Nowadays, electric water heaters are available in the marketplaces. Unlike traditional water heaters, electric water heaters are more efficient. Moreover, as these are more efficient, they save significant energy and costs.
Do electric water heaters have pilot lights?
Electric water heaters do not have pilot lights. Since electric water heaters use electricity instead of gas, they do not need any ignition to heat water. Hence, there is no pilot light. So, an electric water heater is the same as a conventional water heater but without the pilot light.
Water heaters are devices used to heat water. There are two types of water heaters. One type of water heater is the conventional water heater, and the other type is the electrical water heater.
Conventional water heaters use a flame to heat the water in a container. The hot water is supplied to the washrooms, kitchen, etc., through water pipes. For a few years, these water heaters were commonly used in homes.
Traditional water heaters use a flame to heat the water. So, an ignition was necessary to light the gas underneath the water pot. Therefore, those standard water heaters had pilot lights that lit up the gas to heat the water.
Nowadays, electrical water heaters have entered the market. As the name suggests, electrical water heaters use electricity instead of flammable fuel to heat the water. Comparatively, electrical water heaters are more efficient than conventional water heaters.
Since modern water heaters rely on electricity only to heat water, they do not need ignition. Hence, they do not have pilot lights like old water heaters. However, using an electric water heater is as simple as using a conventional one.
Do new electric hot water heaters have pilot lights? Do all water heaters have a pilot?
Electric water heaters use electricity to heat water. They do not need ignition or fuel to do their task. Therefore, electric water heaters do not have pilot lights since they do not need them for their job.
All electric water heaters rely on electricity to function. Newer electric water heaters use electricity to ignite the flame to heat water in the water container. So, newer electric water heaters have electronic ignition to ignite the gas to heat water.
However, not all water heaters have a pilot light. Pilot lights are considered a thing of the past as some modern water heaters use electronic ignition to light the gas. You can only find traditional water heaters that use pilot lights for ignition.
3 reasons why electric water heaters do not have a pilot light
Electric water heaters do not have pilot lights. Here are why:
Electric waters rely on electricity to function. Most electric water heaters use heating elements to heat water. Unlike conventional water heaters, these water heaters do not burn gas to heat water. Therefore, these water heaters do not need any ignition.
Hence, pilot lights are not present in these water heaters.
Some newer electric water heaters use electronic ignition to light the gas. By causing an electric spark, the gas is ignited. The ignited fire heats the water in the water container.
Since electronic ignition is present in electric water heaters, pilot lights are not necessary anymore.
Electrical ignition is more efficient and reliable compared to pilot lights. Electronic ignition uses lesser energy than igniting gas using pilot lights. Moreover, pilot lights often do not work, and you might have to relight them manually.
Electronic ignition is done using electric sparks. So, electronic ignition does not fail as often as pilot lights. These are the reasons why electric water heaters do not have pilot lights.
How to check pilot light on a water heater?
Sometimes, the pilot light may go out unexpectedly. However, it is simple to check the pilot light and reignite it. Follow the steps to check if the pilot light in your water heater is working and reignite it. It is assumed that you have an automatic igniter.
Turn on gas connection:
All the appliances in your home that use gas, for example, stoves, water heaters, furnace, etc., have their gas valves. So, locate the gas valve for the water heater and turn the valve knob parallel to the pipe.
This position of the valve knob indicates that the gas supply to the water heater is on.
Access the control panel:
You will see that there is a cover over the control panel. Gently remove the cover from over the control panel. You will see that there is a temperature knob and a striker knob.
Check the “status” light:
If you see that the “status” light is not flickering, then the pilot light is out. You can manually reignite the pilot light or call an experienced individual for help. If you see a constant flickering in the “status” light, the pilot light is working as intended.
Pilot lights can sometimes go out due to a draft or other reasons. It is simple to relight a pilot light, and you can do it yourself.
What kind of water heater has a pilot light?
There are various types of water heaters. Some water heaters use pilot lights and flames to heat water, and some use electricity to do the same. Very few water heaters nowadays have pilot lights.
Tankless water heaters have pilot lights. These water heaters do not have a tank to hold the hot water. Since these water heaters do not have a tank to store the heated water, these water heaters are also called on-demand water heaters.
In tankless water heaters, water is heated rapidly. Water passes through coils that are heated to high temperatures. The water turns hot as it goes through the warmed pipe, and finally, hot water comes out of the tap in the bathroom or shower.
As tankless water heaters, conventional water heaters also use pilot lights to ignite the gas. The pilot light ignites the gas, and the flame heats the water. The hot water is then transported around the house via water pipes.
How to tell if an electric hot water heater is on?
Since electrical water heaters do not make a lot of noise while operating, it can be hard to tell if they are on or off. However, with the help of some indications, you can tell if your electric water heater is on or off.
Firstly, you can check if the operating light is on or off. Some electrical water heaters have a small light that turns on while working. So, if you see a small red or green light, the electrical water heater is probably working.
Secondly, you can check for any noises or feel the warmth of the container. If you hear any noise coming from inside the container, like some bubbling noise, the water is probably boiling, and the device is working.
Also, you can touch the water heater container with the back of your hand to see if it is hot after about 10 minutes.
Can you manually light a water heater with an electronic pilot?
The pilot light can go out because of various reasons. However, relighting a pilot light is a simple task, and you can do it effortlessly. Moreover, if you have an automatic igniter, the job is simple.
Make sure that the gas supply to the water heater is turned on. Locate the gas valve that controls the gas supply to the water heater. Turn the valve so that it is parallel to the pipes.
Next, you will have to remove the cover of the control panel. On the control panel of the water heater, you will see the gas control knob and the striker knob. The gas control knob is usually red, and the striker knob can be black or red.
Turn the control knob to the “pilot” mode and push down on the knob. Keeping the gas control knob depressed, press the striker knob repeatedly. Do it for about 90 seconds till the “status” light starts to flicker.
After you see the flickering “status” light, keep pushing the gas control knob down to allow more gas. Allowing more gas will prevent the pilot light from going out. Finally, close the control panel cover.
Electric water heaters do not have pilot lights. However, few modern electric water heaters use electronic ignition that works the same way as a pilot light. Since technology is advancing more day by day, water heaters have also become more efficient by solely using electricity.