Steps For Re-Lighting Your Furnace In A Safe Manner

April 26, 2023

The winters in Utah can get quite chilly, and it can be so comforting to be at home where it’s nice and warm. However, sometimes the heat stops working, leaving you in the cold and wondering what to do.

There could be a few reasons as to why your furnace is no longer working. One of the possible reasons is that your pilot light has gone out. Don’t worry if this is the case since it’s fairly simple to safely re-light your furnace.

The Basic Steps

Re-lighting your furnace’s pilot light typically only requires one tool. You’ll need a long match or a lighter. Length is important because you don’t want to be too close to the flame when it catches. If your furnace is in a dimly lit area, consider wearing a headlight or bringing a flashlight with you.

Take the access panel off of the furnace. It’s easy to remove this component; in many cases, it can simply be lifted off the furnace without any tools. If your furnace is one that has an access panel that’s connected with screws, it should only take a minute to loosen them and remove the panel. Keep those screws in a safe place because they could easily get lost while you do your work. On the back of the access panel, you may find directions for how to re-light your pilot light. If there are no instructions, follow the instructions below.

Find the gas valve control knob. Usually, it’s located somewhere near the bottom of the furnace. You’ll know that it’s the right knob when you see the words “On”, “Off”, and “Pilot.” These are the three positions that will be important as we move on to the next steps. Locate the “Reset” button as well. It’s usually found right next to the gas valve control knob, and it’s often painted red to help it stand out.

Note that some furnaces don’t have the “Reset” button. Instead, the gas valve control knob can be pushed in by about one or two centimeters, and this basically serves the same function as the “Reset” button. If this is the case for your furnace, as you read the next few steps, just push the valve down whenever the instructions say to press the “Reset” button.

Turn the control knob to the “Off” position so that gas stops flowing through the unit. Wait at least a few minutes for any remaining gas to dissipate. Many recommend that you should wait for five minutes. You might want to set a timer so that you can be confident that it will be safe to move forward. This will greatly reduce the chances of any flare-ups when you light your match or spark your lighter.

Next, turn the control knob to the “Pilot” position. Ignite your lighter or light your match. Press and hold down the “Reset” button as you bring the flame to the opening of the pilot light. At this point, the pilot light should catch. When it has been lit for at least a few seconds, release pressure from the “Reset” button.

If you’re not sure where the pilot light is, look at the tubes that are connected to the gas valve control box. The two smaller ones should lead you directly to the pilot light opening.

After the pilot light has successfully been lit, turn the gas valve control knob to the “On” position. This will ensure that the right amount of gas flows through the unit and that heat can be generated.

If you’re unsuccessful on your first try, wait a few minutes and then go through the steps once more. The second time, the difference will be that you’ll hold the “Reset” button down for a longer period of time. Holding it down for about one minute will give the flame a chance to get stronger.

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Last Updated: May 25, 2023