If your tank has just been serviced with oil or gas, chances are there is air in the lines and this will prevent it from lighting. Bleed the lines according to the instructions provided with your model Richmond water heater and try to light the pilot light again.
If your water heater does not light after 4 trys, or if on a gas water heater, you smell gas when the feed line is turned off, do not attempt to light the pilot. Call a water heater technician immediately. Water heaters are capable of exploding should certain parts in their design fail.
Homeowners can find that trying to light the pilot light on Richmond water heaters is a frustrating experience, mostly because the Richmond water heater no longer uses the old fashioned pilot light, but an ignition switch and an internal pilot light. Using an electronic ignition has its pluses and minuses. The minus is repair to the switch must be done by a professional, the plus is that it is easier and safer to light than a pilot light.
Make sure the gas or oil feed to your Richmond water heater is in the "on" position and the unit is plugged into an electrical source.
Open the door at the base of the front of your Richmond water heater. Do this by grabbing the small handle on the door, pulling it up and then out from the water heater. These doors are not made with hinges but slide into place like a drawer.
Look inside the door. You will see a feed line and an ignition button. Both will be clearly labeled. Make sure the knob on the feed line is turned to "on", then press and hold the ignition button down for 5 seconds and then release. This will light the internal pilot light. On some models the ignition knob is located on the outside of the tank, above the door, but the feed line will still be inside.
Repeat Step 3 if you do not hear the tell-tale "whoosh" sound of the pilot catching.
Cassandra Tribe has worked in the construction field for over 17 years and has experience in a variety of mechanical, scientific, automotive and mathematical forms. She has been writing and editing for over 10 years. Her areas of interest include culture and society, automotive, computers, business, the Internet, science and structural engineering and implementation.