How To Light A Pilot Light On A Furnace? Step-By-Step Guide

Understanding The Pilot Light And Furnace.

The furnace pilot light is essential to heat homes in winter. Homeowners should know how to relight it in case of recurring issues. 

How To Light A Pilot Light On A Furnace

To manually light a pilot light.

  • Turn off the gas supply and wait a few minutes. 
  • Locate the pilot light opening and clear any debris or dust. 
  • Then, find the reset button or knob to light the pilot light. 
  • Press it while holding an ignition button or match close enough to ignite it.
  • If you follow the instructions correctly, your furnace pilot light should be working soon. 

But if you smell gas or hear strange sounds, call professional help right away. Safety is key when dealing with gas appliances. Remember, before electricity, matches were used to ignite furnaces. 

Heading to winter? Don’t forget to relight your furnace pilot light!

Checking For Pilot Light Issues On A Furnace. 

Are You Facing Recurrent Pilot Light Issues with Your Furnace?

To avoid recurrent pilot light issues, it is crucial to check for any faulty settings or issues each time you start your furnace. This can save you the frustration of relighting your pilot light frequently.

Here’s a four-step guide to checking for pilot light issues:

  1. Check The Pilot Light Opening: It would be best to start by locating the pilot light opening, which is usually at the bottom of the furnace, and ensuring it is debris-free and unobstructed.
  2. Inspect The Thermocouple: It would be best to inspect the thermocouple by ensuring it’s securely attached to the gas valve. If it’s not secure, tighten the nut, but be cautious not to over-tighten it.
  3. Check The Gas Supply: After ensuring the thermocouple connection is secure, check the gas supply by ensuring that the valve is open, and there is adequate gas flow through the furnace.
  4. Check The Ignition: Turn your furnace’s thermostat off and on several times and look for any ignition issues that may be causing your pilot light to go out.

It’s also advisable to research your heating system’s manual or manufacturer for specific instructions regarding lighting the pilot light.

Pro Tip: To prevent recurrent pilot light issues, it’s crucial to avoid drafts around the pilot light and ensure that your thermostat is set at the right temperature.

Warning: If your pilot light keeps going out, your furnace may be trying to tell you something…like ‘I’m not in the mood for heating today’.

Signs of Pilot Light Issues.

Pilot light issues can be a hassle. They can even turn into emergencies if not taken care of. 

Here are signs that you may have them:

  1.  The light isn’t on.
  2.  The flame is weak or keeps going out.
  3.  There’s black soot around the burner area.
  4.  A strange gas smell comes from the appliance.
  5.  The appliance turns off suddenly.

If the pilot light is an issue, other parts of the heating system may need repair or replacement. 

Don’t wait, address the problems before they get worse. Not dealing with pilot light issues can be dangerous. It can lead to fires and air pollution in the house.

Fun Fact: People have been using pilot lights since the 1800s. A matchstick was used to light natural gas at the opening of a small metal tube.

Maybe the pilot needs some help keeping its flame alive, like relationship counseling with the thermocouple.

Reasons for Recurrent Pilot Light Issues.

Pilot light issues can crop up for various reasons. 

  • A clogged or dirty pilot tube, malfunctioning thermocouple, or gas valve could be the cause.
  •  Ignition problems may also be to blame.
  • Do maintenance and inspections regularly to dodge these issues.
  •  Clean the furnace system annually or biannually. 
  • Replace the thermocouple every 3-5 years.

Light your pilot light? Follow these steps and hope for the best!

Step-by-step Instructions For Lighting  Pilot Light On A Furnace.

In this guide, you will learn how to relight your furnace pilot light safely and efficiently.

  1. Turn off the Gas Supply: Locate the gas valve and turn it to the off position. Wait for a few minutes to let any gas that may be left in the area to dissipate.
  2. Light the Pilot: Locate the pilot light opening and use a match or ignition button to light the pilot light. Hold the button down for a minute to ensure the flame stays lit.
  3. Turn on the Gas Supply: Turn the gas valve back on and check the flame. It should be strong and stable. If not, repeat step 2 or call a professional.

Remember to keep a safe distance from the furnace and wear protective gear.

It is important to note that recurrent pilot light issues could be a sign of a malfunctioning heating system

Consult the manufacturer’s manual or call a professional for help in identifying and solving the issue.

According to research by WikiHow, a faulty thermocouple is one of the most common reasons for recurrent pilot light issues.

Before lighting your furnace pilot, make sure your hair is tied back and your eyebrows are intact.

