furnace pilot light keeps going out

5 Reasons Why Your Furnace Pilot Light Keeps Going Out



So, your furnace pilot light keeps going out but you don’t know why? This problem, often encountered during the colder months, can disrupt the comfort and safety of your home. Our goal is to demystify this issue, providing you with a deeper understanding and practical solutions to prevent furnace problems and ensure your furnace operates reliably.

Understanding Why Your Furnace Pilot Light Keeps Going Out

It’s crucial to recognize that the pilot light is the heart of your furnace’s operation. When it goes out, it’s not just an inconvenience; it can signal underlying issues that need immediate attention. This blog will navigate through the most common causes, troubleshooting steps, and preventative measures to help keep your furnace running smoothly.

Dirty Thermocouple: The Sneaky Disruptor

The Role of a Thermocouple in Furnace Operation

The thermocouple is a sensor that plays a critical role in your furnace’s safety mechanism. It’s responsible for detecting the pilot light’s flame. When it gets dirty, it might not accurately sense the flame, leading to the furnace shutting off as a safety measure.

Cleaning the Thermocouple: A Step-by-Step Guide

  • Turn off the furnace and locate the thermocouple, usually found near the pilot light.
  • Gently clean the thermocouple using fine-grit sandpaper, focusing on the metal tip that comes in contact with the flame.
  • Wipe it down with a soft cloth to remove any residual debris.

Maintaining a Clean Thermocouple

To prevent future occurrences, incorporate cleaning the thermocouple into your regular furnace maintenance routine. This can involve annual check-ups before the onset of winter.

Faulty Thermocouple: Time to Replace?

Signs of a Faulty Thermocouple

A faulty thermocouple can manifest through symptoms like a weak or inconsistent pilot light. If cleaning doesn’t resolve the issue, the thermocouple may be worn out or damaged.

How to Replace a Faulty Thermocouple

  • Purchase a replacement thermocouple that matches your furnace model.
  • Turn off the gas supply and remove the old thermocouple by unscrewing it.
  • Install the new thermocouple, ensuring it’s positioned correctly near the pilot light.

Expert Tip

If you’re not comfortable performing this task, it’s advisable to seek professional help. Incorrect installation can lead to further issues.

how do you fix a pilot light that keeps going out
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Gas Supply Issues: The Invisible Problem

Understanding Gas Supply Disruptions

A steady gas supply is crucial for keeping the pilot light lit. Issues like closed valves, low gas pressure, or blockages can disrupt this flow, causing the pilot light to extinguish.

Restoring Proper Gas Flow

  • Check if the furnace’s gas valve is fully open and adjust if necessary.
  • Inspect the gas line for any visible signs of blockage or damage.
  • If gas pressure seems low or you suspect a blockage, contact your gas supplier for a thorough inspection.

Preventative Measures

Regular inspections of your gas line can preemptively identify and rectify issues that might disrupt the gas supply.

Drafts: The Unseen Enemy

Impact of Drafts on the Pilot Light

Drafts, particularly in older homes or furnaces, can extinguish the pilot light. These air currents can be subtle yet powerful enough to disrupt the flame.

Addressing and Preventing Drafts

  • Inspect the area around the furnace for any potential sources of drafts, such as open windows, doors, or poorly sealed vents.
  • Consider installing a draft shield around the pilot light to protect it from sudden gusts.
  • Seal any identified drafts using appropriate methods like weatherstripping or caulk.

Long-Term Solutions

Investing in furnace upgrades or modifications can reduce the susceptibility of your pilot light to drafts.

Professional Intervention: When to Call in the Experts

Recognizing When DIY Isn’t Enough

Persistent issues with the pilot light, especially after attempting the above fixes, may indicate more complex problems. This is when professional expertise becomes invaluable.

Choosing the Right Service

AlphaTek HVAC Repair specializes in addressing intricate furnace issues. Their team of experts can diagnose and resolve problems efficiently, ensuring your furnace operates safely and effectively.

Regular maintenance and being proactive about potential issues are key to a reliable furnace. For complex problems or uncertainties about DIY solutions, AlphaTek HVAC Repair is your go-to for expert furnace repair services, especially when your furnace pilot light keeps going out.