How To Check Pilot Light On Furnace? Vital Tips And Guide

Understanding The Pilot Light On Furnace. 

Check your furnace’s pilot light regularly! It’s a key component for the safe and efficient operation of your gas furnace.

  • You need to turn the gas valve control knob to “off”, wait 5 minutes, then try to relight the pilot light.
  • Hold a lit match or electronic igniter at the pilot orifice base and turn the gas valve control knob to “pilot”. If it doesn’t light, try resetting the reset button and repeat.
  • If you have recurrent issues, it could be a problem with the thermocouple or gas supply line. 
  • Get a professional from GAC Services to diagnose and repair these problems.
  • Regular inspection of your furnace can prevent future issues. Maintenance will help your furnace operate safely and efficiently, saving costs in the long run. 
How To Check Pilot Light On Furnace

Don’t wait; schedule an inspection today and be prepared for winter!

Reasons For Pilot Light Issues On Furnace.

To troubleshoot pilot light issues with your gas furnace, you need to understand the reasons behind them. When you encounter issues with your furnace’s pilot light, there can be several solutions to fix the problem. Here are the subsections which might be helpful: Gas Flow Problems, Thermocouple Malfunction, Issues with Pilot Flame, and Electronic Ignition Furnaces.  Each problem might have specific instructions from the manufacturer, but these subsections will give you a good idea of where to begin.

Gas Flow Problems.

Gas pressure issues can cause your pilot light to be out. 

This can happen if the flow of gas is too low or too high.

 It’s important to remember that there are multiple causes. Homeowners and commercial users alike can experience these problems.

Here’s a table with details:

ProblemPossible Causes
Low FlowObstructions, high demand, low tanks.
High PressureFaulty regulator, broken valve.

Other issues can also impact the pilot light, like a faulty thermocouple or blocked oxygen supply lines. 

To find out what’s causing the problem, you need to get help from certified technicians.

If the pilot light isn’t working, it can lead to explosions or carbon monoxide build-up. It’s important to have experts inspect your heating system regularly.

Thermocouple Malfunction.

A thermocouple is a small device that can be the culprit of a pilot light issue in gas appliances. It provides voltage to keep the pilot light lit. 

When the thermocouple malfunctions, there’s no voltage to keep the flame going, resulting in it being extinguished.

To fix this issue, you may need to clean or adjust the thermocouple. Alternatively, you could replace it. Additionally, you should check other components that could affect the thermocouple, like gas pressure or airflow.

Be sure to use only compatible parts when replacing the thermocouple. Low-quality or incorrect parts can lead to more trouble!

You can avoid issues with the thermocouple by keeping an eye on it and regularly checking up on it.

Issues with Pilot Flame.

The pilot flame is vital for a gas furnace. Malfunctioning can cause heating system problems, like an inconsistent flame or no flame at all.

 Dirt and dust can clog the pilot tube and stop enough gas from flowing. A faulty thermocouple can’t detect heat, which puts out the flame.

To diagnose the issue, a qualified technician should test and inspect the valves, switches, and burners

To fix it, clean the pilot tube, replace the thermocouple, and adjust the flame. These steps should work effectively for pilot light issues.

 If you’re having trouble with your furnace’s pilot light, remember: it’s the flame that counts; not the spark!

Electronic Ignition Furnaces.

Electronic furnaces with automatic lighting mechanisms are growing in popularity. They ignite the pilot light electrically, not manually like conventional heating units. 

This is done with a special device called a hot surface igniter. It heats up until it glows bright orange, then activates the gas valve and lights the burner.

Potential problems and their solutions are:

Pilot Light won’t Stay LitFaulty Flame Sensor or thermocoupleClean or Replace the Sensor
or Thermocouple.
Pilot Light won’t IgniteBad Hot Surface Ignitor or Gas Valve issueReplace Hot Surface Ignitor
Contact Professional for Gas Valve Replacement.
Burner Won’t LightClogged Burners or Flame Sensor IssuesClean Burners, Check Flame Sensor Wires and Screws
Adjust and Clean Pilot
Larger than usual Combustibles can Throttle Conducive Plates.

Error codes on the furnace will tell you if there is a problem. To keep it running smoothly, get annual maintenance and change the air filter every 1-3 months.

 Don’t forget to turn off your therapist’s number on the speed dial before you start poking around the furnace!

Steps To Check Pilot Light On Furnace.

