How To Relight Your Gas Hot Water System

How To Relight Your Gas Hot Water System

Check for gas leaks.

First, remove the access panel. The instructions for relighting are clearly laid out inside this panel.


It is important to ensure there are no gas leaks. This is best done by simply smelling for gas, especially down on the floor level where gas can accumulate. 


If you smell gas, turn the gas control knob to the ‘off’ position. Shut the isolation valve in the gas line. Leave the area and call for a qualified gas fitter.

Turn off control and wait five minutes.

Once you’ve confirmed there are no gas leaks, turn the gas control knob fully clockwise to the ‘off’ position. You should feel the control knob clicking into position. Do not use tools to turn the knob. If you cannot turn the knob by hand, call a service tech or a licensed gasfitter. 

It is vital at this point that you wait five minutes for any unburned gas to escape. If you do not wait the full five minutes, residual gas may ignite and cause serious injury.


Light the pilot.

Once five minutes have elapsed, you’re ready to light the pilot using the igniter button. You must remember that this button produces a spark that will ignite any gas that’s nearby.


This is why it’s so important that you turn the control knob to off and wait for five minutes before you use the igniter button, every time. 


Next, turn the control knob to the pilot position. This is the symbol that looks like a starburst. Depress the control knob fully and keep holding the knob down to allow sufficient gas to flow to the pilot light. 


After waiting for 30 seconds with the control knob held down, keep the control down and now press the igniter button repeatedly for about 40 seconds. Keep your face clear of the combustion chamber.


At this point, the pilot should be lit. It is important that you continue to hold the control knob down for a further 20 seconds for the pilot light to stay lit from the heat transmitted to the controller. You can now release the knob.


Once the control knob is released, check that the pilot is alight. Do this by looking into the combustion chamber just below the gas control. The pilot will be visible as a very small blue flame.

Please keep your face and hair well away from the flame when doing this.


If the pilot is not alight.

If the pilot is not alight, it is vital that you turn the gas control knob to ‘off’ then, once again, wait for five minutes for the gas to disperse. Once five minutes is up, begin the pilot lighting process again from the start — back where we turn the control knob from the ‘off’ position to the pilot position.

Please note, in the event of loss of gas or an empty LPG bottle, it is not uncommon to have to try on multiple occasions.

Once the pilot is alight.

Once the pilot is lit, it’s important for your safety that you remove your face from directly in front of the combustion chamber opening.  Then turn the control knob anti-clockwise to at least five. 


This will allow the main burner to light whenever the water needs heating. When the main burner lights up, it can be a little noisy for the first few seconds. This is perfectly normal. It will soon settle down to a quiet flame.


You can now reinstall the access panel.

Let’s review.

As you can see, it’s a straightforward procedure but does need to be followed exactly.


  1. Turn the control knob to off.
  2. Wait five minutes for the gas to disperse.
  3. Now turn the control knob to pilot.
  4. Press the control knob down for 30 seconds.
  5. Keep holding the control knob down and press the igniter repeatedly for 40 seconds.
  6. Keep holding the control knob down for another 20 seconds while the pilot establishes itself.
  7. Check the pilot. If the pilot is alight, pull your face away and turn the control knob to at least five.

Remember — if at any point during the process the pilot flame is not alight when you expect it to be, turn the gas control to ‘off’ and wait five minutes before starting again.


If you’re unsure of the lighting process, or if the burner does not light as expected, call Vulcan Service on 131 031. 


We hope this helps you enjoy many years of safe, steady hot water.