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Tag: Flame Sensor

Why is my Furnace making a Clicking Noise?

Is your furnace clicking? No. We don’t mean clicking with your cozy winter vibe. We mean, is your furnace making a clicking noise?

Furnace clicks shouldn’t keep you from having a silent night during cold winter months. You can have the happy and peaceful holiday you deserve.

Here’s everything you need to know about that pesky clicking sound that won’t go away!

What to Do When Furnace Is Making Clicking Noise?

Your furnace giving up in the middle of winter can be a significant hassle, and it sounding like a time bomb is more than a suitable metaphor. With hindrances and malfunction in your furnace, you can expect erratic “explosions” in your utility and energy bills.

Something seemingly trivial as a clicking noise coming from your furnace, may be detrimental. Call an HVAC technician to look into your furnace immediately. Please get to the root of the problem before it worsens.

What Causes Clicking Noises?

Your furnace making a few noises is excusable. If you have an old-fashioned coal or gas furnace, you can expect sounds of blistering that are mistakable for clicking. Vibrations and burning can result in minor, hardly audible dins.

However, you should investigate a loud or lingering sound. If the clicking noise is chronic and disruptive, there are plenty of possible underlying causes.

Ask yourself these questions before we jump to conclusions based solely on that annoying clicking noise.

Are You Getting Enough from your Heating System?

Cross-check your thermostat with your home’s ambient temperature. Does it check out? Or are you distracted by all the repeated clicking to notice the rest of your furnace performance?

Does the temperature written on your thermostat match your indoor environment? If the temperature set on your thermostat is different than the room temperature, there’s a misalignment somewhere in your furnace.

Are There Any Strange Odors?

It may be harder to notice any strange odors while you have been inside for a long period. The surrounding aroma may have already desensitized you to the odor. Try stepping out and wait at least ten minutes before walking back indoors.

If you pick up on a certain smell, there may be clogs, obstructions, corrosion, or contamination in your furnace. While a slight burning smell after ignition is acceptable, foul odors accompanied by an obnoxious noise are not.

Are You Keeping Up with Routine Maintenance?

If you hear clicking, it might be due to a poorly maintained furnace. A furnace clicks for various reasons.

A clicking furnace indicates the need for maintenance service, whether due to particle buildup settling on your burners and other inner workings or worn motor bearings.

If you have missed a few of your yearly routine inspections and tune-ups, your furnace’s ignition system may already be clicking for one!

It’s best to listen to your furnace when clicking for help. You will be glad you did. A clicking noise is only the beginning. It isn’t an S.O.S. yet, but the clicking noise can quickly snowball into worse problems.

Gas Valve

Issues with your gas valves may produce a clicking sound. The furnace clicking may indicate problems with the power supply linked to your gas valve. An automated system relying on specific voltage distribution may need to conduct more electricity to facilitate the gas valve properly.

An uncontrollable gas valve may botch the rest of your ignition system, storing high volumes of gas. If your gas valve fails to secure the supply line from inducing resources into your burners without your pilot light burning leads to a surplus of unburned gas.

All that gas has to go somewhere. The next thing you know, your home doesn’t only have insufficient heating but is now a dangerous environment thanks to a gas leak.

Flame Sensor

Thankfully, there are fail-safes for all furnaces. If your furnace’s spark igniter doesn’t trigger the pilot light, an automatic override should shut down your furnace’s resource chambers, including intake and gas pipes. You have the furnace flame sensor or thermocouple to thank for that comprehensive security measure.

However, a lack of tune-ups and cleaning may disrupt transmission vessels in your furnace and result in a faulty flame sensor. Your flame sensor may shut down the rest of your furnace with your spark igniter still trying to light an ignitor flame or other components on your burner assembly.

Thankfully, if you have a gas furnace with a hot surface ignitor, it shuts down along with the rest of your burners. However, if you have a spark igniter, it can protest against the flame sensor. That clicking sound is your spark igniter, not heeding the commands of your flame sensor and still trying to kick-start the ignition system.

Your pilot light and the rest of the furnace ignition system won’t ignite without a corresponding fuel supply. It’s like trying to light a Zippo without sufficient butane in the tank.

Blower Motor

Your flame sensor isn’t alone in its protective plight. Your inducer motor also has its own safety protocols. While it cannot control the gas valve, as transmissions from the flame sensor near your pilot light can, the blower motor can withhold air distribution.

The motor can effectively withhold resources just as much as the gas valve can. There’s no way a pilot light will ignite with motors shutting down the inducer fan, suffocating the flame, and trapping gas flow.

