Safely Lighting Your Pilot Light


Lighting Your Pilot Light

Follow these instructions to safely light your pilot light. Before you get started, you’ll need matches and a flashlight. Here are the main things to watch out for:

It is very important to follow instructions of your appliance. If you don't have them, make sure you have a flashlight ready to see inside your unit.

It is very important to follow instructions of your appliance. If you don’t have them, make sure you have a flashlight ready to see inside your unit.

  • If you smell a large amount of gas, hear a hissing sound,\ or feel suddenly ill (within minutes) with flu-like symptoms, do NOT attempt to light your appliance and evacuate immediately. Call for help from a neighboring location or a cell phone OUTSIDE.
  • Do not hit knobs or valves with any tool. Doing so can cause a spark that can trigger an explosion. If a knob or valve will not turn for you, call a professional for service.
  • If you must evacuate, leave the door or a window open behind you. Do not attempt to use a cell or landline phone, or turn on anything that uses electricity in the house. This could lead to an explosion.

Now. Here is a step-by-step for older appliances:

  1. Always read the instructions for your particular appliance.
  2. Turn the gas control valve to “off” and check any other gas appliances for unlit pilots and turn off their gas control valves as well if the pilots are out. Wait 5-10 minutes for all remaining gas fumes to dissolve.
  3. If the smell of gas persists or gets worse, evacuate and call for help.
  4. Remove the cover or open the door to your furnace if no gas is there. This cover is typically under the gas control knob.
  5. Use a flashlight if needed to see the pilot light tube.
  6. Use a long match and hold it next to tube, do this as you turn the knob to “pilot.”
  7. Press the reset switch and light the tube. Your reset switch can be a red button or lever. Hold the switch for 1 minute after the tube lights.
  8. If the pilot does not stay lit, repeat the instructions 1-2 more times. If the pilot still does not stay lit, call a professional technician.

For newer appliances:

  • Set your thermostat on your furnace to the lowest setting and turn off all electronic power to it.
  • Remove the front panel to reach the main gas valve.
  • Turn the external gas knob clockwise to the “OFF” position.
  • Allow 5-10 minutes for any remaining gas to vent.
  • Turn the gas knob counter clockwise to the “ON” position.
  • Put front panel back on and set your thermostat to the desired setting.
  • Within 15-20 seconds the main burners should come on and heat to the desired setting.
  • If the burners do not light, lower the thermostat setting or disconnect the power for 5 minutes and try again. If it still will not light, turn “OFF” gas and electricity to the unit and call for service.