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You're not doing anything wrong. It sounds like the heater has a problem. Based on your description the most likely issue is a flame sensing issue. If you'd like to try to fix this yourself and you feel confident working on a gas appliance then I need the model number of your unit to assist you further. It would also help to know what you have for a gas control valve (where you usually adjust the water temp). Does it have 2 arrows or a dial to adjust the temp?
I need to know which LED's (specifically ) are lit. Left to right which ones are lit
Ok, that's a generic ignition failure error. The most likely culprit based on your description is a dirty/bad flame sensor(see attached pic for typical). It's positioned in the burner flame and it's position relative to the burner is critical. You can clean off the metal rod with fine aluminum oxide sandpaper. Also vacuum out any debris or rust flakes inside the chamber since they can ground out the sensor also causing this failure.