Dealing with Pilot Light when it Goes Out

There are few things more disheartening than expecting to return to a cozy home where you can shake off winter’s chill and finding that your home is nearly as frosty as the outdoors. For those with a gas heating system, the problem may be a pilot light that’s out. And that’s great news because that’s a heating issue you may be able to remedy yourself. Here’s how to safely relight your pilot light:

  1. Turn your furnace off and turn the thermostat to the lowest setting
  2. Wait five minutes (this allows any gas that had been in the system to dissipate)
  3. Locate the reset button and the place where you will need to light the pilot
  4. Turn the gas knob to “Pilot”
  5. Hold down the reset button as you use a long lighter to introduce a flame to the pilot “spout”
  6. Continue to hold the reset button for one minute, then release

That’s it! Your pilot light should be reignited. When you turn up your thermostat, you should hear the gentle “whoosh” of the burners catching from the pilot, and soon you will hear the forced air begin to travel through your ductwork.

A Few Words of Caution

If relighting your pilot light does not work once, you may try again. However, if your pilot does not stay lit after two attempts, then likely there is something else going on with your furnace. Call R & R Heating & Air for troubleshooting and repair.

Never…and we mean never…attempt to relight your pilot light if after turning off the system and waiting five minutes for residual gas to dissipate and you still smell gas (most natural gas has an additive that produces a rotten smell). That is the sign of a gas leak. In this case, we recommend you turn off the main gas valve to your home and call the gas company. Ideally, everyone should leave the house. But if that is impractical, make sure to allow fresh air in and move everyone as far away as possible from gas sources and gas-powered appliances.

To avoid any potential issues, please contact R & R Heating & Air for preventative seasonal maintenance.