The Function of the Pilot Light

January 17, 2023 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Older model furnaces or hot water heaters often feature a pilot light. Sometimes gas log fireplaces do as well. If you are new to pilot lights, it is very important that you properly understand how the pilot light works so that you can operate these appliances safely.

This quick guide will provide more information on how pilot lights work. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is a Pilot Light?

The purpose of the pilot light is to provide the flame needed to light the gas being pumped into the appliance. A steady but small amount of gas starts flowing into the appliance from the valve. This gas can produce nothing but harmful fumes, though, until it is properly lighted.

The pilot light is designed to create a controlled burn of the gas so that the resulting flames can be used for cooking or heating.

Are Pilot Lights Safe?

There are potential safety risks when using a pilot light. Anytime you have gas and an open flame, you have the potential for problems. The most common type of safety issue seen with pilot lights is when the pilot light is blown out for some reason, and the gas continues to flow through the valve. This is dangerous because when gas is allowed to build up in a building, it can harm people breathing in the fumes and create a potential fire danger. The build-up gas will ignite in the presence of any flame, no matter how small. The larger the amount of built-up gas, the larger the resulting flames.

However, safety features have been developed to help reduce the risk of this happening. The modern valves are designed to sense when the pilot light is out and to stop the gas flow into the appliance. This mechanism works even when there is no electricity.

Why Does My Pilot Light Keep Going Out?

Pilot lights do go out occasionally, but if you have a pilot light that keeps going out, you could have a malfunctioning appliance. You will need to have the appliance checked out by a professional.

To relight a pilot light, you will need to manually push the button that opens up the valve. You will then light the pilot light and wait about 30 seconds. Once the thermocouple is hot, it will generate enough electricity to hold the valve open.

Where Is the Pilot Light on My Water Heater?

Pilot lights on hot water heaters are often located near the bottom of the appliance behind a small metal door.

Should I Upgrade My Old Gas Appliances?

If you have older gas appliances that are malfunctioning, you should definitely consider upgrading to newer, safer models. Modern appliances are created to be safer and more energy efficient. One of the main problems with pilot lights is that they waste a lot of gas compared to other, more energy-efficient appliances.

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