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how do you clean a standing pilot?

Joseph_4Joseph_4 Member Posts: 198
The other day, I came across a blocked pilot orifice on a 20 yr old gas boiler.I unscrewed the pilot tubing, held up the bracket and  tried to blow through it. Nothing would go through. Got a hold of a sewing needle and carefully ( not do damage the orifice) scraped rust off the orifice from the back side. I was all happy with myself as it worked. Later that day, I read in some literature a Warning- Never clean pilot with needle because can damage the ruby orifice and will mess up the metered amount of gas that goes through it. Is this accurate? Are you supposed to replace the pilot bracket assembly if can't blow through it? Wouldn't I see if I damaged it (when I used needle) by observing the pilot for a few minutes and seeing it burn steady and calm?




  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Member Posts: 4,357
    It is not always a good idea

    to use metal objects to clean the opening on pilot orifices as you can enlarge them. A piece of piano wire is the best thing to use (an old gas man remedy). The ruby orifice you are talking about is only used on a special oxygen depletion pilot system used on some unvented appliances so not likely to see too many of those.

    Usually by blowing some high pressure air through the orifice it will clean it, that along with a clean cloth to wipe it off, I used to use my shirt collar tip.

    The best way if you can't get it clean is to replace it with the exact same size and design. There are usually numbers on the orifice to tell you the size and then identify whose pilot it is such as Honeywell, Robertshaw, White-Rodgers etc.

    Hope that helps.
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