Necessary Precautions Before Lighting.

Prior Safety Measures to Lighting Pilot Light.

Take these precautions before lighting the pilot light:

  1. Turn off the gas valve.
  2. Avoid flammable materials like alcohol, gasoline, and aerosols.
  3. No smoking or open flames.
  4. Check gas lines for leaks.
  5. Ventilate the area.
  6. Use a flashlight, not matches or lighters.

Keep kids and pets away while working. Even with these measures, emergencies can still happen. If you smell gas, call a professional right away.

In 2018, an elderly woman died from an explosion while lighting her water heater’s pilot light. Following the right steps prevents property damage and saves lives. 

Be sure to play hide-and-seek with the flame, but no gas hissing is allowed!

Locating the Pilot Light Opening.

Where’s the Pilot Light? You need to know where it is, to safely use your gas appliance

Here’s how:

  • Step 1: Look in the user manual for instructions on accessing and finding the pilot light opening
  • Step 2: Locate the gas valve; usually behind a panel or access plate on the appliance.
  • Step 3: Check how to open this panel or access plate. Read any safety instructions before exposing the gas valve and pilot light.

Note: Some appliances have several openings, so don’t change unfamiliar parts. Take time to understand all openings and read the instructions with caution.

Pilot lights are easily blown out by air drafts. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to relight it.

Fun Fact: The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says 8 people die each year from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning due to incorrect use of gas appliances. 

Time to wait for the gas supply to shut off!

Turning off the Gas Supply and Waiting.

  • When you’re stopping the gas, let it dissipate. 
  • Then, you can light the pilot light. Follow safety procedures! 
  • Turn off the gas supply and wait until no gas is left in the area. No need to worry. 

You just need to adjust the knob to the flame.

Matching the Flame and Turning the Knob.

Lighting a pilot light requires precision. Matching the flame and turning the knob is key for efficient and safe ignition. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Locate the Pilot Light. It’s usually near the furnace or water heater. Look for a small, silver button.
  2. Turn on the Gas. After locating it, switch off the power and turn the knob counterclockwise.
  3. Lighting the PILOT. Hold down the red reset button and use a long-handled lighter or matches to light the flame. Hold for 30 seconds while releasing before turning off the gas supply or closing the maintenance panel.

Releasing the reset button slowly is important. Otherwise, disrupted flow reduces efficiency and poses safety risks. 

Use an extension lighter for tight spaces. 

For complex heating systems, consult a professional gas repair service as manufacturers may require specific re-ignition procedures.

 Hitting the red button is like hitting easy mode!

Resetting the Furnace Pilot Light Using the Reset Button.

Reset the furnace pilot light using the reset button by following these steps:

  1.  Find the button: It’s usually red or yellow near the pilot.
  2.  Turn off the furnace and wait five minutes for it to cool.
  3. Push and hold the reset button for 30 seconds.
  4. When the pilot ignites, release the button and turn the furnace back on.

It’s important to remember that if the pilot keeps going out, there could be a more serious issue with your furnace, and it may need professional help. 

Be safe when dealing with gas appliances; have a fire extinguisher handy in case of emergencies. 

Make sure your furnace is working properly by resetting the pilot light when needed.

Lighting a Pilot Light with an Ignition Button or Electric Ignition.

To ignite a pilot light using an ignition button or electric switch, follow these 6 steps!

  1.  Locate the pilot light assembly and gas valve control knob.
  2.  Turn the knob to “off” and wait 5 minutes for any remaining gas to disperse.
  3.  Press and hold the button/switch while pressing the knob inwards
  4.  Keep it depressed until the pilot flame ignites, then hold it for 30 more seconds to make sure it stays lit.
  5.  Slowly and carefully release both buttons/knobs.
  6.  Lastly, test the appliance to confirm that the pilot light is working.

Safety is key; follow your manufacturer’s instructions and double-check every step. 

Check your appliance’s make and model details for any other ways to light the pilot. If the pilot is damaged or not lit, replace the appliance as soon as possible to keep your home safe.

 No need for matches, just light it up like a prehistoric man would!

Relighting the Pilot Light with a Manual Ignition.

If you want to relight your pilot light with manual ignition, you need the right knowledge and skill.

 Follow this five-step guide to do it safely:

  1. Shut off the gas: Find the valve connected to the gas pipe and turn it off.
  2. Open the pilot light: Take off the cover of your furnace or boiler to access the pilot light.
  3. Light the flame: Use a long lighter or matchstick to ignite the flame. Press down the reset button for 30 seconds.
  4. See if the flame stays lit: After 30 seconds, release the reset button and check if the flame is still lit.
  5. Put back the cover: Put the cover back and turn on the gas valve.

