How To Light Your Gas Storage Water Heater

The Storage type – a cylinder – usually mounted inside or outside on the floor or ground.
They all have instructions on how to light them, but you may not understand them.
We help many people over the phone and know the frustration.

The valve that controls lighting is at the lower front of the unit.

The process uses the knob on top of the unitrol valve above large thermostat knob. It has “off” “Pilot” and “On” written on it.

or it has a spark, a round dot and a flame.

Next to that is the pilot button, usually red. There is usually some kind of spark button.

How to light your storage gas water heater in wellingtonThe steps are, using the top knob –

  1. Turn control valve to off first, and wait 5 minutes to clear any unburnt gas.
  2. Press tab on side of knob down. Turn knob on control valve to pilot or spark symbol.
  3. Press pilot button on side of knob and HOLD down until I tell you to let go.
  4. Press spark button down until you hear it click about 5 times, or if no spark button it is safe to light the pilot with a lit paper taper or with a long match  ( not a wax taper). Or you can use one of those gas matches from the super market.
  5. Where exactly do you light the pilot? You will see three tubes running down from the control valve to underneath.  Follow the two outside ones which eventually join together. This is where the pilot flame lights.  It is safe to put a flame there.
  6. The pilot should have lit by now if your are holding the pilot button down. You can check by looking deep inside the burner chamber after taking the cover off.
  7. You should still have your finger pressing down on the pilot button. Keep pressing down until you know the pilot has been going for 15 seconds. Then release the pilot button and it should stay alight.
  8. Then turn to the control knob to “on” and the main burner should light if the thermostat is turned up to hot.
  9. If not repeat from number 2.
  10. If this fails the water heater could be faulty – call us for service.