Talking About Air Conditioners

Fixing Problems With Your Pilot Light

If you have an older furnace in your home, the furnace likely relies on a pilot light to produce the heat needed to warm your home. Homeowners can become frustrated with the lack of constant heat when a furnace's pilot light will not stay lit.

Troubleshooting a faulty pilot light doesn't have to be challenging, you just have to know where to begin.

Clear a clogged pilot light orifice

Your pilot light burns out of a small hole. When this hole becomes clogged up with dirt or debris, the flame cannot penetrate through the clog and ignite your furnace. You can easily clear out a clogged pilot light orifice using a thin piece of wire.

Make sure that you turn off the gas supply feeding your furnace and that you switch the main breaker off to prevent electrical currents from posing a threat while you are making repairs. Stick the wire into the orifice and wiggle it around to knock loose any debris that has built up within the orifice.

Reset the electrical breaker and turn the gas on, and you should be able to get your pilot light to stay lit properly.

Adjust the flame height

Most furnaces allow the pilot light flame to be adjusted so that homeowners can customize the flame to meet their needs. If your pilot light is constantly blowing out, you may need to adjust the flame height to preserve proper function.

Check your owner's manual to discover the location of the flame adjustment screw. Turn the flame adjustment screw slowly until you can achieve a steady pilot light flame that burns a deep blue color. If you see any yellow in the flame, this could be an indication that your furnace is in need of professional repair.

Replace a broken thermocouple

When the pilot light in your furnace is lit properly, it heats up a special copper rod known as a thermocouple. As the temperature of the thermocouple rises, it sends a signal letting your furnace know that the pilot light is producing enough heat to burn off any gas being fed into the furnace.

This triggers the release of natural gas, allowing your furnace to complete the combustion process. If your pilot light will not stay lit, the problem might be a faulty thermocouple. Replace the thermocouple and adjust your pilot light flame to achieve maximum efficiency when it comes to heating your home.

For more information, contact your local furnace repair service.