Q&A / 

Pilot Light

DEAR TIM: How do you locate and identify the pilot light on a furnace? DeLonya Anderson, Hyattsville, MD

DEAR DELONYA: The first thing you should know is that not all furnaces have a pilot light. A traditional standing pilot light that sports a continuous blue flame wastes natural resources. Because of this, consumers look for and manufacturers produce more and more gas appliances each year that use electrostatic ignition.

Locating your furnace's pilot light is fairly easy. The best place to start, in my opinion, is the gas line that enters the furnace. Look for a black steel pipe that is close in size to a garden hose. This pipe often enters the side of the furnace. The gas line might also be made from brass or copper.

The gas line connects to a gas valve once inside the furnace. This valve is often made from aluminum and is a dull silver color. The small fuel line that feeds the pilot light begins at the gas valve. Look at the bottom of the gas valve for a small silver tube that is about one-quarter inch in diameter.

You may also see a small, thin metal wire leaving the bottom of the gas valve. This wire will also help you locate the pilot light.

Follow both the small silver tube and the metal wire as they extend into the furnace. Where these two things end, you will discover the pilot light.

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