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If it is a regular gas hot water heater You need to turn the knob on the gas valve to pilot. Depress and hold the knob down. while doing that press the green button on the side of the valve . you may have to repeat that a few times. that button makes a spark to light the pilot. You need to hold the knob down for about a minute more to let the thermocouple heat up and signal the gas valve that it has a flame. release the knob . if the pilot flame stays on ,turn the knob back to the on position. If that does not work repeat if still not working give more info. Make and model of heater
Even after replacing thermostat and motherboard offered from company, my heater would trigger e3 error code and shut off. After several (maybe 100!) different attempts to plug in and operate, here is what worked for me!
Depress the power button on the heater while plugging in to wall circuit. Continuously depress power button. It will run through a test cycle and attempt to start. Keep depressing the power button as the heater tries to start, then shuts down with e3 error. While the power button is still depressed, unplug the unit from the wall. When I plug back in the wall the E3 error is gone. Good luck
Make sure the trip button on the bottom of the heater is fully depressed when sitting on the floor. This is a safety tip over device. The button on the bootom must be in contact with the floor surface or it will shut off.
Basically hold in the child lock button for two seconds. If the child lock was activated and you then turned the unit offt the child lock remains set and will stop you turning the unit on. To deactivate, make sure you have the power lead pluggeed in and turned on. Before you depress the ON/OFFbutton, hold in the child lock button for two seconds. This will deactivate the child lock and allow you to turn the heater on.
Here is a link to a users manual, check out page 11.
The thermocouple is bad. That is the part right next to the pilot light that sense's the flame and hold the gas valve open to the pilot. Take the old thermocouple off and go to hard ware store and get a 18" one of what ever length you need and replace. 5 dollar part.