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How to Light a Gas Furnace Standing Pilot

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Re-Lighting a Pilot: PREPARATION
Honeywell Standing Pilot Valve Body

Honeywell Standing Pilot Valve Body

© Home-Cost.com 2006

So your pilot is out? Very common problem and even more frustrating when you don't know how to re-light it. But don't worry, I'll walk you through this easy procedure.

The steps involved can vary slightly depending on your furnace model and pilot valve type, so if possible try and find the instructions inside the furnace door cover or in the instruction manual. Two of the most common types of pilot valve body assemblies either have a red reset button and a gas valve or no reset button and a valve knob that can be depressed. But whichever type you've got, if you have an older model furnace with a standing pilot (flame is lit all the time) then this is the basic procedure.

  • Turn you thermostat to 80 degrees or to a setting that will demand heat. Make sure the thermostat is in "Heat" mode.
  • Go to the furnace and find the pilot valve. The pilot valve body is a box shaped device into which the main gas line will run and is located near the gas burners. It will usually have a gas cock or valve knob that reads "On, "Pilot" and "Off." Locate this gas cock or knob.
  • Turn the knob or gas cock to the "Off" position and wait about 3 minutes for any residual gas to clear away.
  • Find the pilot. It's located near the gas burner tube assembly in the furnace.
  • Get your match or lighter ready. Sometimes the pilot is hard to reach. If possible, try and use a long fireplace match when you light it. If you don't have a fireplace match then a butane BBQ grill lighter works well too. If you don't have that, then you can fasten a match to the end of a stick when you light the pilot.

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