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How to start the pilot light on an A.O. Smith Pro Max water heater?

Starting the pilot light on an A.O. Smith Pro Max water heater is a relatively straightforward process, but it's essential to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully and take safety precautions. The pilot light is responsible for igniting the burner to heat the water in the tank. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to start the pilot light on your A.O. Smith Pro Max water heater:

Before you begin, make sure you have the necessary tools and safety equipment, including a long lighter or a fireplace match, and familiarize yourself with the water heater's user manual. Ensure there are no gas leaks and follow all safety guidelines. If you're uncomfortable or unsure about the process, consider seeking professional assistance.

1. Turn the Gas Control Knob:
Locate the gas control knob on the water heater. It is typically located near the bottom of the unit, often behind a removable access panel. The knob will have settings like "Off," "Pilot," and "On." Turn the knob to the "Off" position and wait for a few minutes to allow any accumulated gas to dissipate.
2. Remove the Access Panel:
If your water heater has a removable access panel covering the pilot light and burner area, use a screwdriver or the appropriate tool to remove it. This will expose the pilot assembly and burner.
3. Locate the Pilot Assembly:
Within the access panel, you will find the pilot assembly. It typically consists of a small tube with a pilot burner at the end and a pilot gas control knob.
4. Set the Pilot Control Knob to "Pilot":
Turn the pilot gas control knob to the "Pilot" position. This position is usually indicated by a small flame icon. Depress and hold the knob in this position. You should feel some resistance when pressing it.
5. Press and Hold the Ignition Button or Knob:
While holding the pilot gas control knob in the "Pilot" position, locate the ignition button or knob nearby. On some models, you may need to use a long lighter or fireplace match to manually ignite the pilot flame.
6. Ignite the Pilot Flame:
If your water heater has an ignition button or knob, press and hold it while using your other hand to light the pilot burner at the end of the pilot tube. You may need to use a long lighter or fireplace match for this. Continue to hold down the pilot gas control knob for about 30 seconds after the pilot flame is lit.
7. Release the Pilot Gas Control Knob:
After holding down the pilot gas control knob for the specified time (usually about 30 seconds), release it slowly. The pilot flame should remain lit. If it goes out, wait a few minutes for any residual gas to disperse and repeat the process.
8. Set the Gas Control Knob to "On":
Once the pilot flame is steady and remains lit, turn the gas control knob from "Pilot" to "On." This setting allows the main burner to operate when needed to heat the water.
9. Replace the Access Panel:
Securely reattach the access panel that covers the pilot assembly and burner area. Make sure it is properly in place.
10. Check for Proper Operation:
Observe the water heater to ensure it functions correctly. The pilot light should stay lit, and you should hear the burner ignite when hot water is needed.
11. Monitor for Safety:
Keep an eye on the water heater for the next few hours to ensure it continues to operate correctly and that the pilot flame remains lit. If you notice any issues or the pilot goes out repeatedly, consult the user manual or consider seeking professional assistance.

Remember that safety is paramount when dealing with gas appliances. If you smell gas or suspect a gas leak at any point during this process, turn off the gas supply, ventilate the area, and do not attempt to light the pilot. Instead, contact a qualified technician or plumber to assess and address the issue.
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