How to Relight the Pilot in Your Furnace / Heater

How to Relight Your Furnace

The pilot light on your furnace is a small gas flame that serves as an ignition source. If the pilot light is out, you will need to relight it following the steps outlined below:

  1. Find the instruction label on the furnace - most furnaces will come equipped with a sticker that includes instructions for how to relight the pilot light if it is out. If they aren't there, check the manual that came with your furnace (if you still have it) or check the manufacturer's website online. 
  2. Locate furnace "on/off" switch - this should be found near the bottom of your furnace. Toggle the switch to "off" and wait at least five minutes before moving onto step three.
  3. Relight the pilot light - follow instructions for your specific furnace for more accurate details, but on most furnaces you'll need to turn the knob to "pilot" while holding down the "reset" button. Use a long lighter to ignite the pilot light and release the reset button. The pilot light should stay lit at this point. It's is important that the flame is burning blue instead of yellow or orange. If the flame is yellow there is too much air in the gas line. If it is orange there is too much gas and could potentially pose a hazard.

Gas Valve Setting

If the pilot refuses to stay on, make sure gas is flowing into the furnace. Make sure the gas valve is set to the “ON” position. If the pilot switch is in the “ON” position but there isn’t gas coming out of the pilot tube, the tube may be clogged. Inspect the gas tube to ensure it is not obstructed.

If the pilot lights but will not stay lit, then you may have a problem with your thermocouple. This may mean your thermocouple needs to be adjusted or replaced. If you have never done this before, we recommend contacting a professional.

Inadequate Gas Supply

The gas supply running through your furnace might have been cut off. This will not allow your furnace to receive the gas needed to supply the warm air you need.

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