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Why Does My Gas Furnace Pilot Light Keep Going Out?

Repairman Cleaning Gas Furnace Pilot Light

Older furnaces manufactured before 2010 have standing pilot lights to ignite the burner. Unfortunately, they are prone to going out for several reasons. Consider the most common issues that might cause your gas furnace pilot light in Raleigh, NC, to repeatedly go out.

Dirty or Faulty Thermocouple

The thermocouple is a device that senses whether the pilot light is burning and controls fuel flow. Not only does it control fuel into the burner, but also the small amount needed for the pilot light.

The thermocouple can become dirty over time, especially if the pilot isn’t burning efficiently, preventing accurate temperature recognition. Further, thermocouples may malfunction. A service technician will clean the thermocouple during routine furnace maintenance or repair a faulty one.

Clogged Pilot Orifice

The small amount of fuel needed for the pilot flows from the pilot orifice. This can become clogged when the pilot doesn’t burn properly or if the burners aren’t completely burning the fuel. A service technician will also clean this orifice during annual furnace maintenance.

Faulty Gas Valve or Regulator

Your furnace, which includes the pilot light, cannot run without enough fuel flowing into the system. Before the gas can get to the thermocouple, it has to pass through the gas valve and regulator.

The valve is like the on-and-off switch for the gas while the regulator controls its pressure. If either of these is bad, it can prevent enough gas from getting through to allow the pilot to burn.

Improper Fuel-to-Air Mixture

To burn properly, the gas must have a specific mixture of air. Without the right mixture, it may not burn hot enough to activate the thermocouple.

If you have a furnace with a pilot light, chances are that it’s about time to replace your system. Call to schedule a consultation with one of the NATE-certified furnace installation service technicians at Quality Comfort Services, Inc.

Image provided by iStock

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