What to Do If Your Pilot Light Goes Out

January 19, 2017

Pilot lights are commonly found on older model furnaces, and while they serve a very important purpose, also pose a safety hazard in the event they should go out. Instructions on how to relight the pilot light are typically found affixed to the appliance itself, or in the original owner’s manual. Knowing what to do if your pilot light goes out, and when to call for service or repair, can help keep your home and family safe and comfortable throughout heating season.

Contact Rick’s Heating & Cooling for assistance, or around the clock emergency repair in the event you are unable to keep the flame lit or if you have any other questions or concerns with your heating or cooling system.

How Does A Pilot Light Work?

A number of components work together in older model furnaces, to maintain the flow of natural gas to the appliance as needed. When heat is called for and the furnace turns “on,” a valve releases gas to the main burner, and the pilot light ignites the gas. This small, blue, perpetually burning flame is created when a small amount of gas is channeled through a small tube in the gas pipe. In the event that the pilot light should blow out, the tube has a valve which, when shut off by the thermocouple, stops the flow of gas to prevent it from building up in side your home.

What Causes A Pilot Light To Go Out?

There are a number of reasons why your pilot light may blow out. Some you may be able to rectify yourself, while others require the services of a professional.

  • Draft. A sudden or steady rush of air can easily blow out the standing pilot light. Once it is relit, check the surrounding area for the source of a draft to prevent it from reoccurring.
  • Faulty thermocouple. If your pilot light repeatedly goes out, this is a likely culprit. If this flame sensor should fail, gas will continue to flow even after the pilot light has been extinguished, causing a safety hazard, and requiring immediate repair.
  • Dirty pilot orifice. If, upon reigniting the pilot light, the flame burns a weak yellow instead of blue, the pilot orifice may be dirty. Call Rick’s Heating & Cooling for professional service.

What Should You Do If Your Pilot Light Goes Out?

The pilot light controls, assembly, and instructions for lighting, are typically located at the front of the unit for easy access. If you are unable to locate the manufacturers instructions, general instructions are as follows:

  1. Locate the pilot light assembly, including the gas valve with “On,” “Off,” and “Pilot” settings, and pilot reset button
  2. Rotate the valve to the “Off” position, and wait several minutes
  3. Rotate the valve to the “Pilot” position, and hold a barbecue lighter or long match to the pilot opening while pushing the pilot reset button.
  4. Keep the button pressed until the flame is lit and burning strongly, then release and turn the gas valve to the “On” position.
  5. In the event the flame will not remain lit, rotate the gas valve to the “Off” position and call for service.

Emergency Furnace Repair In Morrow, OH

The skilled technicians at Rick’s Heating & Cooling can provide expert assistance with all your heating concerns, including issues with your pilot light. Give us a call today at 513-899-6005, or contact us online to request service.