Step-by-Step Guide To Relight Your Pilot Light

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To keep your Somerset home warm during the winter, your furnace needs to cycle on and off as necessary to maintain your desired temperature. This process requires a source of ignition to fire up the burners, and for gas furnaces that are a few years old, this is often a pilot light.

The pilot light makes a standing flame that ignites the burners as necessary, but it can be blown out like a candle flame. Relighting the pilot light is a relatively easy process, and it may prevent a late-night service call in the middle of winter. Learn why it could’ve happened and what to do about it with the experts at Binsky Home Service.

Why Did My Gas Furnace’s Pilot Light Go Out?

There are several reasons a pilot light can go out, including:

  • Random gusts of air: Fast-moving air can easily extinguish a pilot light. This issue can happen if an open door lets a breeze in, if a quickly closed door creates a gust of air, or if air is drawn into the furnace due to a problem with the flue, heat exchanger, or duct system.
  • A faulty thermocouple: A thermocouple is a safety device that senses the heat from the pilot light and turns off the gas supply if the pilot goes out to avoid filling your home with flammable gas. If the thermocouple is faulty or is not positioned close enough to the flame, it will extinguish the pilot light.
  • A faulty gas valve: If the valve isn’t working right, it can restrict the gas supply to the pilot light, allowing the flame to be extinguished or letting the thermocouple shut the gas off.

Steps To Reignite Your Pilot Light

Relighting the pilot light is a simple process, but it does involve flammable gas, so it’s important to be safe. You’ll need a long match or a lighter designed for an outdoor grill, as well as the owner’s manual for your furnace. Here are the basic steps to follow:

Read the Owner’s Manual

The owner’s manual will describe the manufacturer’s recommended procedure for lighting the pilot light, as well as the location of the important components. The pilot light, reset button, and gas valve are typically found near the center or bottom of the furnace, close to the burner tubes. A panel may need to be opened to gain access.

Turn Off the Gas Valve

During normal use, the gas valve will be turned to the “Pilot” position. Turn it to the “Off” position to start the relighting process.

Allow the Gas To Dissipate

If the pilot light was recently extinguished, there may be a bit of gas present. Wait about five minutes for the gas to dissipate so that you can safely relight it.

Turn on the Gas Supply

Make sure you have your lighter or matches handy, and turn the gas valve to the “Pilot” position.

Light the Pilot Light

Light your match or lighter, then hold down the “Reset” button for the furnace. Quickly move the lighter or match to the pilot light to ignite it, and release the “Reset” button only when the flame has stabilized or after the manufacturer’s recommended time period, typically 15 to 30 seconds.

Normally, the pilot light should burn for about 30 seconds. Then, if the temperature is below the setting on your thermostat, the burners will turn on. If the burners don’t come on or the pilot light doesn’t stay lit, there may be other problems, such as a faulty thermocouple.

Call an HVAC Professional in Central NJ!

If you’re having trouble keeping the pilot light lit or you’re not comfortable working on the furnace or around natural gas, turn to Binsky Home Service today.

We provide furnace repair services throughout Middlesex and Monmouth counties and have served our neighbors in the Somerset area for over 80 years. We’re even available 24/7 for HVAC help whenever you need us.

Get expert help with all your heating problems. Call Binsky Home Service to schedule furnace services anywhere in Somerset or Central Jersey.

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