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Question DetailsAsked on 3/15/2017

my gas furnace pilot light will not light

the ignitor clicks but I don't smell any gas. I performed the pilot lighting procedure recommended on the furnace twice but it still will not light

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1 Answer

Voted Best Answer

Of course make sure the gas shutoff valve (either at the meter, in which case no gas appliances in the house would work) or at the gasline end of the flex tubing at the furnace, is open (handle aligned with the line).

Also that you are pressing down firmly on the gas control knob if yours needs that - with it in the PILOT position. With several brands if the knob is not exactly at the right position, it will not depress fully so the gas will not flow.

You don't say WHY you are relighting it - but if it "died" in use then possibly some safety sensor tripped out - a flame rollout sensor, firebox overheat sensor, exhaust flue damper or blower fan (if high-efficiency condensing unit) operation or pressure sensor, etc. Check if your unit has a digital readout or colored LED lights and check what they mean in the owner's manual. Sometimes LED's light (or are dark) in different patterns, or sometimes they flash in different long-short patterns, or different color combinations - sometimes a digital LED/LCD display which will shows error codes or messages. [Some units the safety sensors will prevent pilot lighting, others allow the pilot to light but not the burner - see owner's manual for details on that]

If it has been out of service for awhile, then air can get in the lines so it can take from 5-20 seconds of gas flow commonly, on up to as much as a minute or two of gas flow through the pilot before you are getting gas if it has been sitting with the gas piping exposed to the air - like after a piping repair or meter changeout, so not only the pilot tube but the gas line to the furnace has to refill with gas.

If you have checked the valves, and there is no gas smell or ignition after holding the gas control know (or PILOT button as applicable) down for 30-60 seconds while trying the ignitor every few seconds, then I would guess a lack of gas is the issue. A plumber or HVAC tech would likely loosen the tubing a bit at the shutoff or gas control valve to see if gas flows but I would not recommend that to a homeowner. If you listen carefully, with the knob in the PILOT or LIGHT positiion you should be able to hear a hiss at the pilot - if not, there is no gas pressure so a gas supply or gas control valve issue most likely. Or you can take a long fireplace match or burning splinter of wood and hold the flame at the pilot diverter (the "finger" that shields the thermocouple) and see if it wavers when you push down on the gas control knob or pilot button - indicating air is coming out but not gas, meaning you need to let it flow longer till gas starts coming out.

If getting gas at other gas appliances OK (water heater probably, manbe clothes dryer or range or natural gas plumbed barbecue or such) then gas source is not the problem, so the gas control valve would be the next problem area guess - or a safety interlock sensor tripped out as described at the start of this discussion.

Heating and A/C would be the vendor Search the List category to find well-rated and reviewed company to send a technician for this diagnosis and repair job.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD



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Answered 3 years ago by Member Services

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