How to turn hot water heater on?

You don’t need us to introduce you to the benefits of a water heater.

That’s why it comes as no surprise that the market is filled with different water heaters to suit different user requirements. From electric and gas to hybrid models, there is an option for every need and budget.

However, users often find themselves in a spot of bother when it comes to operating one. Hence, we’ve curated this short and simple guide on how to turn hot water heater on.

The exact answer of how to turn hot water heater on will depend on the kind of water heater. For the sake of your better understanding, we’ve listed the steps involved in turning on gas, electric, and tankless water heaters, respectively. So, let’s begin!

How To Turn On Gas Water Heater?

Step 1

The first step is to check for any open faucets or valves and turn them off. You may have accidentally opened them to allow airflow into the tank. So, make sure to close them properly.

Step 2 (Optional)

You can choose to drain and flush the tank for cleaning purposes (not required for a newly-installed tank). Attach a hose to the bottom of the tank near the spigot. Here, select a hose that’s long enough to reach the nearest floor drain, utility sink, or yard.

When the hose is secured, open the drain valve on the tank to initiate the draining process. Furthermore, opening a hot water faucet located close to the tank will speed up the draining, allowing you to keep track of the amount of water being drained out.

Step 3

Once you have closed the valves and faucets or cleaned the tank, turn on the cold water supply, which will essentially refill the tank. The last thing you would want to do is turn on the water heater with an empty tank!

Step 4

Perhaps the most important step in turning on a gas water heater is lighting the pilot light. The recent models will require you to press and hold the pilot ignitor button and the spark generator simultaneously. This would create a spark that you can observe through the little glass window. It prevents the risk of accidents from potential gas leaks.

A good practice would be to keep the pilot ignitor engaged for 20 to 30 seconds after you see the spark to generate enough heat.

Step 5

If the valve is already turned to “pilot”, this step will become optional. Then, all you have to do is turn on the gas valve. At this point, the heater should be working to heat the water and the burner should be fired up.

If that’s not the case, then you will have to go back to the previous step and fix the pilot light. For instance, if the spark goes out even after pressing the ignitor for 30 seconds, press down on it after every 10 seconds until the spark is steady.

How To Turn On Electric Water Heater?

Step 1

Just like gas water heaters, start by looking out for any open faucets or valves and closing them immediately.

Step 2

Here again, turn on the cold water supply to fill up the tank. Remember that running the heater on an empty tank can cause irreversible damages to the tank or the heater.

Step 3

In case there’s a safety tag placed on the breaker to prevent people from turning it on, then this is the time to take it out. Most homeowners employ this technique to negate the risk of accidental engagement and electric shocks.

Step 4

Your water heater breaker is safe and ready to be turned on for heating the water. Some electric heaters may not have a power indicator per se, but you should hear a low boiling sound if they are functioning properly.

How To Turn On Tankless Water Heater?

Step 1

As the name suggests, a tankless water heater operates, well, without a tank. Hence, there’s no need for refilling anything. As long as it’s connected to the water supply directly, you can just turn the valve to shut off the water flow.

Step 2

The next step is to set the desired temperature as these heaters essentially work on demand. It will heat the water depending on the preset temperature and start heating only when you need it to. And that’s about it!

Some Precautions To Follow

To ensure that our readers are able to carry on a safe and secure operation, we’ve jotted down some precautions on how to turn hot water heater on. Bear with us a little more!

Pressure Check

Any drips from the discharge can result from high pressure in the tank. In that case, you need to turn it down immediately to at least below 80 psi.

Look Out For Abnormalities

If you’re turning on a gas water heater that hasn’t been used in a while, watch for any odor of leaking gas (like that of rotten eggs) before lighting the pilot.

Even if you get a slight smell of gasoline, kerosene, propane, or any such flammable liquid, don’t initiate the pilot ignition and seek professional help. Likewise, look out for bare wires and loose connections for electric water heaters.

Keep A Safe Distance

While turning on the pilot light or gas valve, keep your body and face away from the opening. This will safeguard you from injuries in case of delayed lighting due to dirty burners or ill-positioned pilots.

Final Words

We hope our efforts will get you through the seemingly intimidating task. If you’re a first-timer with no experience of operating such equipment, we’d strongly recommend getting professional help, especially in case of any malfunctioning. Also keep the instructions manual handy if possible.

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