Do you know where the pilot light is on your furnace? If not, don’t worry— you’re not alone. Many people don’t know how to relight a pilot light or are scared to try, but it’s actually a very simple process.
Today we’ll show you where the pilot light is on a furnace and how to relight it (safely). We will also provide some tips for troubleshooting when the pilot light goes out and what to do next before calling for a furnace repair.
What is a Pilot Light?
A pilot light is a small flame that ignites the gas in your furnace. Other types of gas-burning appliances with a pilot light include:
- Water heaters
- Gas fireplaces
- Central heating systems
In your furnace, the purpose of the pilot light is to provide a constant source of ignition for the burner. When the burner is lit, it heats the air that flows through your furnace and into your home.
The pilot light is there to provide a continuous flame that will ignite the gas when it’s turned on. Pilot lights can go out for a variety of reasons, but the most common one is simply that the wind blew it out. But a blockage or leak in your furnace can also cause it to go out. It’s very important to locate the pilot light early on when you buy your furnace or your home, so you can also know when it is or isn’t lit.
Where Is the Pilot Light on a Furnace?
The pilot light is usually located near the bottom of the furnace, near the front. It may be hidden behind a small access panel. On some furnaces, the pilot light will be visible through a small window on the front of the furnace. If you cannot find the pilot light on your furnace, consult your owner’s manual.
How to Safely Relight Your Pilot Light
If your pilot light goes out, it’s easy enough to relight it, even for the non-handy homeowner. Here are some simple steps to lighting the pilot light safely.
- Step 1: Locate the pilot light. As we mentioned, it should be located near the bottom of the furnace, near the front, and potentially behind a small access panel or window.
- Step 2: Once you have found the pilot light, turn it to the “off” position.
- Step Three: Wait five minutes before relighting the pilot light. This will give the gas time to dissipate and clear out of the area. If you do not wait five minutes, there is a risk of explosion or fire.
- Step Four: After five minutes have passed, relight the pilot light by holding a long lighter to the end of the pilot light tube and pressing the igniter button.
- Step Five: Hold the igniter button down for 30 to 60 seconds until you see the pilot light flame stay lit. If it does not stay lit, repeat steps four and five.
- Step Six: Once the pilot light is relit, the final step is to turn the knob back to the “on” position and make sure it’s working properly.
Note: If you can’t find the pilot light, contact an HVAC technician.
You’re all done! These simple steps will help you relight your pilot light quickly and easily, with no need to call a professional. For a more visual guide, check out this video below:
Troubleshooting Recurrent Pilot Light Issues
It’s normal for your pilot light to go out every once in a while due to a draft or poor ventilation, but if it’s happening more frequently, you might have a problem with the thermocouple or other parts in your furnace. It’s very important to pay attention to recurrent pilot light issues, and you can troubleshoot a few things first before calling the pros.
A Bad Thermocouple
A thermocouple is a safety feature in your furnace that turns off the gas if the pilot light goes out. It’s a small copper rod that sits next to the pilot light and is connected to the gas valve. If your pilot light keeps going out, it might be because the thermocouple is bad and needs to be replaced.
Not Getting Enough Combustible Air
Another reason your pilot light might keep going out is because it’s not getting enough air. This can be due to a number of reasons, such as:
- A dirty or blocked air filter
- A cracked heat exchanger
- Poorly sealed windows and doors in the room where the furnace is located
- An obstructed flue pipe.
Make sure your furnace is getting the airflow it needs, then relight the pilot light and check to be sure it stays lit. If not, it may be another issue.
Clogged Intake Valve
If your furnace’s intake valve is clogged, it won’t be able to get the gas it needs to keep the pilot light lit. This is another easy fix that you can do yourself without calling a professional. Simply locate the intake valve (it will have a small screen on it), and clean out any debris that may be blocking it. Once it’s clear, relight the pilot light and check to be sure it stays lit.
When to Call in a Professional
With these tips, you should be able to troubleshoot recurrent pilot light issues and get your furnace up and running again in no time. Still, having trouble? The issue could be beyond your capabilities as a homeowner or something bigger, like your furnace reaching its end of life and requiring replacement. But ultimately, only a trained HVAC professional can make that call.
If you’re facing recurrent pilot light issues, reach out to the amazing team at Aquarius Home Services. We have the training and expertise to inspect, diagnose, and fix your furnace issues— big or small. We also offer a 100% performance guarantee on all service repairs.
Should your pilot light issues keep coming back, we will offer completely FREE repair for up to a year after our initial service. For a team confident in their work, choose Aquarius. Check out our coupon discounts and contact us on our website!