Don’t be surprised if you start having trouble keeping your furnace’s pilot light lit as it gets older. Fortunately, a malfunctioning pilot light usually isn’t a sign that you need to replace your entire furnace. Your HVAC maintenance plan should include routine pilot light inspection to prevent future problems and to extend the life of your furnace.
There are three common reasons why a pilot light won’t stay lit:
- No fuel supply. Before you call for professional help with your pilot light, make sure the fuel supply is turned on and that your utility bill has been paid. Then, check to see if the fuel supply valve to the furnace is open.
- Failed thermocouple. A thermocouple is the copper coil that sits above the pilot light flame. If the thermocouple senses that the pilot light isn’t burning, or if the thermocouple fails, the fuel supply to the pilot light will automatically shut off to keep flammable gas out of your home.
- Dirty burner tip. The opening in the pilot light burner tip can accumulate soot and dirt over time, preventing fuel from flowing through it. Routine pilot light maintenance can help prevent or delay this problem.
If your fuel supply is turned on and you can’t get your pilot light to stay lit, it’s a good idea to call your HVAC technician for help. Cleaning your pilot light burner is a relatively simple and inexpensive process. Your technician will check the operation of your pilot light and service the entire furnace to make sure it is operating safely and efficiently. Once the heating season is over the pilot should be turned off to extend the life of your heat exchanger and furnace.
Call CCAC for routine pilot light maintenance to keep your furnace running smoothly. We’re also on call 24-hours a day for emergency repairs in Corpus Christi.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about pilot light maintenance and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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