The pilot light is the ignition source for the burners in your furnace. If it goes out, the furnace will not ignite gas or generate heat, which would leave your Hampton, PA home without heat during colder months. Here are three reasons why your furnace’s pilot light might be failing.

1. No Gas Flow

The simplest reason for this problem is that there’s little to no gas flowing to the burners in your furnace. Reasons for this problem vary, but a common one is that your furnace’s gas valve is faulty. If the valve is working properly, but your pilot light is either yellow or off completely, then you may have a gas leak on your hands — a serious situation that requires immediate professional intervention.

2. Busted Thermocouple

A thermocouple is a copper tube next to the pilot light that works as a furnace’s flame sensor. Its purpose is to control the gas valve and cause it to open or close in response to temperature changes in the furnace and changes in the pilot light.

A thermocouple that’s misaligned or covered in debris will not be able to perform this important function. As a result, it may not stop gas flow to your furnace’s burner when necessary, which can trigger a fire. Alternatively, it may fail to send gas to the burner, leading your furnace to generate insufficient heat.

3. Dirty Pilot Light Orifice

The gas that causes your furnace’s pilot light to switch on flows through a special orifice. If dirt, dust, soot or other debris obstruct that orifice, the pilot light will not turn on, even if the rest of the furnace is functioning normally.

To clean this orifice, you must schedule professional furnace maintenance. When a technician comes to tune up your furnace, they will disassemble the relevant parts of it and clean the pilot light orifice until the gas flows normally again. In extreme cases, they may have to replace these parts altogether.

The pilot light is an essential piece of every furnace. Since it also alerts you to the presence of things like carbon monoxide leaks, any malfunction could place you and your household in jeopardy. For your peace of mind, call Titan HVAC Inc. and ask for our furnace repair services in Hampton, PA.

Image provided by iStock

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