Lighting up a gas wall heater can be a bit of a challenge, mainly if you have never used one before.

But with a bit of care and precaution, followed by a good set of steps, this can be easy.

Firstly, start by removing the cover from the gas heater. It should ideally pop off, but if it’s fixed with screws, this might take a bit of work to get them removed and then pull off the sheet.

Light a gas wall space heater with a long match or lighter

There are other heaters where the cover is attached with a latch, so it is straightforward to pull the door out.

This would expose the central system via which the system operates.

How Do You Light a Pilot on a Gas Wall Heater?

Many modern-day systems come up with an automatic electric lighter, but in case you don’t have one, this shouldn’t be a big issue.

You may use a regular long barreled stove lighter, or even a long matchstick to help you with this.

The pilot light is an essential component of a gas wall heater. It is a small flame that ignites the gas when the heater is turned on. Without a properly functioning pilot light, your heater won’t work correctly.

Here’s how you can light the pilot light:

Things You’ll Need:

  • Gas wall heater
  • Ignite button (if available)
  • Long match or long-barrel lighter (if no ignite button is present)

Step 1: Locate the selector dial on the heater The selector dial is typically located on the front of the heater. It controls the various settings, including the pilot light.

Step 2: Turn the dial to “pilot” Turn the dial to the “pilot” setting. This setting allows you to light the pilot light.

Step 3: Push down on the ignite button for 10-15 seconds until the pilot light turns on If your gas wall heater has an ignite button, push down on it and hold it for 10-15 seconds until the pilot light ignites. This process may take a few tries, but don’t worry, it’s normal.

Alternative method if no ignite button is present:

Step 1: Turn on the gas by opening the shut-off valve Locate the gas shut-off valve and turn it on. This will allow gas to flow to the heater.

Step 2: Turn the dial to “pilot” Turn the selector dial to the “pilot” setting.

Step 3: Locate the pilot light vent’s location The pilot light vent is typically located near the selector dial. It’s a small metal tube that leads to the pilot light.

Step 4: Push down on the selector dial to generate a small flow of gas Push down on the selector dial to allow gas to flow to the pilot light. You should hear a hissing sound when you do this.

Step 5: Ignite the pilot light with a long match or a long-barrel lighter Using a long match or long-barrel lighter, hold the flame to the pilot light vent until the pilot light ignites.

Once the pilot light is lit, turn the selector dial to the “on” position to turn on the heater. Verify that it’s working correctly by feeling the warm air coming from the heater.

How to Turn On a Wall Heater?

Knowing how to turn on a wall heater is just as important as lighting the pilot light. Turning on the wall heater is a relatively simple process, but it’s important to follow the correct steps to ensure the safety and efficiency of your heater.

Here’s how to turn on a wall heater:

Step 1: Locate the pilot light Locate the pilot light on your gas wall heater. It’s typically located near the selector dial.

Step 2: Ignition process:

Electric heaters: simply turn on the power switch or plug it in If you have an electric wall heater, turning it on is easy. Simply flip the power switch or plug it in.

Gas heaters: follow the pilot light ignition steps from Section 1 If you have a gas wall heater, you’ll need to follow the pilot light ignition steps from Section 1 to light the pilot light first. Once the pilot light is lit, turn the selector dial to the desired temperature setting.

Step 3: Set the temperature Set the temperature on the selector dials to your desired setting. This will allow your wall heater to start heating your space.

It’s important to turn off your wall heater when you’re not using it to conserve energy and prevent accidents. Be sure to turn off the wall heater when you leave the room or when you’re going to sleep.

Here is a video guide from “hoohoohoblin.”

Troubleshooting Common Gas Wall Heaters When Lighting Them Up

However, if you are facing issues such as problems with lighting up the pilot, you need to make the following checks:

Check the Gas Line

If you are using a propane-based heater, check the tank if there’s enough gas inside. In case you are using a natural gas heater, check the connections correctly.

Try lighting up the heater and notice if you can listen to a slight hissing sound and smell of propane or natural gas in the air.

If you are sure that the supply of gas is smooth, check there’s a possibility that the pilot aperture may be blocked. To clear the line, reach the combustion chamber and poke a needle into the opening.

Alternatively, you can disassemble the pilot tube and clear the compressed air. If this sounds complicated to you, seek some assistance from a professional or a technician.

Flickering Light

The pilot won’t light up or heat up if the flames continuously flicker. This can be an indication that there are a few blockages in the pilot tube. This may also be because of the faults within the thermocouple.

This may be fixed by pushing the heat sensor closer to the pilot so that it signals the gas valve to stay open and deliver a seamless supply of gas. However, if it doesn’t solve the problem, your thermocouple may need to be changed.

Lighting up the Heater

There can be instances when the heater won’t just light up even though the pilot is lit. This can be a result of a faulty thermostat, which doesn’t indicate the accurate temperature. You can check it by turning the dial all the way to “very hot” and check whether this does the trick.

If this doesn’t help, one of the wires leading toward the thermostat may have tripped. If that doesn’t work as well, this can be an indication that there are issues with the gas valve. You might want to hire a professional or a technician to do the job for you.

A Heater That Flicks

If the heater turns on and off too often, this might not be a good sign. This may be because of the blockages around the gas wall heater, such as plants or furniture, which don’t allow enough air to flow through. It can also be a result of thermostat or switch issues.

The heater Fan Turns On, But Not The Heating Element

This can be a clear indication of some wire breaking apart within the heating system. You might want to check the wiring inside by cutting off the cord, removing the thermostat knob, and then removing the unit from the wall. Check the wires carefully to check whether they are well connected. Tighten the cables that are connected to the heater. If this doesn’t help, you’ll probably need to install a new heating element.

The Heater Keeps On Running & Doesn’t Shut Off.

This is a common issue faced by those who have rooms too big for the heater. Poorly insulated rooms can worsen the problem further. If the room is too big, you might want to consider getting a bigger and more powerful heater for your room. Alternatively, you can consider adding weather stripping to the doors and windows. Also, add a layer of insulation to the external walls and doors.

Burning Smells

This is usually an indication that your heater is dirty and needs a bit of attention. While this is not a very serious issue as your heater can gain dirt from external sources, and the burning smell that you can sense is usually that of the dirt particles burning up in the first phase, particularly in cases when the heater is occasionally used or on a seasonal basis.

However, if the smell doesn’t dissipate after a while, then it may be time to check out with your technician, as prolonged burning smells can lead to something as worse as a fire or burn out the heating elements prematurely. If you haven’t used your gas wall heater for a while, cut off the power supply, open the radiator up and vacuum the dirt, debris, hair, and lint that have coagulated on the heating element.


Gas Wall Heaters have been around for a while and may remain around for at least a decade or two. They may get better in terms of efficiency and quality, but they would be around for a while. You must learn to light up the heater and to manage it well on your own. The weather can be unpredictable and ruin your day anytime.

With the set mentioned above of steps, you can not only light up a gas wall heater quite conveniently, but you can also manage and maintain your gas wall heater at any time, without even bothering to call a technician during inclement weather.