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Need advice on relighting a gas furnace. (Picture provided)

Proof03 Member Posts: 4
Hello everyone thanks for taking the time to read my post. I'll sum this up quickly for everyone. I have an older gas furnace and lately in my area it's been very windy which has been causing the pilot to go out on the gas furnace. The first time it happen we had someone come by and they relit the pilot easily (on a day there was virtually no wind). So here's my problem. It's out again and I'm trying to relight the pilot myself but I'm not exactly sure where I need to be putting the flame once I put it inside the hinged door seen in the picture. The lighting instructions say to follow the pilot tube from gas control and the pilot should be found at the end of the pilot tube just left of the pilot shield. Seems simple enough but I'm having a hard time with this. Another factor is that it's still very windy which causes the flame to go out as soon as I put it into the hinged door. I can work around this by trying it when winds are low but my main question is where do I need to put the flame to actually light the pilot? How long does it need to stay there? And will I be able to physically see a flame on this furnace like I would on my gas water heater? Thank you to everyone in advance for your help. I will be active on this discussion.


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 21,092
    Turn the gas off. Now, using a flashlight and, if need be, a mirror and look inside that door to see the end of the pilot light tube. That way you will know where you are trying to put the lighter.


    If the draught is so great that it is blowing your flame out when you open that door, I doubt you will have much luck, honestly -- and I'd be asking a professional to take the risk. Which is substantial.

    I would also be very worried about having that much draught. Is there a draught hood on this furnace, or some other means of controlling the excess draught?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Proof03
    Proof03 Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for your reply Jamie. When I look into the hole the pilot tube (and a bronze tube) comes to a small little box like the one in the new picture I'm adding. I just noticed this picture on the furnace. Do I put the flame next to that box? Seems that's what the picture is saying. As far as the furnace having some sort of wind draft protection, I have no clue. Would this be inside the furnace or in the roof?
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,562
    Is this a mobile home?
    Does the furnace burn natural gas or do you have a propane/LP tank outside?

    Have you had this problem with the pilot light in the past?
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,562
    Just a note on holding the lever in the "set " position, you want your match fire in the right place before you push "set".
    You don't want to push set for any length of time without a flame at the pilot. You want to light the gas coming out of the pilot.
    Especially if you have propane gas......if you have natural gas than holding the "set" lever without lighting the gas is not as critical.
  • Proof03
    Proof03 Member Posts: 4
    Thank you both for your replies.

    Hatterasguy, thank you for your help. Should make it a bit easier as you cleared up my main questions.

    JUGHNE, yes it is a mobile home. It is natural gas and this is the second time it's happened this winter (during two big wind storms) but it didn't happen last year at all.
  • Proof03
    Proof03 Member Posts: 4
    edited January 2017
    I hope to be an expert at it by the end of the day!

    Thanks again to everyone for the detailed instructions.

    I'll come back today and let you know how it goes!
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,562
    If you call a service person in I would have them clean the pilot burner and replace the thermocouple just for good measure.
    They could also check the gas pressure at the furnace with the main burner and the water heater running.

    Natural gas in simply safer than propane because being lighter than air if you have some in your furnace it will flow up out the chimney.

    Often these furnaces have a long wire on a chain with a spring on the other end. Wooden kitchen matches are recommended to clip into the spring end, though anything will do.
    With a burning match attached you can put it thru the little door and see the pilot burner. Your second match could light the gas while pushing on the "set" button this time. As he said maybe hold the flame on about 40 seconds. Then close the door and turn the lever to "on".

    Often these homes have the water lines run under the floor along side the ductwork. They rely upon the heat of the duct to keep the pipes from freezing. IF you have a "fan on" switch on your thermostat or on the furnace itself and cannot get the furnace running, I always recommend to run that fan on, this does put some heat near the water lines. It may seem to blow only cold air but it is above freezing, hopefully. ( I have been around more of these situations than I want to remember).