My pilot light goes out:

Pilot lights do go out occasionally. Some people even shut them off in the summer. Every homeowner should know how to light his or her pilot. It isn't too difficult and there are usually instructions printed on the equipment itself. (Sometimes on the back of the furnace door.)

Here is a brief guide:

  1. Turn off furnace, boiler, or water heater at thermostat or power switch

  2. Locate the gas valve and turn knob from "on" or "off" (depending where it was) to "pilot" position

  3. Hold down red button, which sends gas to pilot

  4. At the same time hold match to pilot burner. (Just follow the small pilot tubing to end. Sometimes a long match is needed, you can use needle nose pliers to hold match.

  5. Light the pilot but do not let go of button

  6. Continue holding button for 60 seconds

  7. Now let go of button, pilot should stay lit

  8. Turn gas valve knob back to "on" position

  9. Turn on furnace, turn up thermostat, main gas should light

If your pilot light goes out more than once a season there could be a problem. Possible causes could be:

Bad or loose thermocouple
Bad gas valve
Poor pilot flame - low gas pressure or blocked orifice
High winds or downdraft
Badly cracked heat exchanger
Improper venting; flue or chimney problems
Gas shut off or out of propane

So, if your pilot goes out, try lighting it yourself, don't be scared. If it doesn't light or stay lit then call for service.