What’s Wrong With My Pilot Light in Ocean City, MD

Pilot lights used to be commonplace on gas-fired appliances. With an older gas-fired furnace in Ocean City, MD, keeping its pilot light on could be an ongoing challenge, and here are some reasons why it might go out.

Your Furnace May Be Too Old

Even with regular furnace maintenance and timely repairs, most fuel-combusting heaters last 15 to 20 years. A failed pilot light could simply mean that your heater has sustained all the wear it can withstand. Given that electronic ignition switches replaced these in 2010, there’s a good chance that these problems are age-related.

The Air Intake Valve Is Dirty

All flames need oxygen. Your pilot light is inside your furnace’s air intake valve. If this heavy buildup of dirt and other grime ever block this valve, this flame will go out.

There’s a Nearby Draft

Furnaces often sit in low-lying, drafty areas of your home, like your basement or attached garage. If someone has entered this area and slammed a door, causing the pilot light to go out, you should be able to light it and have it remain lit until there’s another draft.

The Thermocouple Is Dirty, Broken or Bent

Gas-fired furnaces with pilot lights require a steady, constant supply of gas. This accounts for much of their standby energy losses.

Thermocouples make sure that pilot lights are using this gas, so it isn’t seeping out into living spaces. If the thermocouple is dirty, bent or broken, thermocouples cannot detect heat from pilot lights. As a result, they shut down the supply of natural gas as a safety precaution.

Your Pilot Light Isn’t Burning Fuel Efficiently

Pilot lights should always have bright blue flames. If your pilot light is bright yellow, orange, or red, your pilot isn’t burning fuel efficiently and may be releasing carbon monoxide (CO).

Pilot light problems are always cause for concern. Fortunately, you can count on us for fast, effective solutions. If you need furnace repair or replacement service in Ocean City, MD, get in touch with us at Custom Mechanical.

Image provided by iStock

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