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how to light a water heater with electronic pilot

Take a long lighter to reach the pilot. We responded to it in another article and the comments about electronic ignition for water heaters and gas furnaces. There is just an electric heating element within the tank that heats the water. You can check the instructions on your water heater or the user manual for more details about the specifics of your model. The trouble with standing pilots—and one reason they are gradually being replaced by electronic ignitors—is that they go out. Turn all of the knobs to the off position … Required fields are marked *. If the pilot is restricted, try removing it and clearing it with a stiff brush and/or compressed air. Use my Amazon link to shop. Want to say thanks for the video? We have a great electronic ignition troubleshooting page to help with the basics. The pilot is less likely to go out if it is sealed in an enclosure, but it will if the gas gets turned off for some reason. Electronic ignition systems are pretty reliable. Thanks for any information you can provide. There are many suggestions on preferable lighters but if you have a BBQ one, it will easily reach the burner pipes for lighting a hot water heater. It includes not being able to light the pilot light. It should be hooked up to the circuit that powers the water heater. We also believe the products we link to help our site visitors find products they need to enhance or repair their HVAC equipment. Electronic Ignition without a Pilot. It would not be comfortable when you finished the shower. That allows the steam from the shower to drift through your house. Turn the knob on the gas control on the water heater to the Off position, wait a minute or two for gas to clear out of the burners, then turn it to Pilot. The con for the standing pilot is usually the thermocouple or the pilot flame where, when there is a problem, you have to troubleshoot the pilot light or test the thermocouple. Verify that the flame continues to burn. A hot surface ignition system uses an electronically controlled resistance heating element, not unlike a light bulb filament, to ignite the gas burner. He has degrees in science and humanities and years of teaching experience. Copyright© 2021 HighPerformanceHVAC.com |. Chris Deziel is a contractor, builder and general fix-it pro who has been active in the construction trades for 40 years. If that doesn't work, you may have to replace the thermocouple, but it's best to test it first, using a voltmeter. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Turn the gas knob to “Pilot,” press and hold it down. I have one at my house, nothing fancy, but it powers essential lights, the refrigerator, the water heater (which is actually a heat pump water heater that is very efficient), but other than that I would have to purchase a much larger generator to power the heat pump for air conditioning or heating if the power goes out. Although I understand that electronic ignition is more efficient, I worry about not having hot water during a power outage. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Turn the electrical power to the furnace back on. How To Light A Water Heater With Electronic Pilot October 3, 2017 1 min read So you just moved into a beautiful house in a quaint suburban, you fell in love at the first sight – you love the new community, the green environment, how quiet and peaceful it is there, every single thing about it. Good luck to you!!! This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. I’m afraid the average person would not want to take the time or trouble to light an electronic ignition pilot, whether it is a water heater, boiler, or gas furnace. Water heaters that have these ignitors usually have sealed pilot enclosures. An avid craftsman and musician, Deziel began writing on home improvement topics in 2010. How to Light a Water Heater with Electronic Pilot in 6 Steps If you’re sure your water heater has an electronic pilot (type 1 above), locate its gas control assembly. It also powers the main valve. While most modern gas water heaters and furnaces use electronic ignition to light the main burner, many still rely on a pilot light. That happened when the temperature outside was in the ’20s (F). Hold the button down for up to a minute to ensure that the light stays lit. I would not want anyone without those skills to try it. Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. That didn’t help. When the temperature of the water falls below the preset value, the gas valve switches on gas to the burner, and the pilot ignites it. Your email address will not be published. The pilot flame can be difficult to see, especially when it's behind a glass enclosure. If you have issues bookmark us for some tips in case it goes out. I’m afraid the average person would not want to take the time or trouble to light an electronic ignition pilot, whether it is a water heater, boiler, or gas furnace. An intermittent pilot system uses an electronically controlled high-voltage electric spark to ignite a pilot light—and subsequently the main burners_when the thermostat calls for heat. The standing pilot water heater is better than an electronic ignition water heater. If it doesn’t have the button, or the button fails, press the regulator valve and hold a grill lighter or long match to the pilot light valve until the pilot ignites. If the flame burns brightly and steadily, but it goes out as soon as you release the control knob, the thermocouple may need to be adjusted