Including insufficient fuel supply, a worn or corroded thermocouple (a device that senses when the pilot light is lit and sends an electric current to keep it lit), a faulty valve, and buildup of dirt, carbon monoxide, or air in the gas line.
If your pilot light is not lighting, the first thing you should do is check the fuel supply. If the fuel supply is inadequate, the pilot light won’t light. If the fuel supply is sufficient, the next step is to check the thermocouple.
This is a small copper coil, typically near the pilot light, that receives heat from the pilot flame and creates an electrical current. If the thermocouple is faulty, it won’t be able to send an electrical signal to keep the pilot light lit.
If the thermocouple is fine but the pilot still won’t light, then you should check the gas valve. This is a valve located near the gas line that controls the release of gas to the pilot light. If the valve is corroded or worn, it may not operate correctly.
Additionally, buildup of dirt, carbon monoxide, or air can prevent the pilot light from lighting. If you are not confident in your ability to identify and repair the cause of the problem, contact a professional to help.
What’s the top reason a pilot light doesn’t remain lit?
The most common reason a pilot light will not stay lit is a problem with the thermocouple. The thermocouple is a sensor that uses a thermoelectric effect to generate small amounts of electricity. Its job is to detect when the pilot light is lit and prevent gas from continuing to flow when the pilot light is not lit.
If the thermocouple is not working correctly, it won’t be able to detect when the pilot light is lit and will shut the gas off. This will cause the pilot light to go out. To correct this issue, the thermocouple needs to be replaced.
Other possible causes for a pilot light not staying lit could include problems with the gas valve, a faulty ignitor, a blockage in the gas line, or a defective thermopile.
Why won t my pilot light spark?
It is possible that there are a few issues that can cause your Pilot Light not to spark. Some of the most common are low gas pressure and broken thermocouple.
Low Gas Pressure – When there is low gas pressure within your system, the Pilot Light will struggle to ignite. When this happens, you can often hear a loud whooshing sound as the gas continually passes by and out through the Pilot Light assembly.
To rectify this issue, you may need to inspect the gas valve to ensure it is turned all the way open.
Broken Thermocouple – A thermocouple is a safety device that is responsible for telling your gas valve to shut off the gas supply when the Pilot Light is not lit. If the thermocouple is broken, it will be unable to sense the heat generated by the Pilot Light and so the gas valve will not permit the gas to flow.
Replacing the thermocouple will usually solve this problem quickly.
If the Pilot Light is still not sparking, then it is likely something else is causing this issue and a gas professional may be needed to inspect and resolve the problem.
How do I know if my thermocouple is broken?
To determine if your thermocouple is broken, you should first check your thermostat and make sure it is functioning properly and connected correctly to the thermocouple. If your thermostat is functioning correctly but your thermocouple is still not reading the correct temperature, you can try cleaning the thermocouple.
To do this, use a clean cloth to wipe away any debris or dirt on the pilot assembly. If that doesn’t work, it is best to replace the thermocouple altogether. If you are unsure about replacing the thermocouple yourself, we recommend seeking the advice of a professional.
Can you manually light a pilot light?
Yes, you can manually light a pilot light. However, it’s important to exercise caution when attempting to light a pilot light, as there may be a risk of igniting an accumulation of gas in the area around the pilot.
Before you attempt to light a pilot light, make sure that all the gas valves are in the off position, and that the area is adequately ventilated. Once the area is safe to work in, you’ll need a long-handled lighter or a match to attempt to light the pilot light.
Carefully insert the long-handled lighter or match into the pilot light opening and securely close the outer housing. Then, attempt to light the pilot light by pressing down on the knob or switch, depending on your appliance type.
You may need to hold the switch or knob down for 30 to 60 seconds or longer for the flame to stay lit. If the flame does not stay lit, make sure the gas valves are in the proper position and attempt to ignite it again.
How do I clean a thermocouple?
To clean a thermocouple, start by disconnecting the device from any current or power sources. Using a non-abrasive cloth, wipe away any dirt or dust from the outside of the thermocouple. You can also use a vacuum cleaner with a soft bristle attachment to gently remove particles from hard to reach areas.
Using a cotton swab dampened with isopropyl alcohol, carefully wipe away any corrosion on the thermocouple. Make sure not to leave any excess moisture on the surface of the device. If the thermocouple is still not reading properly, it is recommended that you replace it.
How much does it cost to replace a thermocouple?
The cost of replacing a thermocouple varies widely, depending on the type of thermocouple you are looking to replace, the brand and quality of the thermocouple, and the complexity of the installation.
Generally, however, you can expect to spend anywhere from $25-$200 for the thermocouple itself. Additionally, if the job requires significant labor costs such as cutting into existing pipes or mounting the thermocouple to the heater, it may cost up to an additional $200-$400 for installation.
If you would like a more precise estimate, it is best to consult with a local professional for an accurate quote.
