What I do every time I will be away for more than one night is turn the
water off at the main and turn the water heater to the pilot setting. For a
50 gallon heater I have about an hours recovery time when I come home.
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The "kid" should just get a long lighter and learn how to re-light the W/H.
Until those "long lighters" became a dollar $tore item, I had acually gone
so far as to use a LPG torch to light a W/H. But those dollar $tore
lighters are so cheap that you can just keep one permanent next to any gas
appliance with a standing pilot.
Using a match was definitely a PITA.
If you worry about losing it, just take a long piece of string and tie it to
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