn more.