It is February, and the snow and wind are coming down like a major storm, and your house starts to loose temperature. Oh Oh. What now? You grab the flashlight as these things only happen at night and make your way to the furnace. The furnace pilot light is out! What do you do if the pilot light won’t stay lit?
Grab the manual and see what you do to do a little inspection. Look in the back for troubleshooting tips under “furnace pilot light keeps going out.”
First, turn grab a wrench and a pair of gloves. You have two options. The pilot light valve is dirty or the thermocouple needs to be replaced.
The thermocouple sits over the pilot light. The pilot light serves to keep the valve open but if faulty, it will turn off to prevent the gas flowing to a buildup of dangerous levels.
There are three positions on the thermocouple. Off, Pilot and On. Press down the control to enable the gas to move to the pilot. Hold it down for about 30 seconds and then release to allow the pilot to light and heat the thermocouple.
If that did not work, the thermocouple could be weak; the pilot is dirty and has a yellow flame. You can turn the main valve for the gas. Give is about 10 minutes and with a pair of gloves, insert a wire into the pilot light to make sure it is clean. Relight. If that does not work and it goes out, then you probably need a new thermocouple.
It is easier to replace than you think so you can get your courage up to tackle the job yourself OR you can call a professional. The pilot light disappearing is an indication of a problem and as your temperature falls, you better get on the phone or run out to the hardware store and get a replacement for the thermocouple.
Start thinking about replacing our entire unit to one that is more efficient and does not use a standing pilot light. The newer systems are much more efficient and will pay for themselves in a few seasons. You can also get a rebate from the government so look into the matter.
In the meantime, good luck on the pilot light!