Why Did the Pilot Light on My Gas Furnace Go Out?

Gas furnace interior

Pilot light failure is among the more common reasons why a gas furnace stops working. But why does that happen?

Since many newer gas furnaces have electronic ignitions, the problem most often occurs in older gas furnaces. Pilot lights can go out for several reasons, including:

  1. Having a weak flame – A pilot light flame should burn bright blue; if yours burns yellow, your system probably has a leak and requires service. Leaks cause your system to shut off the gas valve (for your safety) extinguishing your plot light.
  2. A build up of dirt – Dust and debris can clog the intake valve where the pilot light “lives,” making it difficult for the flame to breath and eventually causing pilot light failure.
  3. A damaged thermocouple – A thermocouple is an electrical device that, as a safety measure, changes its voltage output if there is a sudden shift in temperature. A damaged thermocouple can cause pilot light failure and requires professional service.
  4. A strong draft – This is the most common reason for pilot light failure, and the easiest to fix. Check your manufacturer’s instructions for re-igniting your pilot light; if you’re not comfortable performing the task, or if the pilot doesn’t stay on after several attempts to light it, contact us for service.

Having trouble with your gas furnace or any of your other home systems? Contact Mark Lindsay Plumbing’s expert team and we’ll get your problem fixed right away!

Schedule Your
Service Online
Schedule Service Conversion Form
Sending