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Useful Tips on What to Do If Your Pilot Light Goes Out

Posted On: October 5, 2015

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Many propane appliances, especially older models, have a feature called a pilot light. A pilot light is a small flame inside the device that is lit at all times. This flame is used to restart the main burner and prevent gas leaks. If you have a newer appliance, don’t panic if you don’t see a pilot light. Many new devices use electric ignitions in place of pilot lights.

Pilot lights will occasionally go out. It can be caused by something easily resolved, such as running out of propane or turning off the gas. However, if it needs to be relighted more than once per season, it should be inspected by a qualified service technician.

When the pilot light goes out, it does not leak carbon monoxide gas. However, if the light goes out frequently there could be other issues. Some of the possible serious reasons for pilot lights to go out include loose or broken gas valves, thermocouples or heat exchangers, faulty venting, low gas pressure or high winds.

If you believe there is a serious problem, don’t hesitate to contact a professional. For residents in PA, NJ, and NY, call the experts at SOS Xtreme Comfort in Milford, PA at 570-618-8055 and Tuxedo Park at 845-351-4700 for safe, certified service.

How to Relight a Pilot Light


In addition to needing to turn on the pilot light after it goes out unexpectedly, there are times that a homeowner might choose to turn off the pilot light. For these reasons, it is important to know how to relight the pilot light. The process is simple and the instructions can generally be found printed on the furnace in an easily found location.

In order to stay safe, ALWAYS check the manufacturer’s directions and follow them precisely.

Here are some of the basics that you can count on to remain the same regardless of the make and model of your appliances:

  1. Turn off your appliance at the power switch or thermostat.
  2. Find the gas valve control knob and turn it to select “pilot”.
  3.  If pilot light controls are sticky, do not apply force or use oil. This can cause damage that may lead to gas leaks.
  4. Press the red button while simultaneously holding a match to the pilot burner. You may need to use a long match or hold it with needle nose pliers to be able to reach the end of the small pilot tubing. These may be behind a small panel or metal door.
  5. After lighting the pilot light, continue to hold down the red button for 60 seconds longer. If you let go of the button and the flame remains lit, it has been successful.
  6. If the light goes out, you need the help of a qualified service technician.
  7. Return the gas valve knob to the “on” selection.
  8. Return any doors or panels that were moved in order to access the inner workings of the appliance.
  9. Relighting the pilot light after refilling the propane tank or turning the gas on is simple and straightforward. Lighting it with a more complicated problem can be extremely dangerous and avoided if at all possible. Risks include severe injuries or death, fire and explosion.

If you have run out of propane, then you will need to call and request for a propane delivery immediately. Be sure to call SOS Xtreme Comfort in PA, NJ, and NY for any help that you might need relighting your pilot light or for fast propane delivery.
Call Today for Fast Propane Delivery in Milford, PA 570-618-8055 and Tuxedo Park, NY 845-351-4700.

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Safety Guidelines to Minimize the Risk:

  1. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  2. All unnecessary people, especially children, should be evacuated from the building prior to attempting to relight the pilot light. This ensures their safety.
  3.  Make sure your work area is well ventilated. In addition to preventing any gas from accumulating, it is critical that you can smell propane or other gasses near the floor.
  4. If there is any gas odor or if there are any odors that could mask the smell of propane, such as musty or damp smells, do not attempt to relight the pilot light or use any flames, lights or any device that can cause sparks, such as cell phones, landline phones or electrical appliances.
  5. If there is any smell of gas, everybody should be evacuated as quickly as possible.
  6. If possible, shut off the main gas supply valve by turning it clockwise (to the right).
  7. Once at a safe distance, report the potential gas leak to your propane dealer or 911.
  8. Do not return to the building until a qualified service technician or EMT says that the building and gas system are safe.

Having the pilot light turn off is not automatically cause for panic. If it goes out, follow your manufacturer’s instructions and determine whether relighting it is safe. If relighting is not safe, or if your pilot light keeps going out, call for help from a trained technician.

For any questions on your heating equipment, contact SOS Xtreme Comfort. We specialize in keeping your home comfortable in the winter. Or, give us a call in Milford, PA at 570-618-8055 and in Tuxedo Park at 845-351-4700.

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