The clicking sound may come from either your igniter still trying to start up ignition or loose parts in your burners and blowers.

Fan Blades

If there is a broken fan blade, your furnace will be unable to pull air into the furnace or push air and gas flow out of the flue pipe. A draft inducer fan can cause a furnace clicking sound when it isn’t powered by motors and encounters slight air exchange.

If it is loose enough, it is more prone to being pushed by stagnant air and dirt particles trapped within the blower wheel. That furnace click caused by the minimal rotation of the fan may echo around chambers and air ducts.

However, loose fan blades hitting against the duct seam may produce screeching, like metal scratching against metal. Ensure you remedy the clicking sound before it turns into worse blusters.

Motor Bearings

Motor bearings typically keep the sound of vibrations to a minimum. If you don’t smell any strange odors and your heating checks out, your furnace clicking might be due to worn motor bearings.

Vibrating motors, furnace clicking, fan blowing, and fire burning make operational dins. If you can hear them while they seemingly function smoothly, blame your worn-out bearings.

Worn-out bearings won’t be able to contain clangors, and you will hear the smallest dins your furnace operations make.

It’s a common wear and tears all furnaces go through over time. A routine tune-up and replacement should do the trick if you can no longer bear the noise.

Hearing Any Unusual Sounds from the Furnace?

As you have read, there is a myriad of underlying possibilities just waiting to be exposed. Your furnaces will help expose various issues through distinguishable noises.

If your furnace starts clicking, there may be minor issues you can resolve right away. However, you should call a reliable HVAC technician before it turns into a buzzing, rattling, whistling, screeching, popping, or banging noise.

The Most Common Reasons Behind Strange Noises

You probably guessed it. Strange noises come from faulty or dirty components and could easily be avoided by cleaning your furnace quarterly or yearly. You don’t have to clean air filters every few months, but going a whole year without expert inspection is a recipe for disaster.

An HVAC professional should access the internal components of your furnace at least once a year to ensure its stability and efficiency. Neglecting to do so can result in more than just obnoxious rackets.

Preventive Furnace Maintenance, Tune-Up, & Repairs

Are you tired of your furnace sounding like a ticking time bomb? Well, it might not be right now. However, anything wrong with your furnace left untreated for too long may result in total system failure…and baby, it’s cold outside.

It’s best to make sure you have an abundance of heat indoors. Otherwise, you might get heat from the rest of the family for not taking better care of your furnace system.

HVAC Professional Services You Can Trust in Sandy, Utah

Remember, your furnace may not have been used since last winter, resulting in various pollutants lingering in your burner, blower, or motor. If you want toasty heat this winter, hire a professional furnace tune-up service as early as autumn.

Luckily, reliable furnace repair, maintenance, and tune-ups are accessible in Utah!

One Stop Heating & Air Conditioning

You don’t have to figure it out yourself. Only try and repair things you are familiar with on your furnace, or you may end up causing more damage. Leave your worries to our team of Utah’s top-rated HVAC technicians.

Please don’t hesitate to call us for any furnace repair you need, even during the holidays! Our experts are at your beck and call!

Call our hotline now for emergency heating repair!

Call Now at (801) 355-9500

Why Heat Sensor of a Furnace Is Important?

With winter just around the corner, you should check your heating system. A mid-season breakdown of a heating and cooling system is one of the most significant inconveniences no one should face.

However, furnace failure is pretty common in homes across America.

Scared of Your Furnace Stalling?

Routine maintenance and tune-ups can ensure the reliability of your heating and cooling system all season long. While you can clean some components, there are other elements you can’t reach.

Professional services are always best. It’s advisable to schedule your yearly furnace tune-up in autumn, just in time for winter.

Why do you need a professional’s touch? There may be other elements you need to familiarize yourself with before conducting any DIY efforts.

One sophisticated element that needs gentle handling is your flame sensor. Need to know what it is and what to do with it?

Here’s everything you need to know about a furnace flame sensor.

What is the Furnace Flame Sensor?

You might have a bad flame sensor if your furnace issues are often related to ignition components. An extinguishing flame, delayed ignition, or a pilot light that won’t turn on may stem from a dirty flame sensor.

A flame sensor is a sleek metal rod in your burner assembly. It is inserted through a burner chamber into the pilot light.

What Does the Furnace Heat Sensor Do?

The flame sensor or metal rod near your pilot fire is connected to an electrical box through a single wire that transmits signals to a separate control panel. 

If you have an oil or natural gas furnace, they are more sophisticated than you think. Even an older model comes with a safety feature or two.

