How To Check Pilot Light On Water Heater

How To Check Pilot Light On Water Heater

If your pilot light is running on cold, then the chances are that your pilot light might have gone out. This means that your heater will be running on cold when it should be hot. You might already be reaching for the phone to call yourself a plumber or electrician, however, you can easily fix this issue yourself.

If you have a pilot light on your heater, then the chances are that you’ll suffer from plenty of issues with it. These things can go out relatively easily, however, luckily for you, they can be relit again with equal ease.

The pilot light is when the heating for the whole of the water heater is heated through a single flame. This ignition flame is how your water gets hot in the first place. We’ll go into the purpose and functionality of your heater as our article goes on.

So how can you accurately check the pilot light to see if it is working? What is the function of a pilot light? Is it dangerous if your pilot light suddenly goes off? What could be the most common reasons that your pilot light has gone out? How can you reignite it again to restore your hot water?

If you are struggling to wash your dishes with hot water, then you shouldn’t fear, as we’ve got a quick solution that will help you get your pilot light back working again and give you enough hot water to last you for the duration of your evening.

Function Of A Pilot Light

This pilot light will remain on all the time, so you’ll need to make sure that it is lit to keep your hot water on. It serves the same purpose as a match in a gas boiler, all you need to do is ignite it for it to work.

However, the pilot light is a very delicate thing and won’t stay on for the entire time. Like any other flame, it will have a tendency to go out. However, luckily for you, you can ignite your pilot light and get your water heater up and running again in no time at all. Once you have lit the pilot light again, then you’ll be able to get your water hot.

How To Tell If Pilot Light Is out

There are a few indicators that the pilot light in your water heater has gone out. Here are the main three:

You Have No Hot Water

This is one of the key indicators that your pilot light has gone out. However, there could be multiple reasons why your water is now running cold, so be sure that you have ruled out these other options beforehand.

Gas Indicator

If this light is blinking, then it might be a sign that your pilot light has ceased to function. Some gas heaters come with a special light coding system to indicate a more specific problem.

No flame

This is the most tried and tested method. If you can’t see the pilot light itself, then this might be the reason that you have no flames at all.

Why Has Your Pilot Light Gone Out?

Why Has Your Pilot Light Gone Out

There are a few causes for your pilot light going out. Here are just a few of them:

If There Is A Natural Change In The Gas Pressure

This can often be the cause of your pilot light suddenly vanishing.


This device is built as a safety mechanism, designed to stop any gas from leaking from one chamber of your water heater into another.


If the chamber of your water heater isn’t sealed, then even the slightest gust of wind can completely vanquish your little pilot light flame.

Lack Of Air

Air is what the flame will need to combust. Without any oxygen, then you’ll be having serious troubles getting your flame to ignite.

How Dangerous Is It For Pilot Light To Go Out?

Usually, it is not very dangerous for your pilot light to go out, as the heater itself has safety mechanisms built-in that will stop the gas from transmitting from one chamber into another. If you have a water heater that does not seal in the gas, then you could run the risk of a propane explosion.

If you do not have these safety features, then you could see an increase in carbon monoxide. This will lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, which is definitely lethal to humans. If you are concerned about carbon monoxide leakage, then we would recommend that you call a professional or install a carbon monoxide reader.

A carbon monoxide detector is a fairly inexpensive purchase and can result in your family being a lot safer when they are in the house. One problem with carbon monoxide is that it has no scent.

Relighting Pilot Light

Each water heater model is different in its operation, so if you are looking for the best method of relighting the pilot light, then we would suggest that you consult the instructions first. Most of the instructions to your water heater will be affixed to the side of the heater itself.

If you have a standard heater, start by flicking the knob on the gas control to off. This will mean that there is neither gas nor electricity flowing to the main chamber of the gas heater itself.

Once you have switched on the gas control of your water heater, then you should press the button to release the gas and let a little into the chamber.

Then try pressing the ignite button for around 90 seconds. This will cause the spark to light and your ignition switch to come on entirely. If the pilot light does not come on after 90 seconds, then you should wait 10 seconds before trying again.

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