The Pilot Light Has Gone Out

January 27, 2020 | Boiler Problems, Boilers

Boiler service

The pilot light of your boiler needs to stay lit all the time in order to ensure that your boiler can operate whenever heat or hot water is required. If your pilot light has gone out, this means that your boiler won’t work and your central heating system won’t function. Here, we take a closer look at what you should do if the pilot light is out on your boiler and when you need to seek professional help to rectify the problem.

What Do I Do If My Pilot Light Is Out?

First, you should locate the instructions for relighting your pilot light in your own specific model of boiler. These will either be in the user manual supplied to you on installation or they may be inside the boiler panel itself. If you’re unable to find any instructions, you’ll need to identify what kind of pilot light your boiler has. Usually, there are two kinds:

  • An automatic pilot light. You should usually be able to identify if yours is an automatic pilot light because there will be a safety label fixed onto the boiler’s front telling you that it has an automatic ignition system. If there’s no label, take a look at its gas control knob. When there are just two settings – off and on – this means that yours is an automatic pilot light. Don’t try to light automatic pilot lights manually.
  • A manual pilot light. You will be able to tell if yours is a manual pilot light because there will be three settings on the gas control knob – off, on, and pilot.

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How Do I Ignite Manual Pilot Lights?

If you have a manual pilot light on your boiler, follow these instructions:

  • Turn your boiler’s gas control knob to its “off” setting. Wait until all the gas fumes have gone. This could take up to 15 minutes.
  • Turn down the thermostat until it is at the lowest setting.
  • Remove the boiler’s cover or panel.
  • Find its pilot light. You may require a torch to do this.
  • Turn your gas control knob to the “pilot” setting.
  • Press the knob to release gas into the boiler’s pilot light hole.
  • Light a match and insert it into the boiler’s pilot light hole. This will ignite the pilot light. Keep pressing the knob down. You should continue until the flame starts to burn blue.
  • Remove the match.
  • Still keep pressing down on the knob for up to a minute.
  • Once you release the knob, the pilot will usually carry on burning.
  • If the pilot light goes out again, repeat the earlier steps again.

How Do I Ignite Automatic Pilot Lights?

If your boiler has an automatic pilot light, you can ignite it by following these steps:

  • Switch off the boiler at its electrical switch. It may be an off/on switch located on the actual boiler itself. Alternatively, you may need to locate the breaker panel before flipping its breaker switch onto the off position.
  • Take off the boiler’s access panel.
  • Turn the boiler’s gas control knob so it is in the off position.
  • Let the gas dissipate. This can take around 15 minutes. If you open the window, this may speed the process up.
  • Turn the knob to its on position.
  • Turn the electrical switch or breaker to its on setting. You should hear a clicking sound which is the automatic starter to ignite the pilot light. If yours doesn’t ignite after 30 seconds or the clicking sound doesn’t stop, call in our expert heating engineers to investigate the problem.

Why Does The Pilot Light Keep Going Out?

If the pilot light keeps going out on a boiler that could indicate that the thermocouple is faulty or broken and requires replacing. Contact our team and we can handle this for you. There are, however, a few checks you can run first to see if there is a simple explanation.

A draught or breeze could be causing the pilot light to go out. Try lighting a candle close to your pilot light. If it blows out, a draught could be the source of the problem. You should contact our Gas Safe engineers to repair the boiler as a draught should not affect the pilot light.

If your boiler has a faulty pilot light you should immediately call professional heating engineers. It could be very dangerous since if the pilot light goes out, the boiler could still release the mains gas into the atmosphere and could pose a carbon monoxide poisoning risk. Also, if the pilot light on your boiler is yellow or orange in colour instead of blue, give us a call today as this is also the sign of a problem with your central heating system that requires urgent attention.

Calling In Professional Help

The pilot light on your boiler may go out for several reasons. You may not always need to call in professional heating engineers to resolve the issue, however, if you’ve followed the steps that we outlined above and have failed to ignite the pilot light successfully, or the pilot light keeps going out every time you ignite it, there may be a problem with your gas supply or the boiler could have a fault.

If you call our helpful, knowledgeable team, we can check your system and identify the cause of the problem. We can determine whether the problem lies with your gas supply or whether it is a fault with the boiler itself, then we can rectify the problem, replace any broken or damaged parts, or offer you a recommendation for a replacement boiler should it be necessary.

We’re here to make sure that your home stays warm, comfortable and, above all, safe at all times, so give us a call today. We look forward to helping you with your pilot light problems.

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