Can I replace a thermocouple myself?
Yes, you can replace a thermocouple yourself, but it is typically recommended that you hire a professional for the job. This is because it is important to choose the proper thermocouple for the job, and if the wrong type is chosen, it could lead to dangerous and expensive malfunctioning of the appliance.
Additionally, some thermocouples must be installed and wired in a certain way in order to operate correctly. If it is not done properly, it can be difficult to troubleshoot any problems that arise and can lead to more expensive and unnecessary repairs.
Therefore, hiring a professional can help ensure that you get the right thermocouple and it is properly installed and wired.
When the pilot light goes out does the gas stop?
The short answer is no, when the pilot light goes out the gas does not stop. The pilot light is simply a small flame that is used to ignite the gas when you turn on the heater, oven, or other appliance.
When the pilot light is out, the gas will still flow, but the appliance will not turn on. In order to get the appliance running again, you will need to relight the pilot light – usually this involves pushing a button or turning a knob to ignite the flame and get the appliance running again.
Should the pilot light be touching the thermocouple?
No, the pilot light should not be touching the thermocouple. The pilot light needs to remain a certain distance away in order for the thermocouple to detect heat effectively. The pilot light should be positioned around 1” away from the thermocouple.
Additionally, the tip of the pilot light should not be blocked or covered by surrounding parts, thus allowing enough oxygen to reach the pilot light and maintain an orange flame. The position of the pilot light flame is crucial to ensure proper functioning.
If the flame is too low, then the thermocouple will not be able to detect heat and the gas furnace will not turn on. If the flame is too high, then the thermocouple may wear down prematurely or even be damaged.
It’s important to check the position of the pilot light on a regular basis in order to guarantee that it’s in the correct position.
Can a pilot light get clogged?
Yes, a pilot light can get clogged. Clogging is more likely to occur if the pilot light is located in a particularly dusty area. The particles can get inside the line, which can cause clogs. Clogs can be caused by dirt, rust, debris, or even bugs.
This can block the flow of the gas to the flame, which can result in failure of the pilot light to light or to stay lit. If your pilot light is clogged, you should have it serviced by a professional.
A qualified technician can identify the blockage and safely remove it.
Should I turn off furnace if pilot light is out?
Whether or not you should turn off your furnace if the pilot light is out depends on the type of furnace you have. Generally, it’s best to turn off any gas burning appliance if the pilot light is out, for safety reasons.
This is especially true with an older furnace, as an older furnace may not have safety features such as auto shut off that newer furnaces do, so if gas builds up, it can be dangerous. It’s also best to turn off the furnace if you cannot safely relight the pilot light.
If you’re able to relight the pilot light without a problem and you have a newer furnace that has a safety feature like auto-shut-off, then you may not need to turn off the unit. Regardless, you should consider inspecting or servicing the furnace, as the pilot light may have gone out due to a larger issue with the furnace.
Will the gas company light My pilot light?
Most gas companies will not light your pilot light for safety reasons. It’s important to remember that gas is highly flammable and can present a dangerous situation for someone who doesn’t have the necessary training or experience.
Therefore, it’s strongly recommended that you contact a qualified technician to light your pilot light for you. This person should have experience working with gas-powered appliances and should know the correct and safest procedures for lighting and relighting pilot lights.
Trying to light your pilot light yourself can have serious consequences, so it’s always better to have a qualified technician do it.
How do you start a pilot light manually?
If you need to start the pilot light manually, you will need to locate the pilot light opening. This is usually located on the front of the furnace, either to the left or right of the main burner. Once you have located the pilot light opening, you will need to turn the knob to the “OFF” position and wait at least 1 minute before proceeding.
Next, locate the small rocker switch near the pilot light opening. Make sure it is set to the “OFF” position before holding a long lighter to the pilot light opening while pressing in and holding the rocker switch to the “ON” position.
This should cause the pilot light to ignite. If the pilot light does not ignite continue pressing in the rocker switch while using a long lighter at the pilot light opening.
Once the pilot light is lit, close the pilot light opening with the plate that covers it, and finally, turn the knob located at the pilot light opening to “ON”. Your pilot light should now be manually lit and your furnace should be operational.
How do you light a pilot light without an igniter?
If your pilot light does not have an igniter, you can light it manually. Start by shutting off the gas supply to the water heater. Locate the pilot light tube, which leads to the thermocouple. You should see a small knob labeled “pilot.
” Put a lighted match or long-handled lighter in the tube, and then turn the knob clockwise to begin the flow of gas. When you hear the gas hissing, you can light the match or lighter and hold it near the opening of the tube.
After it’s lit, you can turn the knob all of the way to the right. This will keep the gas flowing to the pilot light; it should stay lit for several seconds. Turn the knob to the “On” position to completely turn on the gas.
Wait for a few minutes and make sure the pilot light won’t go out. If it does, start the process over again.