How To Check And Light A Furnace Pilot Light

August 11 2018
Pilot light

How To Check And Light A Furnace Pilot Light       


Whilst many homeowners make use of electronic ignition furnaces, it’s not uncommon to still use a gas furnace fit with a standing pilot light. This is a light that burns continuously and works with the thermocouple within the furnace to control the flow of gas and the ignition of the burners.


However, pilot lights can go out due to the smallest breeze, and need to be regularly checked to ensure their efficiency. Here’s a simple guide on how you can easily check your furnace pilot light and a video on how to relight it if you need to.


Checking Your Pilot Light


Depending on what type of fuel your gas furnace uses, you’ll see a pilot light flame of a different color. Usually a natural gas flame should be bright blue with a tinge of yellow at the top, while a propane flame should be more of a blue-green color.


Checking your pilot light is the easy part, but you need to still be cautious when doing so in case of any unexpected issues.


To examine and inspect your pilot light follow the steps below.


  1. Remove the cover panel of your furnace. Once you’ve removed this panel, you should be able to see the burner assembly and the pilot light itself. If all’s working correctly, you should also be able to easily see the flame and the color of it.


  1. Depending on the state and strength of your flame, you may have to adjust it slightly by turning the small screw on the valve body so that it doesn’t cause the furnace to work inefficiently. If you’re unable to see a flame, this means that it’s likely your pilot light has been blown out, which is a common issue for these types of gas burners and one that can be easily fixed.


Lighting Your Pilot Light


While it may sound like a hassle, relighting a pilot light doesn’t take all that much time and is relatively easy to do. Depending on the model of furnace that you have and the type of valve that has been installed for the pilot light, the instructions will vary, so it’s best that you try to locate your instruction manual beforehand.


  1. At the bottom of your furnace, you’ll find a switch with the options of “pilot”, “on”, and “off”. The first thing you should do is locate this switch, turn it to the “off” position, and then wait for a minimum of 5 minutes. This is to ensure that you allow enough time for the gas to dissipate.


  1. Once you’ve let the gas clear, turn the switch to the “pilot” setting. Most furnaces will have a “reset” button near the dial itself which you then have to hold down whilst bringing the flame of a long lighter close to the opening of the pilot light. If done correctly and there are no further issues, this should relight the furnace pilot light and you can then release the reset button.


If your pilot light doesn’t stay lit or fails to keep a flame, then it’s likely that there are problems with the thermocouple within the gas furnace. Instead of taking the risk of trying to fix this yourself, get in touch with a professional so you know you and your furnace will be in safe hands.


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