To check the pilot light on your furnace with the subsections of preparation before checking, locating the pilot light, pilot control knob positioning, inspecting and cleaning the pilot orifice, checking for gas supply, lighting the pilot, monitoring pilot flame, resetting button usage and testing furnace can help you figure out any potential issues with your furnace pilot light

By following the process in these sub-sections, you can ensure the pilot light is properly lit and generate the appropriate color and size of flame for safe and efficient furnace operation.

Preparation Before Checking.

Prior Arrangements for Checking Pilot Light on Furnace.

Before checking the pilot light on your furnace, make sure you have the right tools. 

This includes turning off the electricity and gas supply, waiting 10-15 minutes for gas to dissipate, locating the access panel, and finding the pilot light in your owner’s manual.

Here’s a 4-Step Guide:

  1.  Turn off the furnace’s power source.
  2.  Wait 10-15 minutes for the gas to dissipate.
  3.  Locate the access panel.
  4.  Identify the pilot light in your owner’s manual.

Ventilation, gloves, and no flammable materials around the furnace are other important steps.

 Double-check valves, ensure proper grounding of electrical equipment and avoid damaging wiring during inspections. Safety first!

Time to hunt for your furnace’s pilot light!

Locate Pilot Light.

Locating the pilot light on a furnace requires a few easy steps.

  •  First, make sure the furnace is off and cooled down. 
  • Then, find the access panel; it may be on the front or back of the unit. 
  • Next, remove the panel to see the furnace’s inner parts. 
  • Look for a small tube or pipe with a flame; this is the pilot light. 
  • It could be on the bottom or side of the burner assembly
  • Take note of its condition. Is it lit? If not, relight it using the furnace’s instructions. 
  • Finally, replace and secure the access panel before turning the furnace back on. 

Regularly check the pilot light to make sure it’s functioning properly. Otherwise, there could be decreased efficiency or safety hazards.

 Don’t let the pilot control knob go it alone; make sure it’s in the right spot for a toasty home.

Pilot Control Knob Positioning. 

Adjust Pilot Flame Knob: You need to know how to adjust the pilot control knob to ensure your furnace works properly.

 It controls the strength of the flame and decides if your furnace will heat up or not.

Check the table below to learn the settings of the pilot control knob and its functions. 

Note: Only certain settings will make the flame hot enough for your furnace.

Pilot Control Knob PositionFunction
OffNo Flame Present
Pilot (or Light) SettingSmall Pilot Flame Only Visible
On (or Thermostat)Full Flame Active

Have trouble lighting the pilot light? It could be an issue with the gas line. Contact a professional before attempting any adjustments

Don’t get cold this winter! Take the following steps to check the pilot light. Maintenance is key to avoiding repairs and replacements.

 Time to get familiar with the furnace; inspect and clean the pilot orifice. Plus, bring your sense of adventure (and maybe some gloves).

Inspect and Clean Pilot Orifice.

It’s essential to look after your furnace components for efficient running. The Pilot Orifice is one of them and must be cleaned and inspected often. 

Here’s how:

  1. Switch off the furnace.
  2. Find the Pilot Orifice near the pilot light tube.
  3. Clean the orifice with a brush or needle to remove any debris. Also, check for any damage or wear and tear.

If repairs are necessary, use the parts recommended by the manufacturer. 

Keeping the Pilot Orifice in top condition will prevent breakdowns and costly repairs.

So, don’t wait till your furnace fails on a freezing day! Follow these steps to clean and inspect your Pilot Orifice for optimal performance. 

And, make sure your gas supply is not running low unless you’re up for a winter survival challenge!

Check for Gas Supply.

Time to light that pilot! Playing with fire in your own home is never a bad idea. 

Ensure an uninterrupted gas supply by verifying the main gas valve is open and that there are no leaks or blockages in the gas line.

A poorly performing pilot light may indicate the low pressure of natural gas or propane

If you suspect any gas issues, contact a licensed technician immediately.

Newer furnace models often come with automated electronic ignition systems, so no manual lighting is required.

Remember to regularly check your carbon monoxide detectors. In case of any alarms going off, evacuate immediately and seek professional assistance.

This winter season, make sure to check your furnace’s pilot light regularly. Our safety and well-being depend on it!

 Light the Pilot.

Lighting the Furnace’s Pilot Flame Professionally Explained.

Furnaces are important for comfort during cold days. But, if yours isn’t heating, it could be due to a faulty pilot light. To make sure your furnace works properly, you must light the pilot flame. 

