My Pilot Light is Out. What Do I Do?

It’s not unusual to experience a pilot light going out in your home, especially if you use gas appliances. When this happens it can be difficult to know what to do and where to start. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take that will help you get the problem fixed quickly and safely. 

In this blog post we’ll discuss why pilot lights go out, how to tell when yours has gone out, and how you should approach fixing the issue. We’ll also provide tips on how best to maintain your pilot light so that it remains lit for as long as possible. By following these steps, you’ll be able to get your appliance back up and running in no time at all!

Why pilot lights go out

There are several reasons why the pilot light on your gas appliance may go out. One common cause is simply a gust of wind blowing through an open window or door and extinguishing the flame. 

Another possibility is that there may be a problem with the gas supply line to the appliance, which can cause the pilot light to flicker or go out entirely.

In some cases, a dirty pilot tube or burner can also cause the pilot light to go out. This can be caused by debris or soot buildup within the tube, which can inhibit the flow of gas to the flame. Similarly, a malfunctioning thermocouple can also cause pilot light issues, as it may not be properly sensing whether the flame is lit or not.

Additionally, if your gas appliance is older, it may be more prone to pilot light issues due to wear and tear. Over time, the components within the appliance may become corroded or damaged, which can lead to pilot light problems. 

How to tell when yours has gone out

To determine if your pilot light has gone out, there are a few signs to look out for. The most obvious indication is that there will be no flame present when you try to ignite the appliance. If you hear the gas flowing but don’t see a flame, then it’s likely that the pilot light has gone out.

Another way to tell if your pilot light is out is to check the color of the flame when it’s lit. A properly functioning pilot light will produce a strong blue flame, whereas a weakened or struggling flame may indicate that there is an issue with the pilot light. If the flame is yellow or orange instead of blue, this could also be a sign that the pilot light is failing.

In some cases, you may also detect a distinct sulfur or rotten egg smell when the pilot light goes out. This odor is caused by a chemical called mercaptan, which is added to natural gas to make it easier to detect leaks. If you detect this smell, it’s important to turn off your gas supply immediately and call a professional to diagnose and fix the issue.

It’s worth noting that if your pilot light keeps going out, then there may be a more serious problem at play. In this case, it’s important to have your appliance inspected by a qualified technician to ensure that everything is functioning as it should..

How you should approach fixing the issue

If you find that your pilot light has gone out, there are several steps you can take to fix the issue. First, you should turn off the appliance’s gas supply and wait several minutes to allow any accumulated gas to dissipate. This is important for ensuring that you don’t accidentally ignite any gas that may have built up around the appliance.

Once you’ve waited for a few minutes, you can relight the pilot light. To do this, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific appliance. In most cases, you’ll need to locate the pilot light assembly, which is usually found near the gas supply valve. Once you’ve found the assembly, you will need to press down on the control knob and light the pilot light with a long lighter or match.

It’s important to note that if you’re not comfortable relighting the pilot light yourself, or if you’re unsure of the proper technique, it’s better to enlist the help of a qualified professional. A professional technician can ensure that the pilot light is lit safely and correctly, and can also inspect the appliance to ensure that there are no underlying issues that may be causing the pilot light to go out.

If you’ve successfully relight the pilot light but still experience issues with it consistently going out, there are a few additional steps you can take. First, you should check the pilot tube and burner for debris or soot buildup. If you detect any buildup, you can clean the components using a soft-bristled brush or compressed air. Similarly, if you suspect that the thermocouple may be malfunctioning, you can replace it following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Tips on how best to maintain your pilot light

Maintaining your pilot light is key to ensuring that your gas appliance operates safely and effectively. With a little care and regular maintenance, you can keep your pilot light burning brightly for years to come. Here are some tips to help you get started.

First and foremost, it’s important to make sure that your gas appliance is installed correctly. This includes ensuring that the gas supply line is correctly sized, that all fittings are tight and secure, and that the appliance is properly ventilated. If you’re unsure about any of these installation factors, it’s best to enlist the help of a professional technician.

Another important aspect of pilot light maintenance is cleaning. Over time, debris, dirt, and soot can build up around the pilot light, causing it to become weak or go out entirely. To prevent this buildup, it’s recommended that you clean your pilot light every six months to a year, depending on usage.

To clean your pilot light, turn off your gas supply and allow the appliance to cool completely. Once it’s cool, remove any covers or shields that are covering the pilot light assembly. Next, use a soft-bristled brush, like a toothbrush or paintbrush, to gently remove any dirt or debris around the pilot light assembly. If the buildup is particularly heavy, you may also use compressed air to blow it away.

Once you’ve cleaned the pilot light assembly, test the pilot light to make sure it’s burning correctly. If it’s not, you may need to relight it using the manufacturer’s instructions.

In addition to regular cleaning, it’s also important to have your appliance inspected by a qualified technician on a regular basis.

 During these inspections, the technician will check for proper ventilation, gas pressure, and any signs of wear or damage. They can also clean the inside of the appliance, which can help extend its lifespan.

Finally, it’s important to be aware of any signs that your pilot light may be malfunctioning. These signs can include weak flames, unusual odors, or a pilot light that continually goes out. If you detect any of these signs, turn off your gas supply immediately and call a professional technician to diagnose and fix the problem.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, pilot lights are an important safety feature for gas appliances. If you find that your pilot light has gone out, it is essential to check the manufacturer’s instructions and contact a professional if necessary. Taking these steps can help ensure that your appliance will be working safely in no time! Remember to always take proper precautions when attempting any repairs on home appliances, especially those related to gas or electricity. Safety should always come first!

If you’re experiencing issues with your pilot light or gas appliances, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Expert Plumbing. Our trained professionals have years of experience in diagnosing and fixing problems related to gas appliances while prioritizing your safety above all else. 

We understand the importance of having well-functioning appliances in your home, and we’re here to ensure that your appliances are working to their full potential. Our services are affordable, reliable, efficient, and we’re available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have. So why wait? Contact Expert Plumbing now and let us help you get your appliances back in working order!

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