An oil, electric, and gas furnace each has a gas valve that facilitates the release and withholding of fuel supply. Transmission from the flame sensor and control board automatically facilitates fuel supply for efficiency and safety.

Sounds complicated? Don’t worry. We are here to help.

How Does The Furnace Flame Sensor Control My Heating System?

The flame sensor is just a sensor and cannot control your heating system alone. The flame sensor sends an electric current through the ignition surface toward the control boards.

Together, the flame sensor and controls close off the gas or oil supply, preventing burners from igniting the flame.

What Does the Flame Sensor Sense?

The name sums it up. Your flame sensor senses whether there is a flame or not.

A flame sensor is sensitive to temperatures. Most furnace flame sensors are directly within an open fire chamber of a burner assembly.

They determine whether or not the pilot light is burning in only a few seconds. If there is a fire, the temperature of the metal rod is higher than when there is none.

What happens if my flame sensor stops working?

If a flame sensor is bad, it cannot determine whether the flame burns or not. You can expect either one of these two effects:

  1. Your furnace won’t fire up.
  2. It results in a surplus of wasted fuel.

Your flame sensor is likely hindering your furnace from powering on unless it isn’t plugged into a power source but needs electricity to function.

Newer furnaces have various safety precautions in case of a faulty flame sensor:

  • Screw shut the gas valve (remove any avenues for supply to flow through)
  • Cut the power source (for intermittent pilot flames)
  • Shut down burners (for standing pilot flames)
  • Initiate a flame sensor restart

However, not every furnace has that safety process. Your furnace may not have that security measure in its process against a broken flame sensor.

Dangers of a faulty flame sensor

An older furnace flame sensor may not be able to stop a gas furnace from releasing gas, leading to a potentially hazardous amount of unburned gas.

Gas may leak out of other elements on your burner assembly and stagnate in your air. Gas may seep into your ductwork if your furnace is linked to a central air conditioning system.

Your air conditioner may distribute the gas around your home, causing a dangerous amount of carbon buildup indoors.

How a bad flame sensor can impact your health?

It can lead to various health and safety risks. Too much carbon monoxide in your home can lead to an explosion when ignited.

That much carbon monoxide in your home, distributed through your air conditioning, can cause fatal carbon monoxide poisoning.

Common Causes for a Dirty Furnace Flame Sensor

Exploding and poisoning are significantly dangerous risks for a lesser-known element in your furnace to cause. What’s more troubling is a buildup of such seemingly harmless or unavoidable debris in your furnace may be the root cause.

Inevitable elements such as dirt and soot settling on or within your furnace can clog chambers and filters, indirectly impacting your flame sensor.

Always inspect the state of all the burning components of your heater. 

Clean whatever needs cleaning, fix whatever needs repairs, and replace whatever needs to be replaced to avoid known and unknown dangers from occurring in your home.

Is My Furnace Flame Sensor Broken?

Are you tired of suffering from a furnace malfunction? Familiarize yourself with your heater at home before inspecting the unit.

You should know what irregularities to look for and which warrant immediate attention. Problems with your flame sensor affect the rest of the heating process.

Call a professional to clean, fix, or replace the unit if you notice something wrong with your furnace flame sensor. However, you should know how to tell if there’s something wrong with it or not before calling anyone else for help.

There are many ways you can tell if your flame sensor is bad. Some methods have you reaching too far into your furnace than you are comfortable doing.

Your best bet is to check the flame itself. Inspect your pilot flame for any of these symptoms:

  • Flickering
  • Burning low
  • Burning yellow
  • Delayed or won’t ignite

If you notice one or more of these symptoms, your furnace may have a faulty or dirty burner assembly. Your flame sensor cannot work properly with even just one compromised element in its lineup.

Fortunately, it is easy to clean a furnace flame sensor.

How to Clean Your Furnace Flame Sensor?

Not every heating and cooling system is built the same. Getting to your furnace flame sensor may differ. However, you can still clean your flame sensor, as stated below.

Always ensure all power sources and supply lines are shut or closed. Gather these materials rubber gloves, clean cloth, oxalic acid, emery cloth or light grit sandpaper, warm water, and misting spray bottle.

  1. Follow the single wire attached from the power controls (integrated thermostat or furnace control panel) to the flame sensor to locate it.
  2. Carefully remove the furnace access cover once you reach the burner assembly.
  3. Remove any screws holding the rod in place.
  4. Separate the flame sensor from the mounting screw or protective vessel.
  5. You may notice discoloration on the porcelain insulation.
  6. Gently rub it with a diluted mixture of oxalic acid and warm water using a clean cloth.
  7. Only use emery cloth or sandpaper to scrub off residue and contamination on the rod. (Steel wool is a viable alternative if you scrub lightly. The best option is still an emery cloth to lessen risks for damage.)
  8. Wipe off debris with a damp cloth before placing the flame sensor back.
  9. Inspect the remaining adjoining elements, such as screws, for residual gas and soot.
  10. Clean other elements with a damp cloth gently and replace corroded screws saturated with soot.

