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A-Avis Home Services Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

Why Isn’t My Pilot Light Staying Lit?

Everyone’s pilot light goes out every once in a while. It’s annoying, but pretty much unavoidable. This isn’t really that much of a problem, as any HVAC technician can relight it for you pretty fast. If your pilot light is stubbornly refusing to stay lit, however, it’s an indication of something a bit more serious. Read on for a list of possible reasons why your pilot light won’t stay lit.

Bad Thermocouple

The thermocouple is a sensor that controls the flow of gas to the pilot light. When it senses the heat from the pilot light, the thermocouple opens the gas line to keep it lit. When the pilot light goes out, the thermocouple senses this and shuts the gas line. This is a safety feature, designed to prevent your home from filling up with gas if the pilot light goes out. A bad thermocouple, however, is often unable to sense the heat from the pilot light. This leads it to think that the pilot light is out when it really isn’t, and close the gas line, stifling the flame. This is the most common reason that pilot lights refuse to stay lit. The thermocouple keeps smothering the flame because it can’t detect it anymore.

Unlike a faulty thermocouple, these last two issues can be fixed without having to replace the part. It’s possible that the rod serving as the thermocouple’s sensor is bent away from the flame. This results in the same effect as a bad sensor, smothering the pilot light because it can’t detect the heat from the flame. The best case scenario is that the thermocouple sensor is simply dirty. If the pilot light isn’t burning as clean as it should be, the thermocouple can become coated in soot. This will insulate it from the heat of the pilot light.

If your pilot light seems to be having trouble staying lit, call Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air. Our HVAC experts offer heating service to all of Riverside, CA.

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