How to relight a gas water heater pilot light

Published On: May 6, 2015Categories: Heating & CoolingTags: ,

Pilot light on gas water heater

One of our customers, Theresa, asked us to post some simple instructions on how to safely relight the pilot light on a gas water heater.   Theresa, thanks for the suggestion – we’re happy to help.

Step 1

Turn the gas valve’s dial to “Off” and wait a few minutes.

Step 2

Turn the gas valve to “Pilot” and push the valve button down (or, instead, if there is a red button beside the valve, push it down).  Hold it down to start the flow of gas through the gas supply tube.

Step 3

Keep holding the button down and wait for the indicator to light.  Some water heaters require manual lighting.  If so, use a barbecue lighter to light the gas at the end of the supply tube.

Step 4

After the pilot is lit, keep holding down the control button for another minute or so.  Then, release the control button.

Step 5

If the pilot stays lit after you release the control button, turn the dial to “on”.


If the pilot goes out again or it won’t light, begin at Step 1 again and repeat the process.

It’s okay to try this a couple of times.  But, if your pilot won’t light or remain lit after a couple of tries, the best idea is to call a professional to help you.


Plumbing emergency? We respond any time!

Find out more about The Waterworks’ comprehensive experience in plumbing, drain, heating and cooling services.