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Relighting the Furnace Pilot 

Written by Comfort Solutions HVAC on . Posted in .

Tips from Your Comfort Team in Easton, PA

Inside your gas furnace is a burner, and that burner is ignited by an electronic ignition or standing pilot flame. Newer furnaces rarely use a pilot flame, but if your heater is older or has an efficiency rating of 80 percent or less, you may still have a pilot.

When the pilot goes out, the gas burner fails to operate, and it is the primary cause of a gas furnace failing to work. If you choose to relight the pilot yourself, you must do so correctly and cautiously. After all, you are dealing with a flame and working gas.

Here are the proper steps you must take to light your pilot:

  • Find Your Pilot Light and Assembly: Your pilot light is usually located at the bottom of the furnace by a knob. This knob is your switch assembly, and it lets you turn the pilot on and off.
  • Turn Off the Pilot: Next, you need to turn the knob to the “off” setting. Now, you need to wait for a little bit before proceeding. By turning your system “off” you are preventing the flow of gas, but any gas that was emitted before turning it off may still be present. Therefore, you want to give it time to dissipate.
  • Light the Pilot: Turn the knob back over to the “pilot” setting. This is restarting the flow of gas. Use a lit match or lighter, then depress the reset button on the switch. While depressed, hold your flame by the pilot’s opening. Once you see the pilot burning brightly, release your reset button and you should see the furnace kick up automatically.
  • Watch and Wait: Never walk away immediately after the pilot lights successfully. Instead, you should sit and wait. Make sure the pilot flame stays lit and look around for any drafts that might have blown out the pilot.

If the pilot lights, but the flame is weak, or you notice a yellowish color, your pilot is not going to get hot enough to heat your thermocouple and force the gas valve open. Flames on a pilot should be blue with a tint of yellow at the tip. If the flame is not steady, seems weak or it is shaky, you should contact your HVAC team from Comfort Solutions HVAC.

There are a variety of reasons why a pilot light may continue to die out, but regardless you need a professional to ensure that there are no internal issues with your gas line or combustion system.

Call us at 610-438-9300 or request an estimate for furnace repairs or to schedule your diagnostic appointment.