How to Easily Relight Your Water Heater Pilot Light

How to Easily Relight Your Water Heater Pilot Light

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Video how to light a rheem water heater

Your hot water heater pilot light holds immense power over you. Picture this: you step into your shower on a chilly winter morning, teeth chattering and body shivering, anxiously awaiting hot water that never comes. Sound familiar? If you own a gas water heater, there are two possibilities: either the gas supply has been shut off or your pilot light is out. Let’s first tackle the gas supply issue, and then we’ll move on to relighting your water heater pilot light.

1. Checking Your Gas Supply

To begin, locate the shut-off valve connected to your gas line. Typically, it can be found near your gas meter, either on the side or front of your home or main building. Ensure that the shut-off valve is in the “ON” position. If it’s already in the ON position, your gas supply is not the problem. However, if it’s in the OFF position, simply turn the valve to ON. You can also reach out to your local gas company for further guidance.

If your gas supply is okay, it’s time to focus on your water heater pilot light.

2. Relighting Your Pilot Light

The process of relighting a pilot light differs depending on the manufacturer. Luckily, there are only a few major brands to consider. Start by searching for instructions that are usually attached to your water heater. But don’t worry if you can’t find them; we’ve provided brand-specific instructions below.

Pilot Light

How to Light a Rheem Hot Water Heater Pilot Light

To relight the pilot light on a Rheem water heater, follow these steps:

  1. Rotate the gas knob on your Rheem water heater clockwise until it is in position.
  2. Turn the water-heater temperature dial to the lowest setting. Wait for five minutes to allow any remaining gas to dissipate.
  3. Open the outer door of your Rheem water heater.
  4. Rotate the gas knob counterclockwise to the “Pilot Light” position.
  5. Depress the red button to the left of the gas knob.
  6. Look for the piezo ignitor striker to the left of the gas knob. While holding down the red button, repeatedly press the striker until the pilot light ignites. You can observe the pilot light through the viewing window on the inner door of the Rheem water heater.
  7. Maintain pressure on the red button for one minute after the pilot light is lit, then release it. The pilot light will remain lit.
  8. Close the outer door of your water heater.
  9. Rotate the gas knob to the “ON” position.
  10. Set the hot water temperature to your preferred setting.

How to Light an A.O. Smith or State Water Heater Pilot Light

For A.O. Smith and State water heaters, including the Conservationist model, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the access panel on the side of the A.O. Smith or State water heater and set it aside.
  2. Turn the gas control knob to the “OFF” position and allow the room to ventilate for approximately 10 minutes.
  3. Set the gas control knob to the “Pilot Light” position. Depress the red button, allowing gas to flow to the burner assembly.
  4. While continuing to hold down the red button, press the ignitor button until the pilot light ignites. You may need to press the ignitor button a few times before the pilot light comes on.
  5. Hold the red button down for about 60 seconds after the pilot is lit, then slowly release it.
  6. Turn the gas control knob to the “ON” position.
  7. Replace the access panel on the side of the water heater.

How to Light a Bradford White Water Heater Pilot Light

To relight the pilot light on a Bradford White water heater, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the Bradford White water heater using the control panel.
  2. Allow the water heater to sit for 5 minutes to release any gas from the system.
  3. Set the control switch to pilot light mode.
  4. Press and hold the red control button for a few seconds, while intermittently pressing it every few seconds.
  5. Listen for a click and observe the water heater status light blinking, indicating that the pilot light has been ignited.
  6. Release the red control button.
  7. Turn the red control button to the hot position.
  8. If the pilot light doesn’t stay lit or won’t relight, it could indicate a larger problem. Contact a plumber for immediate assistance.

Remember to exercise caution when dealing with gas in your home. Safety comes first. But fear not, with these simple steps, you’ll soon be able to enjoy a warm shower once again.


Here are some additional resources related to water heaters:

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, dealing with gas-related issues at home can be a bit daunting. However, with the guidance provided above, you’ll be back to enjoying a cozy, warm shower in no time.

For any emergency plumbing, drain cleaning, drain clearing, or water damage problems, including excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines, reach out to East Coast Paddle Sports.

Remember, we’re just a phone call away at 1-Tom-Plumber (1-866-758-6237). We’re always here to help!

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