Why Won’t My Furnace Pilot Light Stay On, and What to Do If It Goes Out

As the cold season returns, many of you are readying your homes to keep the warmth in. A vital part of this preparation is ensuring your furnace is working correctly. A common issue that many encounter is the pilot light going out. In this article, we cover why this happens and what you can do to remedy it. Let’s keep those homes cozy and warm!

Understanding the Issue

The pilot light is a small flame that is the source of power for your gas furnace. If this light goes out, it means your furnace won’t be able to provide heat to your home. Learn about common reasons why your furnace’s pilot light might not be staying on below.

Common Causes and Solutions

1. Drafts

Cause: Sometimes, a simple draft can be the culprit, blowing out the pilot light. Solution: Ensure that there are no drafts in the area where the furnace is located. You might need to rearrange your room or add some weather stripping to doors and windows.

2. Dirty Pilot Orifice

Cause: Over time, the pilot orifice can accumulate dirt and grime, which can block the gas flow, causing the pilot light to go out. Solution: This requires a cleaning which you can do cautiously with a piece of fine wire or call a professional like ABA Heating and Cooling to handle it for you.

3. Faulty Thermocouple

Cause: The thermocouple is a safety device that detects whether the pilot light is on. A faulty thermocouple might fail to keep the gas valve open, causing the pilot light to go out. Solution: This might require adjusting or replacing the thermocouple, a task best handled by a professional HVAC service technician.

4. Inadequate Gas Supply

Cause: Sometimes, the issue could be a restricted gas supply to the pilot light, making it unable to stay lit. Solution: Check the gas valve to make sure it’s fully open, allowing gas to reach the pilot light. If problems persist, call a technician to investigate further.

Steps to Relight Your Pilot Light

If your pilot light goes out, here are the general steps to relight it:

  1. Safety First: Turn off the furnace and wait for 5-10 minutes to let any gas dissipate.
  2. Locate Instructions: Many furnaces have a label with instructions on how to relight the pilot light. Follow these instructions carefully.
  3. Relight the Pilot Light: Typically, this involves turning the gas valve to ‘pilot,’ holding down a reset button, and lighting the pilot light with a lighter or match.
  4. Test the Furnace: Once the pilot light is lit, turn the furnace back on to check if it’s working correctly.
  5. Seek Professional Help: If the pilot light goes out again or you cannot light it, it’s time to call a technician from ABA Heating and Cooling to diagnose and fix the issue.

Contact Our Experts For Furnace Repair In Austin

Keeping your home warm begins with ensuring your furnace is running efficiently. Understanding why the pilot light won’t stay on and how to fix it is a skill every homeowner should possess. For all furnace-related issues, remember, the team at ABA Heating and Cooling is here to help you stay warm this winter.