So what are pilot lights, anyway? As a pilot guides a plane, a pilot light guides a flame: a pilot light is a small flame that is used to light larger burners in various heating appliances, such as in furnaces, gas stoves, water heaters, and drying machines.
Pilot lights have evolved from the standing models which would keep lit constantly, to electronic models that ignite only when the appliance signals a need for heat generation. Both models serve the same functions and can be relit using the same general guidelines.
Every pilot assembly contains a thermocouple, which is used as a safety feature for both standing and electronic types. The thermocouple works by sensing heat from the pilot burner- when heat is detected, the main gas valve is opened.
If no heat is present, the thermocouple will shut down the main gas valve to the burners in order to prevent gas from building up. When this occurs, your pilot light needs to be reignited in order for the furnace to produce heat. If you find that your pilot light has gone out or will not ignite, it may be an easy fix that you can accomplish without waiting for a pro.
Pilot lights are fundamental to heating appliances. If the pilot light is inoperable, the appliance cannot create heat. We receive many calls from customers who have no heat in their home due to their pilot light malfunctioning, but again, this could be an easy fix.
How To Do It
Though reigniting a pilot light can be a simple task, be sure that you are properly equipped to complete it. You will need a barbeque lighter for its longer reach, and should have a proper source of light.
While there are many kinds of furnaces out there, the concept of reigniting a pilot light can be carried over to most of them.
If That Doesn’t Work…
If that doesn’t work, give it a few more shots. It might need more than one attempt to get going, depending on why it went out in the first place. If you still don’t find it to remain lit after multiple tries, call us – we’d be happy to help.
We hope you found this article helpful and informative. For more great information on HVAC systems and how they work, visit our Education Centre.