Common Course Of Furnace Pilot Light Problems

The pilot light is meant to ignite the main flame that produces the heat needed to warm up your rooms. This means your furnace will not be working and your home will be cold if the pilot light is malfunctioning. Here are some of the potential reasons your furnace's pilot light may malfunction:

The Thermocouple Is Dirty

The thermocouple is a safety mechanism that controls the flow of gas to the furnace. The thermocouple needs to detect the pilot flame so that it can open up the gas flow. Without the thermocouple, the gas would flow even without the flame to burn it, which is a clear fire hazard.

If the thermocouple is malfunctioning, it may fail to open up the gas valve even with the pilot light on. In such a case, the pilot light will be on but the furnace will not be producing any heat. This may happen, for example, if the thermocouple (a metal) is bent, broken or not properly aligned with the flame.

There Is Improper Airflow

In some cases, you may have a problem with your pilot light because it is exposed to the excess draft. This happens if there is improper airflow and the pilot light is experiencing more wind than it is designed to handle. This may be the case, for example, if an unusually strong wind is blowing, the furnace is installed in a drafty area or the furnace duct is leaking and focusing airflow to the pilot light.

The Pilot Tip is Dirty

Expect pilot light problems if the pilot tip, from where the flame is emanates, is dirty. The pilot tip can be clogged with corrosion, soot or other forms of combustion residue. If that is the case, then the pilot tip may not produce a strong flame, the thermocouple action may not be triggered, and your furnace will not work.

The Pilot Flame Is Maladjusted

The furnace is equipped with a fixture for adjusting the size of the pilot flame. You don't need to use the adjustment feature as long as your furnace is operating optimally, which is why some people don't even know about the feature. However, the pilot flame may get maladjusted after many years of use or due to an accidental trigger of the adjusting element, reducing the size of the flame and affecting the operation of the furnace.

As you can see, there are many things that can affect the operation of the pilot light. That is why you need a professional's intervention, such as from Comfort Solutions Inc, if relighting the pilot light doesn't help.