One of the most common gas furnace problems is a pilot light that goes out only seconds after being lit. Not only is this frustrating, but since it can keep your furnace from starting up properly, it can be quite distressing as well. Fortunately, this problem is often relatively simple to overcome. This article will teach you how to troubleshoot a pilot light that keeps going out.
How a Pilot Light Works
The whole idea of a pilot light is that it stays lit all the time. When
working, this is the result of the accompanying component known as the thermocouple.
The thermocouple senses the heat from the pilot and sends an electrical impulse
to the gas valve, telling it to keep the pilot light’s gas flow open. Should
the pilot light go out, the thermocouple will cool down and the gas valve
leading to the pilot tube will close. This is a safety precaution used to
prevent gas from leaking out into your home.
In order to light the pilot, the flow of gas must be restored once more.
This is done by pressing a manual override button on the gas valve. This button
allows gas to flow up the pilot tube, despite the fact that the thermocouple is
not telling the valve to open.
The most common reason for a pilot light to sputter and go out after being
lit is that the override button was not depressed for long enough. In other
words, the thermocouple simply hasn’t had long enough to heat up. Next time you
try lighting the pilot, continue to hold down the override button for ten or
fifteen seconds. This will greatly increase the likelihood that your pilot
As always, please feel free to call Blackie's Heating and Air Conditioning
with any questions and/or service needs you may have.