How to Relight Pilot Light on Furnace

A furnace pilot light is a small flame that ignites the main furnace burners. However, it may occasionally go out, leaving your home without heat.

Don’t fret! As an HVAC enthusiast, I’m here to guide you through simple steps to relight the pilot light on your furnace.

8 Steps to Relight Pilot Light on Furnace

1. Turn Off the Gas Valve

Before attempting to relight the pilot light, locate the gas valve on your furnace and turn it off. Wait at least 5 minutes for any residual gas to dissipate. This is a vital safety precaution to prevent a sudden flow of gas when you light the pilot.

2. Find the Pilot Light Assembly

Remove the access panel on your furnace and find the pilot light assembly. It typically includes the gas regulator valve, the reset switch, and the pilot tube where the flame burns.

3. Switch to Pilot Mode

Next, turn the gas regulator valve knob to the ‘Pilot’ position. This setting allows a small amount of gas to flow to the pilot light.

4. Hold the Reset Button

While holding down the reset button or reset switch, bring a long-handled match or an electric igniter near the pilot orifice.

5. Ignite the Pilot Light

Light the pilot light with your match or igniter. The pilot flame should be a clear blue flame. If the flame is yellow, it indicates that the flame isn’t getting enough air, and the pilot tube might need cleaning.

6. Keep Holding the Reset Button

Continue holding the reset button for about one minute to heat up the thermocouple – a safety device that detects the pilot flame and keeps the gas valve open.

7. Release the Reset Button

After a minute, release the reset button. The pilot flame should continue to burn. If it doesn’t, the problem could be a bad thermocouple that isn’t sensing the flame.

8. Return the Gas Valve to the ‘On’ Position

Finally, turn the gas valve back to the ‘ON’ position. Your furnace should now work as usual.

What to Do If Pilot Light Won’t Relight on Furnace?

If your pilot light won’t relight, it might indicate a problem with the gas flow, a blocked pilot tube, or a faulty thermocouple. In such a case, it’s best to contact a professional for furnace repair.

Can You Relight the Pilot Light By Yourself?

Yes, you can relight the pilot light by yourself, but always exercise caution. If you’re uncomfortable performing these steps, call a professional.

Will a Furnace Turn On if Pilot Light is Out?

No, for safety reasons, a furnace with a manual pilot light won’t turn on if the pilot light is out. This prevents the unburned gas from accumulating and creating a hazard.

Is it Dangerous if the Pilot Light Goes Out on a Furnace?

If a pilot light goes out, it can allow gas to seep out, which can be dangerous. If you smell gas, it’s critical to ventilate the area and call your gas company.

How to Find a Pilot Light on a Furnace?

The pilot light is typically found under the furnace’s access panel. It’s a part of the pilot light assembly, which includes the pilot light, the gas regulator valve, and the thermocouple.

Cost to Hire Relight Pilot Light?

The cost to hire a professional to relight a pilot light can vary depending on your location and the specific issue, but generally, it’s a relatively inexpensive service.

What to Do if You Can’t Find the Pilot Light on a Furnace?

If you can’t find the pilot light on your furnace, you may have a model with an electronic ignition system, which doesn’t have a traditional pilot light. In this case, if your furnace isn’t working, you’ll need professional furnace maintenance.


Relighting a furnace pilot light is a straightforward process if you follow these steps carefully. However, it’s essential to remember that working with gas appliances carries some risks. If you’re not confident in your ability to safely relight your pilot light or if the light won’t stay lit, don’t hesitate to call a professional. Your safety and comfort are of utmost importance.

About Roy Cohen

Roy Cohen has a burning passion for heating, cooling, and ventilation. He aims to help you save money on expensive repairs and bring you the best HVAC products. He has years of experience behind him in HVAC repair and garage maintenance.

You can find Roy at his LinkedIn or his email: [email protected]

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