Your furnace relies on a pilot light that is responsible for lighting the burners. When this pilot light goes out, your furnace can’t produce the much-needed heat that your family needs to stay warm during those cold days of the year. Fortunately, with a little knowledge and get-it-done attitude, you can learn how to relight your furnace’s pilot light, so you don’t have to wait for a professional.

Locate the Pilot Light Assembly

Before you can attempt the relighting process, you need to first determine the location of the pilot light assembly on your furnace. It’s typically found near the bottom section of your furnace and will have a knob by it. The knob will have three settings, which are pilot, on and off. If you’re struggling to find the assembly, you should refer to your owner’s manual or contact an HVAC professional for assistance.

Turn the Knob to Off

It’s advisable to start by turning the knob to the off position. This will stop the flow of fuel to the pilot light assembly. It’s best to give it about one minute to let the excess fuel dissipate into the air before continuing. After waiting a minute, it’s time to turn the knob to the pilot position.

Relight Your Furnace

Now, it’s time to relight your furnace. You’ll want to ensure that the tool that you use to light the flame is long enough to keep your fingers out of the pilot light assembly area. A long matchstick or a grill lighter will work just fine.

It’s important that you hold down the reset button when you light the flame. You’ll want to keep the button depressed until the pilot light has a solid flame. The flame should be a solid blue color. If it’s yellow or flickering, it could indicate that you have another problem that needs to be addressed before you can successfully relight your pilot light.

Assess Your Furnace

Once your pilot light is correctly lit, it’s time to switch it on. Your furnace should automatically kick on. You should spend a few moments assessing your pilot light to ensure that it stays lit. If you’re having trouble getting the pilot light to stay lit, you’ll need to assess what’s causing the root problem.

Common Reasons Your Pilot Light May Go Out

There are several reasons that your furnace’s pilot light may go out. First, it may be something as simple as you ran out of fuel, or a draft blew it out. Both scenarios are easy and self-explanatory fixes. If you don’t believe your pilot light went out because of lack of fuel or a draft, it could be a problem with the pilot light assembly components.

Faulty Pilot Light Assembly Components

There are three different components of your furnace’s pilot light assembly that could result in the pilot light going out. These include the thermocouple, pilot orifice, and gas regulator.

The thermocouple is essentially a sensor that detects whether there is a flame, also known as the pilot light, that is active. If there is no flame, the thermocouple is to shut off the fuel supply to the pilot light assembly to prevent unused gas from filling up your home. Your thermocouple can malfunction in three different ways.

First, the thermocouple could break down. This will require a complete replacement of the part. Second, the thermocouple’s sensor may just be blocked by soot buildup. Cleaning the sensor screen will remedy this issue. Third, the thermocouple’s sensor may just be out of alignment. Realigning the sensor so it lines up with the flame will fix this problem quickly.

Your pilot light gets fuel from the pilot orifice. Over time, loose debris can accumulate inside of this orifice and decrease or completely shut off the fuel supply to the pilot light. You’ll likely notice a weak yellow flame. Cleaning out the orifice will solve this problem.

The third component that may cause issues is the gas regulator. This problem is more prominent than the others as you’ll lose adequate gas flow to other appliances throughout your home, like your dryer and stove. This issue is best handled by an HVAC professional.

Reliable Heating Service

Breckinridge Heating & Cooling is your reliable heating service provider in Louisville. We’re also available for all your cooling and indoor air quality needs. Call us today to get the help that you need with your home.

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