Solved: What to Do When Pilot Light Goes Out

The furnace going out is one of the most common problems with aging gas furnaces. Many homeowners are confused when the pilot light goes out, as they don’t where the problem is. Are you one of the homeowners that wondering what to do when pilot light goes out?

HVAC companies recommend you look at the front of the furnace for instructions on how to relight it. If there are no instructions, follow these steps:

Begin with turning off the control valve and check other appliances to see the status of their pilot lights. If they are out, turn their gas control valves off too. You should then wait 5-10 minutes for the gas fumes to dissipate, then open the door to the furnace.

Locate the pilot light then light a match and hold it next to the pilot light tube and turn the gas control knob to “pilot.”

Finally, press the reset switch and light the tube. It’s common for the pilot light to fail to re-ignite the first time. If this happens, simply repeat the process once or twice. If this still doesn’t work, contact your local plumber and ask them to look at your lines.

Is it safe to light your own pilot light?

It might be safe to light the light on your own, especially if the light didn’t go out due to leakage. While this is the case, to be safe, it’s always wise to hire a professional to do it. In addition to the professional safely lighting the pilot light, he will also inspect the other parts of your furnace and fix any issue that might be there.

What is the purpose of the pilot light?

The pilot light is designed to shut off the gas valve to the pilot light when it extinguishes or burns inefficiently. The light is usually small, and it continuously burns until when a problem comes about and it goes out.

What can make the pilot light to go out?

The pilot light can go out due to plenty of reasons. The most common ones being:

You have an old appliance

If you have a gas or propane furnace, chances are the pilot light is over 20 years. Like any other old appliance, you are bound to have some parts that are worn out, running inefficiently, or dirty. A combination of these leads to the pilot light going out.

The heat exchanger is cracked

A crack in your heat exchanger will affect the air pressure and venting inside the combustion chamber which directly affects the flame inside. Depending on the location of crack, air can blow inside the heat exchanger and onto the flame and put it out.

You have gas valve and gas supply problems

For the pilot light to stay lit, there needs to be a reliable source of gas and propane. When there are problems with the gas valve that supplies that gas to the flame, it can put out the flame.

The flame will also go out if the gas supply has run low or out.

You have improper venting and airflow

Sometimes the flame will go out because of something as simple as wind or air blowing directly at it. This often happens when the flue pipe is poorly set up or the venting is poorly done.

You have thermocouple problems

The thermocouple determines whether your furnace pilot light is lit. The thermocouple is positioned close to the flame and when lit, the pilot light signals to the thermocouple to keep the gas line open. A dirty or malfunctioning thermocouple will shut off the gas supply because of errors, causing the pilot light to go out and the furnace to stop working.

The furnace is dirty

If you have gone for a long time without cleaning the furnace, it means all the other parts of the furnace are dirty, including the pilot orifice. A dirty pilot orifice means the pilot light won’t get enough fuel to sustain itself, so it keeps going off.

A healthy pilot light is blue, so if the flame turns red or yellow, the pilot light isn’t receiving enough fuel which might be due to a dirty furnace.

To fix this you simply need to clean the furnace by yourself or hire a furnace service Long Island provider to help you out. The cool thing is beside the flame burning healthily, cleaning the furnace also keeps the furnace in top working condition so it has a long life and consumes little energy.

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