Can’t Find Pilot Light On Furnace: Troubleshooting Tips

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If you’re experiencing issues with your furnace and can’t find the pilot light, you’re not alone. Many homeowners face this problem, especially during the colder months. The pilot light plays a crucial role in igniting the burner and ensuring proper heating. In this article, we’ll explore some troubleshooting tips to help you find the pilot light and get your furnace up and running again.

Understanding the Pilot Light

The pilot light is a small flame that continuously burns to ignite the main burner in your furnace. It’s usually located near the bottom of the furnace and is responsible for providing the initial flame needed for combustion. If the pilot light goes out, your furnace won’t produce heat, leaving you in the cold.

Step 1: Safety First

Before attempting to find the pilot light, ensure your safety. Turn off the gas supply to the furnace and wait for a few minutes to allow any lingering gas to dissipate. Additionally, make sure to read your furnace’s manual or consult a professional for specific safety instructions.

Step 2: Inspect the Furnace

Start by locating the furnace in your home. Depending on the model, the pilot light may be visible or hidden behind a panel. Remove the access panel carefully and set it aside. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the furnace’s components, such as the gas valve, thermostat, and burner assembly.

Step 3: Look for the Pilot Light

Once the access panel is removed, visually inspect the furnace for the pilot light. It’s typically a small, blue flame located near the burner assembly. If you can’t find it, check for a small metal tube, which is the pilot light’s gas supply line.

Step 4: Check for Ignition Methods

Modern furnaces often have electronic ignitions, eliminating the need for a pilot light. If your furnace has an electronic ignition, you won’t find a pilot light. Instead, it will use a hot surface igniter or intermittent pilot ignition system. Refer to your furnace’s manual to determine the ignition method and troubleshoot accordingly.

Step 5: Relighting the Pilot Light

If you’ve located the pilot light and it’s out, you’ll need to relight it. Follow the instructions in your furnace’s manual to relight the pilot light safely. Typically, you’ll need to turn the gas control knob to the “Pilot” position, hold it down, and use a long lighter or match to ignite the pilot light. Once lit, continue holding the knob for a short period and release it once the pilot light stays on.

When to Seek Professional Help

If you’ve followed the troubleshooting steps and still can’t find or relight the pilot light, it’s time to seek professional help. A licensed HVAC technician will have the necessary expertise and tools to diagnose and fix the issue. Attempting complex repairs without proper knowledge can be dangerous and may void your furnace’s warranty.


Dealing with a furnace that has a missing or unlit pilot light can be frustrating, especially during cold weather. By following the troubleshooting tips outlined in this article, you can increase your chances of finding and relighting the pilot light successfully. Remember, safety should always be your top priority, and if in doubt, consult a professional HVAC technician to ensure your furnace is functioning optimally.