How to Fix a Water Heater’s Pilot Light

June 13, 2017 5:37 pm

Close up of a shower head flowing water in a bathroom cabinThere are few worse feelings than being in the middle of a hot shower and having the water suddenly turn cold! If the hot water goes out in your home, it is likely the pilot light on your water heater. A pilot light is a small flame that lights the gas burner of your water heater. When your pilot light goes out, follow these steps:

  1. First, try relighting the pilot light. Most water heaters are equipped with a sticker with instructions on how to do this. If your water heater does not have specific instructions, click here.
  2. If the pilot light does not relight or goes out shortly after relighting, you may need to replace the thermocouple. A thermocouple is a safety device that senses when the pilot light is on. If the pilot light is not lit, the thermocouple will not allow the gas valve to turn on the gas to heat the water. Therefore, if the thermocouple is not working, it cannot sense whether or not the pilot light is lit. Fortunately, thermocouples can usually be replaced at minimal cost in under an hour. For instructions on how to replace a thermocouple, click here.

If you do not feel comfortable fixing your water heater’s pilot light yourself, there are many professionals whom you can hire to do it for you. To find a professional in your area, click here.

For more information on how to fix water heater pilot lights, watch the video below.