Be sure you know what you’re doing before attempting to relight the pilot. Wear protective gear like gloves and goggles when doing DIY repairs. If you have problems, get professional help immediately.

Don’t be left in the cold! Follow the steps above and relight your pilot light. Make sure to inspect and maintain your heating system regularly. Troubleshoot any issues to avoid costly repairs in the future.

 Don’t let your home be colder than your ex’s heart; make sure your pilot light is lit!

Tips For Lighting Pilot Light In A Heating System.

Heating systems with pilot lights can create recurrent issues, leaving homeowners in search of solutions.

 Here is a proper guide to help when relighting the pilot light in your heating system:

  1. Make sure the gas supply is on and the control knob on the gas valve is in the “pilot” position.
  2. Locate the pilot light opening and light the pilot with a match or electric ignition button while simultaneously holding the reset button or depressing the ignition button.
  3. After the flame appears, hold the reset button for at least 30 seconds before releasing it slowly.

Additionally, if the pilot light keeps going out, consider checking the thermocouple for any signs of corrosion or dirt buildup. Cleaning it could fix the issue.

Fun fact: Wikihow has been mentioned as the source of reliable information in various renowned publications like The New York Times and The Guardian.

Why rely on feelings when you got a thermostat to check if your furnace is heating things properly?

Using the Thermostat to Check for Heat Output.

Assessing heating systems? Check the thermostat! 

Turn it up to send signals to the furnace for warmth. Keep in mind, an old or damaged thermostat can affect accuracy and performance. Also, look out for factors like clean vents and clogged filters.

An old problem with thermostats was mercury switch contacts sealed in glass vials with mercury. 

These contained toxic materials, and breakage risked mercury leakage.

So, know how to use a thermostat correctly. That’s the key to an efficient and effective heating system that will last you for years. 

Take control like an HVAC boss and don’t leave your heating system to Mother Nature!

Checking for Draft to Ensure Proper Air Flow.

Checking for drafts is key before lighting the pilot light in a heating system. Neglecting to do so may cause an unsafe or inefficient system. 

Here’s how:

  1. Turn off nearby appliances like gas stoves and water heaters.
  2. Close all windows and doors in the room.
  3. Test for air flow with a lit candle or matchstick. Look for flickers or movements.
  4. Seal gaps or cracks in windows and doors with caulk or weather stripping.

Don’t forget to fix drafts fast! Else, it could cost more energy and decrease air quality. Make sure your heating unit runs smoothly by conducting this check. 

Label the pilot light area clearly, or your guests may be playing a game of ‘Guess Which Button Will Blow Us Up!’

Labeling and Signing the Furnace Pilot Light Area.

Ensuring heating during winter requires labeling and signing the furnace pilot light area. This makes it easy to find and maintain the pilot light system. 

Here’s a guide:

  1. Take a look around the furnace to find a spot for the signage.
  2. Make labels that say “Furnace System” and one pointing to the pilot light.
  3. Put these labels at an easily visible spot, like eye level. Make sure the writing is big enough for people to read from a distance.

Colored stickers can also help show control knobs. This reduces the risk of accidental operation.

Did you know that in the US, 900 people died each year in 1999-2015 due to carbon monoxide? Taking preventive measures like labeling is important.

If you have pilot light problems, call a pro. DIYers are feeling left out.

Seeking Professional Help For Pilot Light Issues On A Furnace. 

Pilot light issues can be complex and require the expertise of a professional. It’s essential to seek professional help if your furnace pilot light continues to go out after following the necessary reset button steps. 

  • A licensed heating professional is recommended to diagnose and fix recurring pilot light issues, as they have the necessary knowledge and experience.
  • Incorrect pilot lighting can lead to dangerous gas leaks or house fires. Homeowners mustn’t attempt to repair pilot light issues themselves and seek an experienced professional. 
  • A heating professional will conduct a comprehensive examination to identify the source of the pilot light issue. They will then recommend the best course of action, whether that’s repairing or replacing the furnace unit.
  • It’s important to find a reputable and licensed heating professional to avoid further issues.

 Research the manufacturer’s recommendation and seek referrals from local heating system experts to ensure the job is done right.

According to a wikiHow article, pilots can get blown out by drafts, dirty pilot light openings, or a faulty thermocouple.

If your attempts to relight the pilot light resemble a scene from a horror movie, it’s time to call in the professionals.

