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Do I need to press the ignition button first or the pilot light on A.O. Smith when relighting the water heater?

When relighting the pilot light on an A.O. Smith water heater, it's essential to follow the correct sequence of steps to ensure a safe and successful ignition. The specific sequence may vary depending on the model and type of water heater you have, but here are general guidelines to help you understand the typical order in which you should press the ignition button and light the pilot light:

1. Turn the Temperature Dial to "Pilot" or "Off": Before attempting to relight the pilot light, you should locate the temperature control dial on your A.O. Smith water heater and turn it to the "Pilot" or "Off" position. This action ensures that the main burner is not actively heating the water while you work on the pilot light.
2. Access the Control Panel: Open the access panel or door on the front of the water heater. This panel provides access to the pilot assembly and other components needed for relighting the pilot.
3. Locate the Pilot Assembly: Inside the control panel, you will see the pilot assembly. It consists of a small tube leading to the pilot burner and a control knob or button.
4. Press and Hold the Pilot Control: Typically, you will need to press and hold down the pilot control knob or button while performing the following steps. This control allows gas to flow to the pilot assembly.
5. Press the Ignition Button (If Applicable): If your A.O. Smith water heater has an electronic ignition system with an ignition button, you should press and hold the ignition button while continuing to hold the pilot control knob or button. This step activates the electronic ignition system, generating a spark to ignite the pilot.
6. Light the Pilot: While holding down the pilot control and the ignition button (if applicable), use a long lighter or match to carefully light the pilot burner located at the end of the pilot tube. Insert the flame near the pilot burner until you see the pilot flame ignite.
7. Continue Holding Controls: After the pilot flame ignites, continue to hold down the pilot control and the ignition button (if applicable) for about 30 seconds. This extended holding period allows the thermocouple to heat up and establish a stable pilot flame.
8. Release the Controls: After about 30 seconds, release both the pilot control and the ignition button (if used). The pilot flame should remain lit on its own. The thermocouple, a safety device, detects the presence of the pilot flame and keeps the gas flowing.
9. Set the Temperature Dial: Once the pilot flame is stable, turn the temperature control dial back to your desired water temperature setting. This will allow the main burner to operate and heat the water as needed.
10. Close the Access Panel: Securely close the access panel or door on the water heater and reattach any screws that were removed to secure the panel.
11. Monitor the Water Heater: Keep an eye on the water heater to ensure it operates correctly. The pilot light should remain lit, and the main burner should ignite when hot water is needed.

The key to successfully relighting the pilot light is to follow the proper sequence of steps and hold the controls as required to ensure the pilot flame stabilizes. If you are unsure about any aspect of the relighting process or if the pilot light continues to go out after relighting, it is advisable to consult your water heater's user manual for model-specific instructions and safety guidelines. Additionally, if you encounter repeated issues with the pilot light, it may be necessary to contact a professional plumber or technician to diagnose and address any underlying problems with your water heater. Safety should always be a top priority when working with gas appliances.
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