Common Furnace Problems: Dealing With a Pilot Light That Won't Stay Lit

Posted on: 7 June 2021


While having to relight the pilot light on your furnace once or twice during the heating season may not be a need for immediate concern, the need to relight the pilot more often than this can point to the need for professional heating repair services. Below you can learn more about a few of the common issues that could be causing this particular problem.

A Bad or Poorly Positioned Flame Sensor

The flame sensor on your furnace is responsible for telling your furnace that the pilot light is lit. If the flame sensor on your furnace has gone bad, your furnace may continue to blow even though the pilot light is not actually lit and is unable to heat the air that is being circulated throughout your home. This can also occur if the flame sensor is poorly positioned since improper positioning can prevent the furnace from properly detecting whether or not the pilot is lit. If this is the cause of your pilot light issues you will typically experience a furnace that is constantly running but failing to produce hot air. Fixing this issue immediately is important since gas will continue to flow despite the fact that the pilot light is not lit. 

Insufficient Gas Flow Leading to the Pilot

Like any system that relies on combustion, the proper amount of fuel must be delivered to the system in order to sustain operation. If your gas valve is not allowing for the right amount of gas to be delivered to your pilot light, this light will not stay lit. HVAC contractors will be able to correct this issue by simply readjusting your existing valve to allow for more gas to flow through. However, if the valve itself is defective, a new valve will need to be installed in order to repair the issue.

Defective Ignition Board

Unless your furnace is relatively old, there is a good chance that your furnace makes use of a computer board to control the ignition process. This computer board is like the brains of the ignition system and controls everything from how much gas is allowed to flow through your supply valve to the actual spark that makes combustion possible. If this board is defective or is malfunctioning in any way, it will prevent your pilot light either from staying lit or perhaps from lighting at all. In most cases the only way to correct this issue is to replace the defective part with the help of a professional heating service. 

For more information about your pilot light or any other heating repairs, contact a heating service near you.