Where Is the Pilot Light on a Furnace? + How to Relight It

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
  • Stoves
  • Ovens
  • 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

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.

where is the pilot light on a furnace flame

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!

Haley Lasché
Haley Lasché
1716002159
We had an excellent experience with Aquarius. Our plumber, Erik, was efficient and thorough. He made a complete assessment and gave me different options for the repairs I could make. He also prepared me for the costs of the repairs we knew we needed to make now as well as the repairs we will likely need to make in the future. I felt like I was able to make a good choice about what needed to be done today, and I’m ready for what to expect in the coming years as we care for and repair the 75-year-old house we love so much. I will absolutely use them again.
James Pike
James Pike
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Ronald Peterson
Ronald Peterson
1715970709
Problem solved. Simple error on our part with the power switch turned off by mistake. Quick effective service.
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Donn Satrom
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Wanda Bester
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Excellent!!
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Jon Roloff
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Christopher Eggert
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vivek javangula
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Nick visited my home today for an AC tuneup, he certainly did a great job beyond expectations and explained how to take better care of my furnace unit and AC unit. Hands down the best
M Engelen
M Engelen
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Kay Milbrath
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Jerrold Wood
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Jason Anderson
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betty cornwell
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Vincent Ruane
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Very positive HVAC service call by technician Riley.Riley is professional, competent, respectful and very thorough.He explains his findings and recommendations very effectively. He is clearly driven to providing a outstanding result.
mark stevenson
mark stevenson
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Danielle F
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Nick was very personable and professional at the same time. Staff was easy to work with in getting services scheduled. The reminders of the appointment were nice to have, the phone call when they were on their way is also nice. (Instead of waiting a 6 hour block and not knowing when they will arrive.)
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Kyle McKeever
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Aliciea Her
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Derrick Chamley
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Professional and informative. Mike C was great!
C. C.
C. C.
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Daniel Bakken
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John Jansen
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bruce armstrong
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Gary Winkel
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Dale Ebben
Dale Ebben
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Thomas Gruetzmacher
Thomas Gruetzmacher
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Paul was great! He went above and beyond installing our new water heater! He was so polite and explained everything to me clearly. Thank you for doing a great job!
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Eric Meyer
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Terry Bluhm
Terry Bluhm
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Skyler Holloway
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Mike Gunderson
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Judi Huempfner
Judi Huempfner
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All went well other than Mike was not made aware of the filters he needed so, new ones were not put in. He is going to have the main office either send or have your Mora guy drop them off. Hopefully, I will not have to wait days for this to happen. Not happy about the lack of not giving Mike the updated info. ( If mailed, I do not feel I should pay the mailing charges)Judi Huempfner
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Lindau Jax
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Ellen Malicki
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Daniel Dean Latham
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Dale Fasching
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Ben
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Jenny Woods
Jenny Woods
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Erik and John….the Johnson brothers were professionals at their plumbing job at my house…, looks and works good….very knowledgeable and friendly. I will have them finish 2 more jobs at my home.
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