Do you want to know how to turn on the water heater & pilot be it an electric water heater or a gas-powered?
It doesn’t matter which heater you are using as you can easily turn it on without calling an expert. If you have an electric water heater all you need is to figure out a circuit breaker that needs to be turned on.
On the other hand, if you have a gas water heater, find out the pilot light and you are all done. Let me explain this process in 4 different methods for your better understanding.
Methods to Turn on the Heater
Before turning on the water heater you have to make sure that the heater is full of water so that nothing goes wrong. Below are the 4 methods which you can follow according to your need. Here we go.
Things to Consider Before You Turn on Water Heater
In order to turn on the water heater, all you have to do is.
Turn Off the Water Supply
The first step is to turn off the gas valve and breaker switch of the heater. You can find the breakers witch at the circuit breaker.
Now in order to disconnect the water supply, distort the valve for the supply line of cold water. If the breaker switch at the circuit breaker is not labeled, proceed and switch off the main power.
Clean the Tank by Flushing it
Once you have turned off the main water supply the next step is to clear out the tank and remove all the water from it. For this purpose, get your hands on a long hose that you can affix to the tank’s bottom.
Make sure the hose is long enough that you can easily connect to the near tank as well. Once it is attached, turn on the drain valve so that all the water could be drained from the tank.
If you want this process to go faster than usual, turn on the hot water. After some time turn on the cold water tap as well so that all the minerals in the water vanish from the tank and it becomes clear.
Keep it turned on for at least 10 or 15 minutes. However, if you have recently installed a tank then you do not need to clear it out.
Turn Off the Drain Valve
Now you are done with the tank cleaning the next process is to turn off the drain valve and re-attach the hose as well. The water supply must be open so that it fills back up.
Keep Checking the Tank
As of now your tank is filling with water again so keep checking whether it is full or not. When you start hearing the steaming noise coming from the tank it means you are done. Close the tap now.
Turn on the Water Heater
Now your tank is full of water you can safely turn on the heater. If it is gas powered heater then turn on the gas valve and if it is electric then turn on the circuit breaker.
Method 1. Turning on Modern Gas Water Heater
If you have a modern gas water heater and you need to turn it on then follow the below-mentioned steps.
Set Right Control Settings
Before starting the process, make sure that the temperature control settings are at their lowest. Keep it at the pilot setting.
However, if you notice the smell of the gas then hold on and call the professional because it might be dangerous for you to proceed with the work.
Press the Spark Generator
While pressing down the pilot igniter button, you have to lean on the spark generator. A spark will be created that you can clearly see through a glass window. It will indicate that the pilot light is on.
Hold on to the Igniter
Hold on to the igniter button for a few seconds more so that the heater becomes hot enough. After 30 seconds if you notice that the pilot light is not completely lit then keep holding the button every 10 seconds until the work is done completely.
Change the Temperature Settings
Now that the heater has been fully turned on and become hot as well, you can change the settings again. Most people keep the temperature setting at 120 °F (49 °C).
Method 2. For Older Gas Water Heaters
If you have an old gas water heater then follow the below steps to start it.
Change the Temperature Settings
Before turning on the gas, make sure that the temperature setting is at its lowest. Turn off the regulator valve as well and wait for at least 10 minutes.
It is better to keep the temperature setting at 120 °F (49 °C) as most people do so and it is highly recommended. Later, you can keep the valve at the pilot setting. If you notice any gas smell, immediately call someone.
Get Rid of Access Panels if Required
There are various access panels that you might need to remove if you are unable to reach the pilot light. However, if it is not required, skip it.
Press the Pilot Button
To start the heater press the pilot button. In order to light the pilot, there is a silver tube that is attached to the gas control valve. You have to light up that tube with the help of a long-neck lighter.
Keep Pressing the Button
Keep pressing the button once the heater is lit up for the next 20 seconds. Then slowly release your hands from the button. If it again turns off then repeat the process.
Problems Faced When Turning on Gas Heater
The thermocouple, which turns the gas off to stop a leak if the pilot gets blown out, is typically the cause of gas heaters turning off.
However, be sure the pilot flame is getting a fine supply of combustible air to burn before examining the thermocouple. Also, ensure that the area around the heater is clutter-free and the inside is spotless and clear of objects such as lint, debris, etc.
If this is ineffective, the thermocouple’s condition should be checked next. If it is bent out of position, it will keep turning the gas off when you light the pilot. Ideally, it should sit over the top of the pilot flame.
Post that, if it’s bent, straighten it out again. Then try lighting the water heater pilot to check if the issue has been resolved.
Still, if it doesn’t work as well, you might also try using some steel wool and a microfiber cloth to clean the thermocouple. It might not function properly if it is unclean, therefore cleaning it might fix the issue.
The last option is to replace the thermocouple. You can either replace it on your own or call a plumber to do it for you at your home.
Method 3. Electric or Tankless Water Heaters
In order to turn on this type of water heater, go ahead with the below-mentioned points.
Turn on the Circuit Breaker
For a tankless water heater, all you have to do is detect the circuit breaker that commands this type of heater. After locating the breaker, turn it on.
If it is not labeled then look for a double-pole circuit breaker. There should have an amp rating on the tank.
Wait for Some Hours
Now that you have turned on the breaker so wait for some hours until the tank is heated fully. For this purpose, the required temperature is 120 °F (49 °C).
Turn Off the Gas
If you are switching to the tankless water heater then it is important to turn off your gas otherwise it might harm you if you mistakenly keep it turned on.
Check the Temperature
Now the power is turned on so have a look at the temperature settings. With the help of a temperature controller, you can also adjust the settings according to the requirement.
While working on an electric water heater, be careful not to damage its heating element. Or else, your heater won’t work. Testing the element can also help in troubleshooting why your heater won’t turn on.
Hence, it is how you can turn on your required heater at home without calling a professional. Turning off the electric water heater when not in use is also important.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Still, confused about a few points regarding turning hot water heater on or the water heater switch. Let’s cover them in the below section of Frequently asked questions.
How Do I Turn on a Hot Water Heater?
If you are using an electric water heater then check the circuit breaker that you have to turn on. On the other hand, if you are using a gas water heater, you have to lit the pilot light. It is how you can turn it on.
How Do I Turn My Gas Water Heater on?
The gas water heater can turn on by pressing the pilot igniter button. When you keep pressing the button a spark will indicate that depicts that it has been turned on.
How Do I Turn My Water Heater on for the First Time?
If you are doing it for the first time don’t worry because it is easy and doesn’t always need a professional. Firstly have a look at the temperature settings and keep them at the lowest.
If you are using a gas heater then turn on the gas valve and wait for some minutes. After some time you can change the settings to Pilot.
How Long Does It Take for The Water Heater to Heat Up?
Sometimes it takes only 10 minutes to heat up the entire heater but the number can exceed depending on the heater.
If it doesn’t heat up then you have to keep pressing the button until you are successful. After releasing if the light is turned off, repeat the process.
After reading this article, you can easily Turn On Water Heater & Pilot without any difficulty. The process is easy and doesn’t require a complicated task.
However, if you notice gas leakage or any type of smell, do not proceed with the work and call someone for immediate help. I have tried to cover every piece of information in this guide for your understanding. I hope it will help you turn on the heater at home easily.