Here’s how:

  1.  Turn off the gas valve. This switch controls the gas supply and prevents accidents.
  2.  Locate the pilot light in the burner compartment
  3.  Carefully turn on the gas valve and use a lighter or matchstick to light the pilot flame.

Plus: After lighting the pilot light, wait 3-5 minutes before turning on the main burner of your furnace, to avoid accidents.

Warning: Professional help is advised when lighting a faulty furnace. Otherwise, you may risk a house fire. 

Keep an eye on the pilot light; if it goes out, your furnace won’t work.

Monitor Pilot Flame.

One key step in furnace maintenance: Check the pilot light’s flame.

 It should be steady and blue for effective functioning. 

Here’s a table to help you interpret the flame:

Blue flameProper combustion.
Yellow or orange flameIncomplete combustion.
Flickering flameAirflow or gas pressure issue.

Check the flame regularly for quick detection and resolution of any issues. Remember to switch off the power before investigating

Note any changes in color or stability, as this could mean a problem with combustion. If you spot anything odd, seek professional help.

The concept of pilot lights is centuries old. Ancient Greece and Egypt have records of it. Heating tech and safety measures have come a long way since then.

 If you need to reset your furnace, just hit the reset button; like snoozing your alarm but with your furnace running!

Reset Button Usage.

Check the pilot light on your furnace. Then, you might need to reset the button. 

Here’s how:

  • Locate the reset button. It’s usually near the blower motor or burner.
  • Turn off the power. Then, press the reset button. Hold it for a few seconds until you hear a click.
  • Turn on the power again and wait for your furnace to restart.

If resetting your furnace doesn’t work, contact a professional. They have the expertise and tools to troubleshoot and repair complex issues.

Pro Tip: Clean and change furnace filters regularly. This helps prevent common problems and extends its life.

Test the pilot light? No worries, your furnace won’t mind!

Test Furnace.

Checking the heater’s functionality is key for optimal performance. 

To test it, certain points must be checked.

  • Check the pilot light to see if it’s lit. If not, switch off the furnace and power supply. 
  • Then locate the pilot light assembly and take off the cover. 
  • Put a lighter near the opening and turn the dial until there’s a click sound, a hiss from the gas, and the flame ignite. 
  • Make sure it’s high enough to heat the heat exchanger.

It’s important to check the furnace every two months for signs of wear and tear.

My friend had a furnace outage one winter when we were ordering Chinese food. We had no hot air in our house during the freezing night before the HVAC repair guy showed up! Looks like the pilot light is playing tricks again. 

Time to become detectives and solve the mystery!

Troubleshooting Recurrent Pilot Light Issues On Furnace. 

To troubleshoot recurrent pilot light issues with your gas furnace, there are a few things you can try before calling for professional services. 

In this section, we’ll explore three subsections that might help avoid the need to call for help. 

Calling for Professional Services.

If your gas appliance’s pilot light keeps going out, don’t attempt to fix it yourself!

 It is essential to hire certified technicians who are equipped to troubleshoot these issues. Even if you think you have fixed the problem, there could be more underlying issues that require an expert.

After technicians arrive, they will do tests to find the root cause. They might need to clean or replace specific parts, such as the thermocouple or gas valve. They will also examine the flue for proper ventilation and check for any blockages.

Some homeowners use unlicensed technicians or DIY methods because they think it will save them money. But, this can cost more in damages or even endanger their safety.

To avoid recurrent pilot light problems, schedule routine maintenance with licensed experts. They will do preventative steps like cleaning the burners and adjusting gas pressure.

In conclusion, do not try to fix recurrent pilot light issues alone. It is safest to seek help from licensed professionals who have experience with gas appliances. Regular maintenance with professionals can also prevent future issues and guarantee long-term safety.

 Before you start checking the burner and igniter, make sure your eyebrows are safely secured and out of harm’s way.

Checking Burner and Igniter.

Addressing Issues with Burner and Igniter.

Troubleshoot recurrent pilot light issues by inspecting the burner and igniter. 

Follow this guide:

  1. Turn off the gas supply and power of the device.
  2. Remove the cover of the burner chamber.
  3. Check burner orifices for debris build-up.
  4. Examine if the pilot flame reaches the thermocouple or sensor.
  5. Make sure the igniter is aligned with the burner holes.
  6. If needed, use a brush to clear igniter orifices.

