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On some gas-powered appliances -- such as gas ranges, water heaters, boilers and gas fireplaces -- the pilot light works to ignite the main flame when the gas is switched on to the burner by the regulating valve. If the pilot light is not lit, the gas burner will not ignite, which could cause a dangerous situation by letting highly flammable gas escape into the air. If the pilot light goes out, you can relight it after the gas is shut off using a match or the unit's electronic ignitor if it has one, following the proper safety precautions
Tip & How-To about Ovens, Furnaces & Boilers
Pilot Light won't stay lit?
We get asked this question many times.
If you light your pilot light, hold in the button and then when you release it and the pilot light goes out, generally you need a new thermocouple. Gas repairs can only be undertaken by a qualified gas technician so you can't do this job yourself.
The thermocouple is a safety device that recognises that the pilot has a good flame and is enough to ignite the main burners. The thermocouple open that valve to the burner.
In limited circumstances the thermocouple doesn't need replacing, either the shield that aims the flame to the thermocouple has become dislodged, or the pilot jet is a little blocked by debris. Either way, having the appliance serviced by a qualified gas fitter is the way to go. I am sure you will have seen news stories about explosions caused by gas leaks and faulty appliances.
Every boiler will have manufacturer lighting instructions on the unit, so be sure to read it thoroughly and turn off the gas for 5 min to make sure there is no gas build-up around the boiler. Some have electronic ignition and some require a manual lighting of the pilot. If the control knob has only ON-OFF, it has electronic ignition. Simply turn off the power (at the electric switch on the boiler or at the breaker box) and then turn it back on and it will relight itself when heat is needed) If it has ON-OFF-PILOT, you will have to light it manually. You will have to turn the gas valve knob so the arrow is pointing at the word "pilot" and depress the knob, while lighting the pilot with a lighter or match. Continue to hold the knob down after the pilot is lit for about 30-45 seconds to allow the thermocouple to heat up. If you release the pilot knob and the pilot stays lit, you can turn the knob to the "ON" position and the burner will light. Please be careful. if you are not sure what you are doing, call a professional.
Bad igniter? When you 1st try it the gas valve will give enough gas that you would get the burner lit if the igniter was glowing red. If you're desperate you can light the igniter area w/ an aim n flame, but you definitely want to do that w/ caution and crank up your t-stat so the furnace stays on awhile Cuz you'll have to do it again for heat or buy an igniter($40 or so)
I would first check the gas pressure to your furnace. Then make sure that burners are clean and watch flames when burner first ignites. I have seen burners that were dirty cause delayed ignition that would create a suction when they came on and extingush pilot and burners.
The next thing I would do is change gas valve. Thank you
I would check to make sure control on gas valve is in on position and pilot is lit if you have a standing pilot. If you have a spark or hot surface ignitor make sure they are trying to lit pilot. If you have standing pilot model and pilot lit is not on. Turn control on gas valve to off,wait five mins. then turn to pilot. Depress botton and try to light pilot. If it lights hold down for a couple of mins. then release.. If pilot stays lit turn control to on. If thermostat is calling for heat this should bring main burner on. If pilot does not stay lit then replace thermocouple. Hope this helps. Thanks
The burners and pilot need to be cleaned.
Turn off gas and power, remove the burners and pilot. Clean with a brass wire brush. (Steel wire can be used but very carefully) Remove all rust dirt etc. reinstall and it should fire right up.
it also sounds as though the pilot injector could be blocked so when the boiler comes on it extinguishes the pilot & then when the burner goes off boiler shuts down, or also the pilot rate maynot be set right, so when the main burner kicks in it robs the pilot of the gas it requires.
It could be that, or there is lack of ventilation for the boiler, so you get flame lift off when the boiler fires?