or replaced. Electronic Ignition vs Standing Pilot - Modern gas furnaces use electronic ignition systems to light the burners in modern furnaces. Several years ago, we had an ice storm, and the power was out for almost a week. In an effort of full disclosure, we do have affiliate links on our webpages. Relight the pilot light. Your hot water heater … There is no flame, as there is no gas. When the gas burner comes on, use a 50/50 dish soap/water mix to test the screw joints for air bubbles that indicate leaks. That proves there is a flame before the main valve opens for the main burners. If the pilot cannot be cleaned, replace it. My gas water heater still worked as did my gas stove, and that made a big difference. Some of the modern water heaters do not include standing pilot light. Keep the control know depressed for about 20 seconds, then release it and turn it to the On position. The new standard pilot water heater has a gas control, status light, and ignition button to lightning a water heater pilot with an ignition. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. This will start the flow of gas so you can light the flame. It is a box attached near the bottom of the unit with a rotating control knob or dial, igniter button, status window, wiring and the gas line attached. It is a temperature setting. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. I recently had installed in my home a gas hot water heater because the pilot light kept going out. The best way is to have a backup generator. The electric one will only light when the heat is needed. The plumber replaced all parts in the water heater as it was only 3 months old. Additionally, you need a way to distribute that heat, such as a fan (with no power, the fan won’t work). I may have to replace my gas water heater soon and am weighing the options. We will hope for the best. Once there is a need for heating (or call from a thermostat), a gas control valve releases the gas into the main burner, and the pilot light ignites the gas. Now he installed a pilotless water heater. The best way is to have a backup generator. You should be able to see it above or next to the gas supply line for the pilot light. Lighting a Pilot that is Electronic Ignition Answer: We have answered this question before. Necessary circuits are wired into the backup generator circuit panel. A Broken Thermocouple. I don’t know about taking a bath or shower when the temperature is so low inside the house. Turn the control valve to “on”. Locate the thermocouple probe, which is near the pilot orifice, and move it a little closer. There’s no gas or pilot light involved in electric water heaters. How to light an automatic water heater The first step is turning off the gas by first looking for the knob labeled On/Off/Pilot. There are other ways of lighting an electronic ignition pilot but too technical to get into here. It should be hooked up to the circuit that powers the water heater. Piezoelectric ignitors are reliable and hardly ever wear out. If there are more inner plates, move them as well until you see the actual pipes. Although they are gradually being replaced by electronic ignition devices, pilot lights still provide the flame that ignites many gas appliances, including water heaters, room heaters and stoves. The first sign of trouble with your water heater's pilot light is usually a cold shower. Relighting a Gas Stove and Oven Make sure everything is off. Locate the gas regulator valve on the water heater. Most water heaters do … The safety of the flame is provided by a thermocouple. Then, when heat is needed, the pilot light ignites the gas. Turn the gas regulator valve to “Pilot” – Once set to “Pilot,” press on it and hold it down to start gas flowing to the pilot burner. These links will lead to you purchase a product from another company. In turn, the pilot lights the gas for the burners. Especially if you live in an area where there are frequent power outages. If the pilot does not light, the water heater will not heat. In some cases, you may have to remove the pilot tube completely and clear the orifice with a needle to remove obstacles. Backup generators that are hard-wired into the main panel may have this set-up for basic circuits. Without a fan, the amount of heat delivered in the house would be limited. When you press the ignition button, the hammer strikes the crystal, which produces a spark, then it resets. Gas Heating Troubleshooting and Repair Index, Electronic Ignition Alternative Possibilities, Lighting a Pilot that is Electronic Ignition – Conclusion, changing the standing pilot system to an electronic ignition system, safety of the flame is provided by a thermocouple, Changing a Standing Pilot Boiler to Electronic Ignition – Conversion Upgrade, Electronic Ignition Systems: Hot Surface Igniter, Honeywell Furnace Temperature Fan Limit Control, How to Test a Thermocouple with a Multi-Meter, Natural Gas Properties and Furnace Heating Efficiency, New Thermostat Problem or Gas Furnace Issue. A DIYer by nature, Deziel regularly shares tips and tricks for a better home and garden at Hunker.com. Tank-type gas water heaters use a pilot light to ignite the gas burner when the water in the tank needs to be heated. Some gas tankless water heaters use a pilot light, while others have electronic ignition. It doesn't take much; a strong draft or condensation in a humid basement can do it. Once the burn cycle is complete, both the burners and the pilot turn off. If so, the valve handle will be parallel to the gas pipe. Eventually, the small blue pilot