How to relight a gas water heater pilot light

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.


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