How To Relight A Boiler Pilot

Occasionally, you may experience the pilot light, or the small blue flame, going out on your gas boiler. Sometimes, the pilot gets blown out by an unexpected breeze. A boiler can have one of two kinds of pilots; a manual or electric ignition pilot that has a safety label. It is simple to relight the boiler pilot by following these tips:

Do Safety Checks

Before you attempt to relight the pilot, smell for gas. Never relight the pilot yourself if you smell gas, the unit has been in a flood, or you are unsure.

Leave the area immediately upon smelling gas, and call the fire department. Don't let anyone light a cigarette, or carry an open flame around the area. Boiler gas isn't visible, but it has additives that help you detect odor. 

Prepare to Relight

You need a match and screwdriver to light the pilot. Also, check your gas card to find out if you ran out of credits, which could be the cause of a pilot not burning.

Set the thermostat on the lowest setting, and turn off the power to the boiler at the switch. Turn off the main house electricity from the service panel. 

Open a window, detach the screws from the access panel with a screwdriver, and set the parts aside. On some units, you may only need to depress the tabs to open the panel. 

 Locate the red knob or lever above the pilot, depress it, or turn it OFF. You will smell some gas, but it should go away in several minutes. Double check for gas smells around the boiler. Don't proceed, if the smell lingers. 

Light the Pilot

Turn the gas control knob on the pilot valve to "PILOT", which is commonly located on the left side of the burner. Light a match, hold it over the nozzle, and press the knob. 

Keep the knob pressed several seconds after the pilot is lit to clear gas, remove your hand to see if it stays lit. On an electric ignition model, press the ignition button after you press the gas knob. The ignition button should make an audible click when the pilot lights.

You may need to do this two or three tries before the pilot lights. Turn the gas knob back to "ON", and restore power.

Be aware of carbon monoxide, which is commonly indicated by a triangle around the pilot. Call your gas company immediately, if this is present. If the pilot still doesn't light, or you are unsure of your skill, contact an HVAC service.

Talk to a company like Rickett Industrial Environmental Systems for more information and assistance.