Written on: February 22, 2021
Most of today’s gas-powered furnaces and boilers use an electronic ignition. However, many older gas heating systems, and some newer ones, use a pilot light.
A pilot light is the small flame inside your heating system, which restarts the main burner and prevents gas leaks. It is supposed to be lit at all times.
Sometimes, a pilot light can go out. There are a few possible reasons as to why, such as dirt and dust clogging the intake valves. A draft can extinguish it. A leak somewhere in your heating system may have caused the pilot light to automatically go out. A thermocouple may have failed.
If you smell gas, get everyone out of the house right away, then call 911 and AFC.
You may be able to get your pilot started again on your own without a service call. The troubleshoot below is for pilot lights only, not heating systems with electronic ignitions.
First, read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your heating system. The instructions can often be found on the side of your furnace or boiler and are also in your owner’s manual.
Find the gas valve for the pilot. It usually has markings for “ON,” “OFF,” and “PILOT.” Turn it to “OFF” and wait at least three minutes so it can reset.
When at least three minutes have passed, turn the valve to the “PILOT” setting. Then hold a lighted match next to — NOT inside — the pilot light opening. While holding the match, push and hold the reset button on the pilot control panel until the pilot light ignites. Once it ignites, set the valve to “ON.”
Get in touch with us if you are unable to do or are uncomfortable doing a troubleshoot and we’ll make a service call to solve the problem. Whether you’re an AFC customer or not, we provide no-heat emergency service to you 24/7, 365 days a year.
Contact us for heating system service by our licensed service technicians.