Natural Gas Furnace: Pilot won't stay lit


Old 05-07-07, 07:23 PM
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Natural Gas Furnace: Pilot won't stay lit

I'm not a DIYer, just a mom wanting to make sure I don't make an expensive, unneccesary service call... so please forgive the incorrectly used terminology...

I have a Carrier natural gas furnace and when I turn up the thermostat to get the heat to turn on, the pilot will click for a while, then finally light. But it goes off after a few seconds. Then the pilot clicks again for another 30 seconds or so before it fires up again. Then out again. And this goes on repeatedly. I had the furnace cleaned in late January and have had no problems until now. I turned the heater off a few days ago since the weather has been warm, and experienced this problem just today when I went to turn it back on. I also have a gas range and have no problems with the gas there.

Is this a problem I need to call a technician for (if yes, gas company or the HVAC place?), or is there a simple solution I can take care of??

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-08-07, 02:52 PM
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The problems you are describing could be a result of one of several things.

The two likely culprits are a bad flame sensor or dirty pilot orifice. With out seeing it, it's hard to say. I distant third problem could be low gas pressure.
Old 05-08-07, 02:58 PM
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Call a furnace company that sells that brand . Is the best bet. Or who cleaned it in Jan.
Old 05-08-07, 05:11 PM
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Decided based on symptoms of repeated ignition clicking that this is probably beyond a simple flame sensor polish up job a dYI'er could do, and you probably need to get HVAC tech on this one.

Last edited by DaVeBoy; 05-08-07 at 05:19 PM. Reason: Wrong in my initial assessment
Old 05-08-07, 06:40 PM
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Sue wrote of having a Carrier furnace. If it has the same pilot as my old Payne (which was made by Carrier) then the pilot does not have a flame rod as a sensor.

My Payne had a pilot with a warp switch. On a call for heat the pilot gas valve was energized along with the spark generator. The pilot would light and the warp switch would start to heat up. It would first shut off the spark generator and as it continued to warp it would close the switch to the main gas valve.

If she has this same type of pilot the problem could be a loose or disconnected wire or a faulty warp switch. If it is the warp switch itself the only fix is a new pilot assembly. It could also be a faulty main gas valve.
Old 05-18-07, 07:59 PM
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Problem Solved

My HVAC tech cleaned the pilot orifice and that did the trick. Thanks everyone for your help.

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