How to Light Furnace Pilot Light When You Need It
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How to Light Furnace Pilot Light When You Need It

How to Light Furnace Pilot Light When You Need It

If you have an older model of a furnace which uses natural gas, it most likely has pilot lights which function significantly for burners because it acts as an ignition source. Its use is to provide the flame needed to light the gas coming out of the main burner. The small blue flame you see in a furnace is known to be the pilot light.  It comes out after a moment of turning on the furnace because a valve releases gas into the burner and the pilot light ignites that gas.

However, some furnace systems can cause the pilot light to go out despite its slightest breeze.  With that, it leaves the homeowner with no heat when the thermostat is turned up.  So, whatever reason you have to use a furnace, there are chances that it won’t cooperate or at least it won’t work once in a while when you needed it most. Even if that happens, manufacturers have precise instructions on how you can relight the pilot. If not, here are the general procedure on how pilot lights work.

Prepare to Light the Pilot

If you have an older model furnace with a standing pilot, then here are the necessary procedures to follow:

  1. Turn your thermostat on to 80 degrees. You need to make sure that the thermostat is in “Heat” mode.
  2. Locate the gas cock or knob.  Go to the furnace. Find the pilot valve.  It is a box-shaped device where the gas line will run.  It is near the gas burners with a gas cock or valve knob that is labeled as “On,” “Pilot” and “Off.”
  3. Turn off the gas cock or knob and wait about three minutes to clear away the residual gas.
  4. Find the pilot.  It can be seen near the gas burner tube assembly in the furnace.
  5. Prepare your match or lighter and get ready. There are cases that the pilot is hard to reach so if possible, try using a long fireplace match when you light it.  If you do not have such, get a paper then roll it tightly so that you can use its endpoint to light the pilot.

Relighting the Furnace’s Pilot Light

  1. Turn the gas valve to “Pilot” from its “Off” mode, if you have a pilot with a red Reset button.  If it does not have a red button, turn the knob from “Off” to “Pilot.”
  2. While depressing and holding the button or depressing the knob appropriately, place the lit match or ignited lighter tip or any means you have that has already lit at the pilot.
  3. Press down the button or knob for about 30 seconds.  By doing this, it can maintain gas flow to the pilot until the thermocouple gets hot enough to open the main gas valve.
  4. Slowly release the button or knob once the pilot says lit.  Then, turn the gas cock or knob from the position of “Pilot” to the “On” position. When you do this, it will ignite the burners and keep the flow of gas supplied as required for the heaters.
  5. When the burner fails to ignite, there may be chances that it is because the thermostat was not hot enough to open the gas valve. So, wait a few minutes and then repeat the above procedure on relighting the pilot light. However, this time, hold the red Reset button or depress the knob for about 45 to 60 seconds.
  6. Once the main furnace burners ignite, adjust the thermostat to whatever setting you desire.

Safety Reminders

Before getting on the fixation of your furnace, you might as well take consideration on the following vital reminders you need to remember which could help you in any circumstance.

  1. If you followed the instructions above or in the manufacturer’s instructions, but still it won’t work, something is wrong with the furnace so contact a furnace professional automatically.
  2. Put a distance between you and the igniting pilot light upon trying to light it off.
  3. Turn off the furnace before trying to light it off because the excess gas can cause severe damage which can also lead to injury.
  4. Do not attempt to fix your furnace yourself other than the pilot light, unless you are knowledgeable in furnace repair because even if the furnace is safe, its gas is dangerous.


How to Light Furnace Pilot Light When You Need It

The following procedures are general instructions to lighting your furnaces’ pilot light. Fixing it does not need skill, you can do it yourself when the necessity arises. Just make sure that you follow the steps on how to relight and prepare a furnace’s pilot light while taking into consideration essential reminders for safety. If you have followed these, you will not be having trouble and perhaps get your furnace fixed in no time.

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