Why Won’t My Furnace Pilot Light Stay Lit?

You don’t need us to tell you that a furnace is an absolute necessity in Ohio. And that point has never been more relevant than in this past year! But as you also likely know, tons of stuff can go wrong with a furnace, and as a homeowner you can often feel stuck, frustrated, and freezing.

Today the specialists at Shanklin Heating & Air Conditioning want to arm you with some basic furnace know-how: why a pilot light might not stay lit. That way next time the furnace gives you some trouble, maybe you can handle the situation without having to resort to space heaters!

Need help troubleshooting your pilot light, or tired of not getting the heating power you deserve? Contact the furnace specialists at Shanklin online now for furnace repair in Dalton and Massillon, Ohio!

Standing Pilot Light Troubleshooting

Many homeowners today still use the old-school standard of a standing pilot gas furnace system. These are the ones you have to light manually, and while they’re pretty good at keeping things toasty, they can also run across quite a few situations that might make them incapable of staying lit. These commonly include:

  • Dirty pilot and or burners. Our furnaces run for months on end every single year, and this will often lead to plenty of gunk and mess ending up on and around the pilot. If you’re trying to do a simple troubleshoot, start by shutting the system down completely and carefully cleaning on and around the pilot.
  • Thermocouple malfunctions. The thermocouple is a very important safety device in your gas furnace. When working properly, the thermocouple monitors the pilot to see if it is functioning properly. If the pilot goes out, the thermocouple kills the flow of gas in the system, preventing toxic and potentially combustible gas buildup. However, just like any other component in an HVAC system, the thermocouple can wear out or begin to malfunction and send false signals, which will prevent the furnace from working.
  • Pilot tube trouble. Blockage in the pilot tube is somewhat uncommon, but it can happen. This is very hard to look for on your own, so the odds are good that you’ll need a professional furnace repair person to help.
  • You don’t have a pilot light. When most folks hear the words “gas furnace” they assume they’ll have a pilot light, just like any older system. However tons of modern gas systems have moved on, either to electric “spark” pilots that are only lit briefly when the unit kicks on, or direct heat surface types, which use something closer to a range element than a standard pilot. Any time you move into a new home or get a new furnace, be sure to understand what type of system you’re dealing with!
  • Issues with the gas line/supply. And finally, there might be an issue with the gas supply to your pilot, which uses its own small supply separately from the rest of the furnace.

How Do I Avoid Furnace Pilot Problems?

This one’s easy, and will only take two words: Get maintenance!

Furnace maintenance and annual tune-up services include things like pilot light inspections, thorough cleaning, and line checks, all of which will address and prevent problems before they crop up. We’re currently on the wind down when it comes to winter at the moment, but if you want that thing working right come next year, be sure to schedule a service.

Looking for furnace maintenance specialists in Dalton, Ohio and the surrounding area? Contact Shanklin Heating & Air Conditioning online, or call (330) 818-2630 right away!

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