One of the most common issues you might encounter when dealing with an older furnace is that a pilot light can go out and the furnace needs to be reignited. The idea of relighting a furnace may seem daunting, but, generally, it is not that complicated of a procedure. We are here to help guide you through the process so that you can have that furnace back up and running in no time.
Reasons a Furnace May Need to Be Re-Lit
There are multiple reasons that a pilot light in a furnace could go out and need to be re-lit. It could be due to:
- Weak flame
- A nearby draft
If the furnace pilot light has been burning inefficiently, there is a device called a thermocouple that is used to measure temperature. Ideally, the furnace pilot light should be burning bright blue. If it is burning at a lower temperature that causes the flame to turn orange, the thermocouple will cut off the gas to your pilot light as a safety measure.
The reason for the flame burning cooler could be contaminants like dirt or debris blocking the passage of oxygen to the pilot light. It may be something more complicated, though, so if a weak flame is the reason for the furnace pilot light going out, you may want to have a professional take a look.
Sometimes, it could be something as simple as a strong draft near the pilot light that is causing it to blow out. If troubleshooting, be sure to check around the vicinity of the pilot light for any potential drafts that could be blowing it out.
Re-Lighting a Furnace
The furnace should have detailed instructions attached to it about how to safely re-ignite the flame. It is our recommendation to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. If you find that there are no instructions attached to be followed, these general directions we provide should solve the problem.
The general steps for re-lighting a furnace are:
- Locating the pilot light assembly
- Turning off the valve
- Re-lighting the pilot light
- Checking your work
First of all, you are going to want to find the location of the pilot light assembly. This is typically located toward the bottom of the furnace. It should have a gas valve with settings labeled “on,” “off,” and “pilot.” From here, you are going to turn the gas valve to the “off” setting and wait at least three minutes. This will turn the gas off, and waiting the recommended three minutes will allow any prior gas flow to dissipate. Please note that waiting this amount of time is integral for proper safety, and it is a step that should not be skipped.
Next, you are going to switch the panel to the “pilot” setting. Light a match, and hold it up to the pilot’s opening at the same time that you push reset on the pilot’s control panel. If multitasking isn’t your strong suit, have someone handle the reset while you ignite the pilot or vice-versa. Be sure to keep pressing down on the button until the flame is burning bright. After this, immediately set the valve to the “on” position, and the furnace should start.
To make sure everything is working properly, wait a bit to ensure that the pilot light is staying on. If the pilot light is not staying lit, there could potentially be a clog. To address this potential issue, take a piece of fine wire, and attempt to clean out the opening of the valve once you have turned the valve off. If after a few attempts, you are still having issues keeping it lit, you are going to want to call in an expert.
At Underwood AC LLC, we have been in the business for over 30 years helping those in Davenport and its surrounding areas. We are here to help if you run into any problems with re-lighting your furnace. In fact, we are available to provide a full range of heating and cooling services, including furnace and AC repair, installation, and maintenance. Our dedicated technicians have a work ethic that is unmatched in the industry. We are meticulous with our services and will always keep the safety of you and your family as our top priority. If you need a licensed professional’s help at any time, do not hesitate to give us a call.