Improper installation of gas piping or regulator can also cause pilot light instability.

For an effective inspection:

  1. Wear protective gear like hand gloves and safety glasses.
  2. Keep the work area clean.
  3. Keep away from flammable materials.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to detect and resolve any issues hindering pilot light sustainability. 

Does the pilot light need some time alone or do the thermocouple and gas valve just need couples therapy?

Looking at the Thermostat and Gas Valve.

If recurrent pilot light issues occur, the first step is to investigate the thermostat and gas valve. 

The table below outlines the most common problems associated with each component:

Issues with ThermostatIssues with Gas Valve
The thermostat is not set correctlyMisaligned or dirty burner assembly.
Faulty wiringObstructed gas line or valve.
Lack of power or dead batteriesDefective thermocouple or ignition system.

Once these components are checked, proper ventilation should be assessed. For best results, clean and maintain the pilot light regularly. 

That way, you won’t be stuck taking a cold shower – unless you’re a stunt double!

Frequently Asked Questions. 

Q: How do I check the pilot light on my furnace?

A: To check the pilot light on your furnace, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the furnace’s access panel, usually on the front or side of the unit.
  2. Open the access panel carefully, as some furnaces may have hot components inside.
  3. Look for a small window or opening near the bottom of the furnace. This is where you can observe the pilot light.
  4. If you have an older furnace, you might need to use a flashlight to see the pilot light.
  5. Inspect the pilot light visually. It should be a small, steady flame that burns blue or blue with a yellow tip.

If you don’t see a flame, or if it’s flickering or a different color, it may indicate a problem. In such cases, it’s best to contact a professional technician for further assistance.

Q: What should I do if the pilot light on my furnace is out?

A: If the pilot light on your furnace is out, try the following steps:

  • Turn off the gas supply to the furnace. The gas valve is typically located near the furnace or on the main gas line.
  • Wait for at least five minutes to allow any residual gas to dissipate.
  • Locate the pilot light control knob, which is usually marked with “pilot,” “off,” and “on” positions.
  • Turn the knob to the “off” position.
  • Wait for a minute or two and then turn the knob to the “pilot” position.

While holding down the knob, use a long-reach lighter or match to ignite the pilot light. Once lit, continue to hold the knob down for about a minute before releasing it. If the pilot light doesn’t stay lit, it may indicate a more significant issue, and you should contact a professional technician.

Q: Can I relight the pilot light on my furnace if I smell gas?

A: No, if you smell gas, you should not attempt to relight the pilot light. Gas leaks are dangerous and can lead to explosions or fires. Instead, follow these steps:

  • Leave the area immediately and go outside to a safe location.
  • Do not use any electronic devices, light switches, or open flames in the vicinity.
  • Once you are safely outside, call your gas company’s emergency line or the fire department to report the gas odor.

Wait for the professionals to arrive and assess the situation. They will determine if it’s safe to enter your home or if further actions are required.

Q: Why is it important to check the color of the pilot light on my furnace?

A: Checking the color of the pilot light on your furnace is important because it can indicate the condition of your furnace and its combustion process. A pilot light should typically burn blue or blue with a yellow tip. If you notice a different color, it may indicate a problem. For example:

  • A yellow or orange flame may indicate incomplete combustion, which can lead to the production of carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas.
  • A flickering or inconsistent flame may suggest a draft or airflow issue, a clogged orifice, or a malfunctioning component.
  • Monitoring the pilot light’s color helps ensure the safe and efficient operation of your furnace, and if you notice any abnormalities, it’s best to have a professional technician inspect and resolve the issue.

Q: Can I check the pilot light on my furnace if it’s an electric furnace?

A: No, electric furnaces do not have a pilot light. Instead, they use.


To check the pilot light on your furnace, dial the control knob to “pilot”. Shine a flashlight and look for any debris or blockages. Remove it gently with a soft-bristled brush or compressed air canister. Press and hold the reset button while lighting the pilot flame with a match or lighter. Release the reset button and set the knob to “on”.Electronic ignition furnaces don’t feature a pilot light. Instead, they use an igniter to spark gas flow into the burner assembly. To prevent issues, label each part of your furnace during disassembly. Clean the pilot orifice and make sure the gas valve is on. Also, check the thermocouple; it detects the flame. Following the steps in this article should help you solve any furnace pilot light issues. If they persist, contact a professional HVAC service company.