When to Call for Professional Assistance.

When to get help from a pro may be crucial for fixing pilot light troubles. 

  • If the pilot light won’t ignite or stay lit, this could be a more serious problem. It’s wise to ask for help in those cases, as experts are trained and have the tools to evaluate and solve complex issues.
  • Professionals can also inspect the equipment, and do routine maintenance checks. This keeps the system running smoothly. If signs of malfunction or wear and tear show on pilot lights, getting expert aid can prevent further damage and save money in the long run.
  • Acting on pilot light issues can help maintain safe living conditions
  • Overlooking them is risky; fires and explosions could happen. Plus, improper handling of gas appliances can release dangerous gases. 

So, if problems stay or worries arise, contact an expert technician.

Pro Tip: Homeowners should schedule regular HVAC maintenance appointments to avoid pilot light failures. Regular cleaning, testing, and making sure each part is working correctly will keep appliances functioning safely for years.

If you’re lost with your pilot light, don’t worry; a professional can help.

Finding a Professional for Repair and Maintenance.

When you have trouble with your pilot light, get help from certified technicians. 

  • HVAC contractors or gas companies provide repair and maintenance services indoors or outdoors. They have years of knowledge, great tools, and the right safety gear to do inspections, tests, and assessments. 
  • Plus, they do the cleaning of the burners and replace parts that don’t work.
  • It is important to look into different companies before hiring them. Find a professional who has a good record of providing quality services at a fair price. Things to consider are certifications, customer ratings, warranties, and insurance coverage. 
  • Most of these companies have a website with more info or reviews on online platforms.

Don’t forget regular maintenance is key for appliances; set up an appointment yearly or as the manufacturer suggests. 

Not doing repairs can lead to high energy costs because of bad performance, bad heating, fire risks from gas leaks, or carbon monoxide poisoning from wrong combustion processes.

Pro Tip: Get detectors like a CO2 monitor or smoke alarm in case of an emergency from bad appliances!

 In the end, getting help for your pilot light issues is smart; don’t let your home become a horror movie!

Frequently Asked Questions. 

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

A: The pilot light is typically located near the bottom of the furnace, often behind a small access panel. Look for a small metal tube with a small flame or a gas control knob labeled “pilot” or “pilot light.”

Q: What safety precautions should I take before attempting to light the pilot light?

A: Before lighting the pilot light, ensure there are no gas odors or leaks present in the area. Make sure all nearby flammable materials are removed. Additionally, turn off the furnace’s electrical power switch to prevent any accidental ignition.

Q: How do I prepare the furnace for pilot light ignition?

A: Start by turning the gas control knob to the “off” position. Wait for approximately 5 minutes to allow any residual gas to dissipate. If there is a red reset button on the gas control knob, press and hold it for 30 seconds to clear the gas line.

Q: What are the step-by-step instructions for lighting the pilot light?

A: Locate the gas control knob and set it to the “pilot” position.

  • Hold a long-reach lighter or match near the pilot light area.
  • Press and hold the gas control knob down while you ignite the pilot light by applying the flame to the pilot opening.
  • Continue holding the gas control knob for about 30 seconds after the pilot light has ignited.
  • Release the gas control knob and verify that the pilot light remains lit.

If the pilot light goes out or does not stay lit, repeat the process and contact a professional if the issue persists.

Q: How do I verify if the pilot light is functioning properly?

A: After lighting the pilot light, observe the flame. It should be a steady, blue flame that envelopes the tip of the pilot assembly. If the flame is weak, yellow, or flickering, there may be an issue with the gas supply or the pilot assembly, and it is advisable to seek professional assistance.

Q: What should I do if I am unable to light the pilot light or it keeps going out?

A: If you are unable to light the pilot light or it keeps extinguishing, it is recommended to contact a qualified HVAC technician. They have the expertise to diagnose and fix any underlying issues with the furnace, ensuring its safe and efficient operation.


When you’ve reached the end of this guide for lighting a pilot light, more help is available. Check out Wikihow and the manufacturer’s manual for tips. It might be best to hire a professional for some homeowners. Label the opening of the furnace correctly and turn off the gas before relighting the pilot light. Push and hold the ignition or reset button for at least one minute after lighting the flame. If your pilot light still has problems, it could be the thermocouple or gas valve. Visit online resources such as for further assistance with your heating system. Get your unit inspected pre-winter season. Don’t let recurring pilot light issues cause bigger problems. Contact an expert for an accurate evaluation and repair services if needed. Enjoy warmth in your home during winter.