Is It Safe to Light Gas Hot Water System with BBQ Lighter ?

I have a 13 year old Rheem Stellar gas hot water tank system and my pilot light went out cos I had to turn off the gas at the meter box. I've been trying to light it back up as per the instructions using the knob and the piezo electric igniter as per instructions here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xG1tD3yJr0s but to no avail.

Has anyone ever safely used a BBQ lighter to light up the pilot light and is it safe ?

Comments

  • +3 votes

    if it doesn't light up, give it a few minute to air out and try again.

    •  

      Done this about 8 times to no avail.. annoying having to wait 5 minutes after each go before trying again.

      •  

        Your problem is probably due to the thermistor (heat sensor) not sensing enough heat to determine whether the pilot flame is on. Therefore, it switches off the gas supply automatically.

        When you press the button in order to light the pilot light, you are overriding the system by providing some gas. So the moment you get the pilot light on, keep pressing on this button for 5-10 secs at least, in order to heat up the thermistor. Then you can let go, and the system should sense the pilot light.

        If this does not work after a few tries, it is also possible that the thermistor is faulty, in which case get a technician to diagnose it.

        (Using BBQ lighter is fine, and so is a match).

  •  

    Does the pilot light catch alight and then go out, or is it failing to ignite completely?

    I've never used an external ignition source, but I can't see why it would be an issue - assuming you let it vent properly prior to sticking a lighter under it.

    Disclaimer - I'm in no way qualified to provide this advice.

    •  

      Yes it does catch alight for a split second then goes out again and doesn't come back no matter how many times i press the ignition button

      • +2 votes

        I don't think using a lighter is going to help then. It sounds like there is insufficient gas flow to keep the flame alight. A BBQ lighter might allow you to keep it alight for longer though, which might help - but if there's not enough gas coming from the pilot then it may need to be checked out.

        So long as the main gas supply is off as per the ignition instructions, you shouldn't really have any issues with the burner catching alight or anything - it should only be the pilot. If it were me, I'd give it a crack with the BBQ lighter to see if it helps - but as above, I'm not any kind of gas or plumbing pro!

  •  

    i'd rather use a match.

    two suggestions to lengthen reach;
    hold with pointy nose pliers
    stick to a twig or pipe cleaner etc
    .

    • +2 votes

      whats the advantages of using a match instead of a bbq lighter? Its still a naked flame either way. And the suggestions to lengthen reach, isn't that the point of using the BBQ lighter ie. the BBQ lighter comes with a long reach already?

      • +1 vote

        prefer not to hang onto a bottle of flammable liquid….
        especially given OP not sure about it.
        just seems safer to me.
        .

        • +1 vote

          It's a gas system. If anything's gonna get OP, it'll be a pocket of LPG that hasn't dissipated yet.

    • +1 vote

      yeah i use one of those really long bbq matches to light my water heater when it goes out…

  •  

    I use the long bbq matches or the redheads bbq lighter as it easily reaches the pilot light.

  • +2 votes

    Thanks all for the advice! I got home and used the BBQ lighter and it worked! I'm thinking there may be an issue with the igniter. Yay hot showers come at me :)

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