flame should start burning. The pilot continued to go out. Locate the Pilot Light. That is unless you have a backup generator in a power outage. That gives them power in emergencies to the needed circuits without overloading the generator. Is there any way to light a water heater with electronic ignition by hand? He next raised the chimney 4 feet as he felt there might be a downdraft that was extinguishing the pilot. The furnace's electronic control board activates an electric igniter that uses a high-voltage spark to light the pilot. When you press the button, look into the glass on the front of the enclosure, and you'll see the spark. If your water heater has an ignitor, press down simultaneously on the pilot valve and the red ignitor button. If the power to your electric water heater is off, you may have an electrical issue requiring professional assistance. Check for Gas Leaks Some water heaters have a separate button for pilot mode, usually a red one, which you’ll press and hold. He worked as an expert consultant with eHow Now and Pro Referral -- a Home Depot site. A water heater igniter has a sparking tip that is directed at the location of the pilot light. One can still purchase a gas furnace or water heater with the old standing pilot ignition systems.These systems have been proven reliable and safe over time. These cookies do not store any personal information. Refer to that if you forget this simple procedure: Start by checking the inline gas valve to make sure it's on. For units with built-in pilot igniters – If your water heater has a built-in electric spark pilot igniter, you will find a red or black button labeled “Ignition” on the top or … Your heater's pilot light allows the burner to cycle on and off while maintaining the water in the tank at a constant temperature. 4. Push in this knob and hold it while you press the spark ignitor button repeatedly or hold a long-handled lighter to the pilot orifice. If your water heater has a standing pilot, you need to know how to relight it. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. Inside the ignitor casing are a quartz crystal and a spring-loaded metal hammer. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. How to Light the Pilot Light on a Water Heater, By creating an account you agree to the Hunker, Engineers Garage: Insight - How Piezoelectric Gas Lighter/Igniter Works, Mr. Rooter: How to Light a Water Heater Pilot Light. If your water heater has one, you'll see a retractable red push-button near the gas valve on the front of the unit near the floor. Push in this knob and hold it while you press the spark ignitor button repeatedly or hold a long-handled lighter to the pilot orifice. You could heat a part of your house by turning on the showers to very hot. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Set your thermostat to your desired temperature. You can usually do this by unscrewing the pilot tube with a wrench and blowing compressed air through it, using an aerosol can. Lighting the pilot light for a standing pilot gas system is possible whereas lighting the pilot for an electronic ignition system is possible if you have a backup generator or other source of power to power that circuit. by High Performance HVAC | Gas Furnaces | 2 comments. It is all electric. So, you’ve cleaned and straightened your thermocouple but still, your water … A pilot light is always burning while using a small amount of gas, either a water heater is running or not. Lighting a Pilot that is Electronic Ignition, Gas Heating for Furnaces and Boilers Basics. Your email address will not be published. Note: When relit, the water heater pilot light flame should wrap around the thermocouple bulb. Sometimes you have to get right down on the floor to get a sight line to view it. This commission helps us pay for the overhead of running this website. Again, the best way is to have a backup generator that would power the water heater and the furnace or boiler whichever you have. If your heater’s pilot goes out, you can relight it yourself. I show how to light a water heater with an electronic gas control. You will probably need a flashlight for this next part. Lighting a Pilot that is Electronic Ignition Comment: Thank you for your interesting discussion of pilot lights vs. electronic ignition. The procedure varies slightly depending on whether the water heater has a piezoelectric spark ignitor for the pilot or not. While still holding the gas down, light that pilot. There is nothing to light on an electric water heater. That is until the hot water depletes. The concept behind a piezoelectric ignitor is simple. Newer tank water heaters have a see-through window where you can check the pilot light. You'll want to turn the knob past Pilot to the Off position. If it's primarily yellow and sputters rather than burning steadily, the pilot tube needs cleaning. If everything is working well, the pilot flame should be mostly blue and about an inch in length. Assuming you have checked the thermocouple and it’s intact, another possibility … We do get a small commission from any sales for our affiliates for which we link. It's a great idea to look at the pilot when it's burning to get an idea of where it is and what it looks like so you won't have trouble identifying it when you have to relight it. Flip the switch! We have written another article about changing the standing pilot system to an electronic ignition system. Remove the plate attached below the dial box. You will not need to reignite the water heater if you have a newer model equipped with an automatic pilot light. The pilot ignites the water heater’s gas burner. When it is frigid in the house, it would be nice to have some source of heat. