Saturday, November 7, 2015

How To Relight The Gas Water Heater

Content submitted by: Barbara Weiner

After spending months away with my granny, I finally got to return to my apartment now because my mom is now finally back to the USA to take her shift in taking care of grandma.  The problem is a few months ago when I left my home, I had turned off my gas water heater because I had heard that I was supposed to turn it off when I'm away for vacation.  I hired some handyman service to turn it off because I had no clue on how to turn a gas water heater off.  I was charged $95 for that.  

Tonight I just got off the plane and I had no patience to schedule an appointment with handyman service to come and turn my gas water heater back on.  It's late and the night is cold now and I desperately need a hot shower. I just can't wait for a handyman to come tomorrow afternoon.  Thank God there is a video on Youtube that teaches people how to relight a gas water heater.  My water heater is a hand-me-down from the 90s, and it's a lot older than the water heater shown in the video, but they are similar enough in the logistics and the general design that I was able to follow the video and relight my gas water heater.  I have to admit that it's quite a scary experience. I think I lighted a match only a few times in my entire life and I had never lighted any gas appliance before.  Tonight is my first time.  I feel mentally exhausted by reading my water heater's big scary label with lots of scary graphical warnings. I wasn't able to really understand what exactly I needed to do by reading it.  There were lots of texts and I had to shine a flash light in my dark closet to read them, just to realize I didn't quite get it. 

The video I found  made me see how it was done, so after watching it at least half a dozen times and lying on the floor and staring at the burner layout a dozen times, I finally gathered up my courage to give it a try.  Lying down with one hand pressing down the pilot light and the other operating the Bic Lighter is not that easy for my wimpy hands.  But I did it.  And when the burner underneath my water heater finally roared, I was actually so startled I jumped away.  I don't remember hearing such a roar before. I think I just never paid much attention to the inside of the closet until tonight.  I do feel a sense of accomplishment now, not only because I saved $95.  But I did something that I never did and never thought I was capable of doing. Besides, I feel a lot more educated than before. I feel really proud of myself! Wait, may be I shouldn't think so highly of myself yet, I should at least wait until after tomorrow when I'm still around without being blown up by a gas explosion, or without being gased to death by carbon monoxide.

By the way, the water inside my water heater looks clear and smells absolutely normal, much better than the stinky tap water from my granny's town.  I was worried that the water in my water heater would smell bad after a few months being dormant and unheated.  There had been various conflicting advice I heard, some people told me I should have never shut down my gas water heater when I was away for few months because my water would stink when I returned.  Then there were others who told me I got to shut down the gas water heater so hot water wouldn't be leaking all over my home for months in case something went wrong with my old water heater. I was worried about the high gas bill and the high water bill in case my "old" water heater should leak.   In my situation, it turned out that my water looks as clear as it did before, and smells as odorless as it always did, after 4 months sitting in the tank and not heated.

Notes from the editors: Do you have a DIY home maintenance experience that you want to share with us? If so, please click here to contact us for photo submission guidelines. If we decide to publish your photo and story, we will send you a beautiful floral arrangement.

No comments:

Post a Comment