How To Re-Light Your Gas Furnace's Pilot Light

3 December 2014
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


If you have a gas furnace, you have a furnace with some kind of a pilot light. The pilot light turns on the burner so that it will burn the gas so that it can heat your house. Without that pilot light, your furnace won't work. Even if you have had a gas furnace for a long time, you might not know where your pilot light is or how to relight it if it goes out. If you are new to gas furnaces, then you very likely don't know those things either.

However, it is something that you should know so that you can be prepared to get that pilot light lit if the gas goes out or the pilot light goes out:

Pilot Lights

Most gas furnaces do have pilot lights. However, the newest furnaces have something called electric ignition. That means that they don't have a pilot light, they are started by a small electric spark that turns on the burner. If you aren't sure which kind you have just looking at the furnace should be able to tell you.

If there is a small area where you can see into the furnace, you should be able to see where the pilot light should be. There may be a small tube in that area. That would help to give the light some fuel so that it will always stay lit. It may also be a box that has a valve on it, or knobs to set the pilot light. If you don't see those things, or your furnace is brand new, then you probably have an electric ignition furnace and there is nothing you can re-light.

If that is the case and your furnace isn't working, but your gas is on, you should call in a repair person to check it out for you. 

Re-lighting the Light

Before you go to get the pilot light lit again, make sure that your furnace has a demand on it. Do this by making sure that your thermostat is set to 80 or above, and is turned on to heat. Once you do this, it's time to go to your furnace. 

You should have been able to find where your pilot light is and to see a valve near it. You need to turn that valve to the off position. That makes sure that no gas is going into your pilot light. Then you need to wait for at least 3 minutes, but no more than 5, to make sure that the gas has fully cleared from the area. Then turn the valve back on. What you do next depends on one thing. 

If your furnace has a button that will spark the pilot light to turn on, then you need to push that button. Most gas furnaces will have that. All you need to do is push that button. However, if your furnace is really old, then you will need to manually light the light with a match. If you need to do that, you will need to be very careful. If you have a long match, that will be the best thing to use. 

If your pilot light still doesn't light, or won't stay on, do not continue to try to relight it. Turn your furnace off, and call a professional to come fix it. It's important to be safe. If you smell any gas, you should turn off the gas in your house and get out until a repair person can check it out. 

Re-lighting your pilot light doesn't have to be hard. Knowing how to do it, and where your light is, should be something that everyone knows how to do. To learn more, contact a company like Advanced Appliance Service Inc. with any questions you have.


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