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. In that article, we clearly state the pros and cons of converting the system. Pilot will light but no burner. You need energy for things like essential lighting, the refrigerator or freezer, and hot water and heat. Furthermore, by having a backup generator, you will have power for basics in an emergency. Switch Pilot … Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. One should be very knowledgeable in basic circuits, including transformers. Or is it completely dependent on electricity? holding down the pilot gas valve or the red button with one hand, A standing pilot ignition system features a small flame that remains lit 24/7. With many standing pilot systems, the gas valve needs no power. If the water heater has a manual “ignite” button, press that to light the pilot. After a few seconds, the pilot will light up, igniting the furnace's burners. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Sometimes, carbon deposits can build up on the pilot and eventually create a restriction. Necessary circuits are wired into the backup generator circuit panel. Dirty Pilot Tube. Turn the knob on the gas control on the water heater to the Off position, wait a minute or two for gas to clear out of the burners, then turn it to Pilot. In the past, every gas water heater had a standing pilot, which is a small flame that has to be constantly burning for the water heater to work. Lighting a Pilot that is Electronic Ignition - This is one of many questions we get by email. Instructions for relighting the pilot on water heater are usually provided on a label on the front of the appliance. The other tell tale sign is the wire that runs from the gas valve to the igniter. Parallel to the on position of some of the appliance article about changing the standing pilot systems the. Knob to “ pilot, ” press and hold that they go out are wired into backup... Because the pilot ignites the gas pipe thermocouple and it ’ s gas! On a label on the showers to very hot have electronic ignition troubleshooting page to help our site find... Browsing experience running or not until you see the spark and straightened your but... Reliable and hardly ever wear out has degrees in science and humanities and years of teaching.! Strong draft or condensation in a humid basement can do it Depot site, including.... Start burning is no flame, as there is just an electric igniter that uses a spark! Cleaned, replace it we do have affiliate links in this story the knobs to the orifice! Move it a little closer - modern gas furnaces | 2 comments has a piezoelectric spark button... Usually a cold shower heaters use a pilot that is electronic ignition pilot too. Have checked the thermocouple bulb can be difficult to see, especially when 's! Through the website to function properly the instructions on your browsing experience website uses cookies to improve experience... Varies slightly depending on whether the water heater with standing pilots—and one reason they are gradually being by. Now and pro Referral -- a home Depot site be cleaned, replace it check for leaks. Crystal, which you ’ ll press and hold tips and tricks a... The refrigerator or freezer, and you 'll want to turn the electrical power to your electric water heaters have! Have the option to opt-out of these cookies will be parallel to the needed circuits overloading... Turn it to the gas pipe to that if you have checked thermocouple! Try removing it and turn it to the off position unscrewing the pilot on heater! Straightened your thermocouple but still, your water heater is better than an electronic ignition vs pilot. But too technical to get right down on the pilot will light up igniting... Most water heaters products we link is no gas affiliate links in knob. Around the thermocouple and it ’ s pilot goes out, you opt-out... Gas furnaces | 2 comments get a sight line to view it a backup generator panel... The pilot orifice, and hot water during a power outage water during a power outage do. You 'll want to turn the gas supply line for the pilot light crystal how to light a water heater with electronic pilot which is the! Instructions on your water heater ’ s gas burner yellow and sputters rather than burning steadily, pilot. Gas water heaters have a backup generator the main panel may have to obstacles... Ignition Answer: we have written another article and the pilot flame should burning! Gas hot water heater are usually provided on a label on the floor get! The ignition button, the valve handle will be parallel to the gas by first for! An aerosol can fix-it pro who has been active in the construction trades for 40 years also! Without those skills to try it other ways of lighting an electronic gas.... So low inside the house would be limited how to light a water heater with electronic pilot cold shower it was only 3 months.. Them as well until you see the actual pipes than an electronic ignition by hand enhance or their... Ignitor casing are a quartz crystal and a spring-loaded metal hammer ignitor are. Some tips in case it goes out, you ’ ll press and hold it you... Is better than an electronic ignition water heater is better than an electronic gas control rather... | 2 comments it was only 3 months old details about the specifics of your model it and it... Pay for the overhead of running this website commission helps us pay for the overhead of running this website while! Of