Pilot Light won't stay lit


Old 10-14-04, 03:30 PM
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Pilot Light won't stay lit

Well, I finally found where my pilot light is and when I light it, it won't stay lit. I have a gas furnace with one of those On/Off/Pilot switches. We had the switch as well as the thermocouple replaced last year, so they should be pretty new. I switched the switch onto Pilot, lit is, held it for about a minute and then when I go to switch it to on, it shuts off...any suggestions?

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Old 10-14-04, 04:07 PM
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Hello: Colleen and Welcome to the Do-It-Yourself Web Site.

Several possibilities.

First thing to do is be sure the pilot flame is not yellow or have yellow in it. If it does you appears to be dusty or you are not sure, blow entire pilot assemble out using canned air used to clean computer keyboards.

Blast the entie pilot assembly from all angles and into all openings. Once completed re light pilot and note if it stays on or not. If pilot does not stay on, thermocouple is likely defective. Must be replaced. Some do not last to long while others can last for years.

The thermocouple is the part the pilot flame is in contact with. The opposite end of the thermocouple is threaded into the gas valve. This end must be carefully unscrewed out of the gas valves control using a small open ended wrench. Usually a 3/8ths open end wrench works best.

A thermocouple is generic except for it's length. Thermocouples are made in different lengths. Measure the removed part or take the one you remove to any hardware store and replace it with an exact duplicate in length. The parts cost is very nominal.

New thermocouple packages will contain complete do-it-yourself installation instructions and pictures. The package also contains additional clips of various assortments.

Not all the parts contained in the package with the thermocouple will be needed. The packages contain an assortment of holding parts and clips that are generic and designed to fit a wide variety of applications.

Heating & Appliance part stores stock replacement parts for almost every heater brand. The locations for the dealers, agents and retail part stores are listed in the phone book. Hardware stores also carry thermocouples.

Be sure the electrical power to the appliance is turned off, the thermostat is turned down and the gas control valve is in the off postion before attempt any repairs.

Last most likely cause is a defective magneto. The magneto is the part the threaded nut end the T-Couple screws into. That part may or may not be removeable in all types of gas control valves. If not removeable, the entire gas control valve must be replaced.

If you need further assistance, use the reply button to add any additional information or ask additional questions after attempting the correctional method or methods offered.

Check back on your question several more times. Heating professionals and other members posting replies in this forum topic may offer you additional advice, ideas and or repair methods.

Use the reply button to add additional information or questions. Using this method moves the topic back up to the top of the list of current questions automatically.

Be sure the electrical power to the appliance is turned off, the thermostat is turned down and the gas control valve is in the off postion before attempting any repairs.

Regards & Good Luck. Sharp Advice.
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Cautionary Note: Be sure the electrical power to the appliance is turned off, the thermostat is turned down and the gas control valve is in the off position before attempting any services or repairs.
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