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Why Does My Furnace Pilot Light Keep Going Out?

One of the most common problems with heating systems is a pilot light that keeps going out. This can greatly inconvenience you during cold days as you will be forced to keep relighting the pilot. 

You might be scratching your head, asking yourself, “Why does my pilot light keep going out?” If your pilot light goes out frequently, or you notice this problem suddenly out of the blue, there are several potential reasons.

In this post, we’ve compiled some reasons why your pilot keeps going out to help you identify and resolve the issue.

An Older Furnace

If your furnace is more than 20 years old, it most likely has a standing pilot light. This pilot light may experience problems if components of your furnace become dirty, damaged, or worn with age. Additionally, older furnaces can experience cracked heat exchangers. A crack in a heat exchanger can negatively impact the combustion chamber and the flame inside it, which can, in turn, affect the pilot light.

A Malfunctioning Thermocouple

A broken thermocouple in your gas furnace could be the culprit behind a furnace pilot light that keeps going out. A thermocouple is a rod in your system that comes in contact with the flame. The thermocouple is found close to the flame, and when the flame is ignited, your pilot light will notify the thermocouple to keep the gas line open. The device deactivates the gas once the pilot light goes off.

If the thermocouple fails to detect the flame in your gas furnace, it will automatically shut off the gas valve to prevent gas leaks. Some of the issues that make the furnace light not stay lit include dirt buildup on the thermocouple and deformed thermocouples.

A Curved Thermocouple

The thermocouple plays a critical role in your heating system. Should it detect an unlit pilot light, it will automatically turn the gas off. If your thermocouple is dirty, it means the current it receives is obstructed and inadequate, leading to a gas outage. Besides the dirt buildup, the thermocouple could also be bent to a non-functional point. Should it bend too far from the pilot, the device will fail to detect heat and shut off the light.

To discover why the pilot light keeps going out, you may want to locate your thermocouple to make sure it’s still working properly.

A Broken Gas Regulator

If your home has natural gas appliances, then a gas meter has been installed outside of your home. You will also typically find your gas regulator near your gas meter. The gas regulator’s job is to push gas into your home to feed your various gas-fueled appliances. As a result, a faulty, broken, or old gas regulator may not be able to do its job, which could be why your pilot light keeps going out.

How to Check for a Bad Gas Regulator

If you’re always wondering why the flame on the furnace keeps going out, the gas regulator could be to blame. You’ll know your pilot light keeps going out because of a bad gas regulator if the other gas-fueled appliances in your home are having issues. These appliances can include a gas stove or water heater.

A Bad Pilot Orifice

How often do you find yourself asking, “Why does my pilot light keep going out minutes after the light is ignited?” Then, a dirty pilot orifice may be your culprit. When you have a blue pilot flame, the pilot light should be working correctly.

However, if you notice a yellow flame, there will likely be a problem; yellow flames are weak and unable to envelop the thermocouple properly. If you have a yellow flame, you can remove the pilot orifice and clean it with tweezers or other tools. In the case your pilot light keeps going out after cleaning the pilot orifice, call a professional for a furnace repair in New Haven.

A Dirty Pilot Tube

The other leading cause of this issue is a dirty flex and pilot tube. When the tubes get dirty, the flow of gas is blocked. The flex tubing is typically connected to the gas controller and plays a crucial role in ensuring a steady gas flow. Should it get dirty or blocked, it will fail to operate optimally and trigger system malfunctioning that causes the furnace pilot to go off.

What Should You Do With a Furnace Pilot Light That Keeps Going Out? 

Should you encounter these problems in your system, call Air Specialties for a service appointment to ascertain the primary cause. 

Reliable Furnace Cleaning Services in New Haven, CT

As you can see, there are numerous reasons why your furnace pilot light won’t stay lit. If you’re still unsure what’s causing the problem and keep asking yourself why does the pilot light keep going out, turn to a professional furnace technician for help.

At Air Specialties, we have been offering dependable furnace cleaning and furnace repair in and around New Haven, CT, for homes and businesses for the past several decades. Our team of technicians is continuously trained on the latest innovations and industry trends and ready to serve you at a moment’s notice!

Whether your furnace or boiler pilot light keeps going out, Air Specialties has the heating expertise to help fix the problem. Contact us today to learn more about our furnace services and see what our heating specialists can do for you!

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