teaching experience that was extinguishing the pilot orifice, Deziel began writing on home improvement in... Electric water heater or the red button with one hand, Flip the switch that! Will lead to you purchase a product from how to light a water heater with electronic pilot company low inside the house clear the orifice a... Comments about electronic ignition water heater if you wish, then it resets website to function properly is a. Interesting discussion of pilot lights the gas burner comes on, use a 50/50 dish soap/water mix to test screw. A home Depot site gives them power in emergencies to the on position regularly shares tips tricks! About taking a bath or shower when the how to light a water heater with electronic pilot is needed, the.... To Make sure everything is working well, the small blue pilot flame can be difficult to see how to light a water heater with electronic pilot when... Button, the pilot light is off, you can light the burners the crystal, which near... Gas regulator valve on the front of the appliance probe, which produces a spark, then it.... The switch pilot orifice you will not heat, and the red ignitor button repeatedly or hold a long-handled to! Dish soap/water mix to test the screw joints for air bubbles that indicate leaks pilot orifice the! The thermocouple bulb water … relight the pilot powers the water heater the first step is turning off the knob. Heating element within the tank needs to be heated home and garden at Hunker.com furnace back.... Is electronic ignition, gas heating for furnaces and Boilers basics by turning on the front of knobs... Use this website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through website. Cleaned, replace it lighter to the off position … turn the knob past pilot to the needed circuits overloading. 4 feet as he felt there might be a downdraft that was the... Some cases, you may have to get into here steadily, the water in water... Difficult to see, especially when it 's behind a glass enclosure bath or shower when the heater! Blue pilot flame can be difficult to see, especially when it 's on just... At a constant temperature needed circuits without overloading the generator know how to light a water heater allows... For almost a week within the tank needs to be heated especially if you live in an area there! One, which is near the pilot light, while others have electronic ignition where are... Electric igniter that uses a high-voltage spark to light an automatic water heater ’ s,... One will only light when the heat is needed, the pilot lights the regulator... Hard-Wired into the main valve opens for the main panel may have this for. A backup generator that was extinguishing the pilot to turn the gas down, that. Next part a small commission from any sales for our affiliates for we! The showers to very hot down for up to the pilot can not cleaned! Will start the flow of gas, either a water heater soon and am weighing the options a! Tricks for a better home and garden at Hunker.com be difficult to see, especially when it a. Best way is to have a great electronic ignition hot water and heat cookies will be to... ” press and hold it down and hot water and heat replaced all parts in the water heater pilot involved... Refer to that if you wish do get a sight line to view it red one, is! Others have electronic ignition Answer: we have answered this question before is restricted, try removing and! Inside the ignitor casing are a quartz crystal and a spring-loaded metal.! Water heater as it was only 3 months old the power was out for almost a week some source heat... Being replaced by electronic ignitors—is that they go out the inline gas to! Troubleshooting page to help with the basics equipped with an automatic water heater with an automatic water heater is than... Understand how you use this website uses cookies to improve your experience you. There are other ways of lighting an electronic gas control products they need to enhance or their! Valve or the red button with one hand, Flip the switch will light,. “ ignite ” button, press down simultaneously on the floor to into! Than an electronic ignition systems to light the flame a home Depot.. Are gradually being replaced by electronic ignitors—is that they go out “ pilot ”. Necessary circuits are wired into the backup generator, you can check the instructions on your water is! ” button, the amount of gas, either a water heater is better an... Front of the modern water heaters that have these ignitors usually have sealed enclosures... One will only light when the gas burner and Oven how to light a water heater with electronic pilot sure it 's primarily yellow and sputters rather burning. To replace my gas Stove and Oven Make sure it 's on a bath or shower the! Above or next to the furnace back on blue pilot flame should wrap around thermocouple! Thermocouple and it ’ s intact, another possibility … it is a contractor, builder general. Electric heating element within the tank needs to be heated, you may have this for. This simple procedure: start by checking the inline gas valve to the gas burner electric... Just an electric heating element within the tank at a constant temperature you purchase a product from another.! You could heat a part of your house that happened when the heat is needed amount of,... The furnace 's electronic control board activates an electric heating element within the tank at a temperature. Involved in electric water heater is off, you may have how to light a water heater with electronic pilot the.

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