The Pilot Light When Out On My Furnace. What Do I Do?
Written on: April 20, 2021
If you have an older gas furnace, one problem you may encounter over the course of a long heating season is a burned-out pilot light.
The primary cause of most pilot light failure is wind or drafts (see below). But there are other reasons that could be causing the pilot light to go out that require professional HVAC service to fix.
Causes Of Pilot Light Issues
Larger problems that could result in pilot light outage include:
- A clogged intake valve – A buildup of dust or debris can cut off oxygen to the pilot light chamber, making it difficult for its flame to “breathe.”
- A damaged thermocouple – A thermocouple is an electrical switch that varies its output when temperatures change – on your gas furnace, it’s used to cut off gas supply as a safety measure. A qualified technician must repair or replace a damaged thermocouple; it’s not a DIY job.
- A slow leak – Insufficient fuel reaching the pilot light can cause your flame to glow yellow rather than blue – a yellow pilot light flame usually indicates a leak somewhere in your system. Your furnace responds to that leak by automatically shutting down for safety reasons. Do not attempt to repair heating system leaks yourself – contact us for service.
Wind And Drafts
Most pilot lights simply blow out; luckily, this is one of the easiest problems to fix. Follow the steps below to reset your pilot light. PLEASE NOTE: Always follow manufacturer’s instructions if they say something different than below.
- Step 1: Find the gas valve in the pilot light assembly; it typically has “on,” “off,” and “pilot” settings.
- Step 2: Turn the valve to the OFF position and wait three minutes or more for It to reset.
- Step 3: After three minutes, turn the valve to the PILOT setting and hold a lighted match next to (not inside!) the pilot light opening. While holding the match, push and hold the reset button on the pilot control panel until you see the pilot light ignite, then set the valve to the ON position.
- Step 4: If the pilot light doesn’t light after several attempts, contact us for service.
Need expert heating service in the Hudson Valley? Trust the pros at Downey Energy. Contact us today to learn more about heating maintenance in Dutchess County, Orange County, Putnam County and northern Westchester County.