BVS Home Experts

Your Ultimate Pilot Light Guide

We always aim to offer the best services and solutions to our patrons. And as far as this blog is concerned, that often means helping troubleshoot some heavy-duty issues. But sometimes all a homeowner needs is some basic instruction! Are you the owner of a heating system that requires a pilot light to operate? Do you know how to light it safely? If not, this is the post for you!

Having trouble with your gas furnace? Contact BVS Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning today!

Safety First

Before we go anywhere at all, we really need to take a moment to talk safety. When you’re using a pilot light, you’re also using gas. And gas can come with some risks if safety is ignored. When you’re attempting to light or relight a pilot, be sure to carefully ensure there is absolutely no hint of gas lingering in the air. If you smell gas, be sure you’ve shut off all gas valves located or situated around your pilot, open a window and doors for ventilation, and wait until there is no gas smell lingering whatsoever.

Gas smell all gone? Good, then we’re ready to roll.

How to Light a Pilot

If your furnace uses a manual system, you’ll need to know how to light it! Don’t worry, it’s quick and easy, and pilot lights are manufactured to be very, very safe. Follow these steps, and you’ll have that little light ready to go in no time:

  1. Turn the gas valve to the “off” position, and give your furnace a few minutes to dissipate all gas. Should be about ten minutes before the smell of gas entirely goes away. While you’re at it, turn your furnace’s thermostat to the lowest possible setting to avoid flare ups when you get the pilot lit.
  2. Remove the access panel to your pilot; it should be identified with lettering, a sticker, or another form of label. You might need a screwdriver to take off the panel if you’re servicing an old manual gas furnace, but many newer ones simply slide off.
  3. If the panel is now off and you have access to your pilot, turn the valve to the “pilot” setting, and press in on the valve. It should depress, like a button would (or there might be a designated button for this; if so it will likely say “reset” on it).
  4. Grab your fire-maker of choice (we like those clicky candle lighters; no risk of going out or burning down like a match) and touch the flame to the tip of your pilot. If all was done right, the pilot should ignite, producing a small flame roughly the size of a candle’s flame.
  5. Keep the gas valve depressed in the “pilot” position for about a minute to ensure proper gas flow, and then release the button. Did the pilot stay lit? If so, great! Flip the valve to the “on” position and close thing sup, you’re good to go.

Did your pilot light not stay lit? It’s not a bad idea to repeat the process one more time just to be sure, but if you still can’t get your pilot going, it’s time to call in a professional for gas furnace repair.

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