Remember to place everything back where you found them before you power your furnace back up.

When it comes to your flame sensor, it’s best to clean it once a month. Depending on your usage, it may develop contamination more rapidly.

When Should I Replace the Furnace Flame Sensor?

However, you can only clean corrosion and rust partially from your furnace. While it may look “clean enough” to you, your furnace flame sensor may not be as responsive as it should be.

Replace a corroded or faulty furnace flame sensor before it worsens.

You can clean and replace a mounting screw, but don’t attempt to change out wires on your own. If more crucial components need to be replaced, you should leave them to the experts.

How Much do New Furnace flame sensors cost?

A new sensor won’t cost you much. Assuming furnace flame sensors cost anywhere between $10 and $20 is a safe assumption.

It is technically just a piece of metal—however, the quality, compatibility, and installation matter more than finding an affordable one.

Before buying a new sensor, remember to find one that fits. Your furnace access cover may not shut if it’s too large or long to fit in the chamber.

If your furnace flame sensor needs to be replaced, call heating and cooling system specialists for its management.

The Importance of Furnace Maintenance

Upon cleaning your furnace flame sensor and other components, don’t risk the rest of your unit on “clean enough.”

Rust tends to infect surrounding elements, which can spread quickly, especially if you have a metal furnace frame. Internal corrosion in your furnace may creep to external elements and impact the entire furnace beginning with your flame sensors.

What Do I Do If There are Signs of Corrosion?

Immediately check the gas valve if you notice rust anywhere in your unit.

If you see any corrosion on the gas valve, remove as much of it as possible with an emery cloth. You can then add some baking soda and lime. Let the mixture sit before scrubbing it off with an old toothbrush.

The corrosion may infiltrate the internal connection and make it harder to manage your gas supply, especially in an emergency.

Heating and Cooling System Maintenance, Tune-Ups, & Repairs in Sandy, Utah

You don’t have to let it get as far as corrosion. You can prevent anything from going wrong with your furnace.

Whether to prevent the flame sensor from getting dirty or the thermostat from malfunctioning, routine maintenance is always helpful.

Regular cleaning and inspection can lengthen their lifespan and increase the overall reliability of your furnace.

One Stop Heating & Air Conditioning

Troubles with your furnace flame sensor? Is your furnace acting up? Is your furnace down for the count? Say no more. Our top-rated team of experts is just a call away.

Entrust us with your furnace repair and tune-ups. We even provide emergency heating repair round the clock for more urgent furnace issues.

If you are tired of your old furnace, it might be time for a newer, safer, and more efficient unit! Call us for furnace replacement and installation services today!

Call us for Emergency Heating Repair at (801) 355-9500

What is a Furnace Limit Switch?

Do you know what a furnace limit switch is? Does anyone? There’s a reason why you have found different how-to articles claiming the furnace limit switch is one thing, with another article asserting it to be another.

A furnace limit switch has varying definitions due to the different furnace types. Limit switches differ in form, position, and size, but they all serve the same function.

What is a Furnace Limit Switch?

The quick answer: A furnace limit switch is a long temperature-sensor probe within a mounting plate in the combustion chamber, linking multimeter probes in terminals.

Its definition is a little hard to read, but its purpose is simple. A limit switch operating correctly can effectively prevent your furnace from overheating. However, a faulty furnace limit switch can be a hassle during colder months.

Is a Furnace Limit Switch NECESSARY?

Regarding fixtures that handle volatile compounds, manufacturers tend to name each component as close to its purpose as possible. This hastens the process of finding which parts are responsible for which malfunctions, for professional technicians anyway.

If you have been scouring the internet for answers to conduct a furnace repair or tune-up yourself, consider calling experts for help. Read on if you are here to learn about your furnace in-depth.

First, let’s figure out how furnaces work to understand the purpose and pitfalls of their limit switches.

How Your Heating System Works?

A forced air furnace is a natural gas, oil, or electric installation linked to an HVAC unit for distribution. Your furnace has different intake, heating, ventilation, and output components.

Within your heating system are valves, motors, and sensors facilitating combustion. Internal components coordinate the transmission of resources and signals to prevent furnace overheats, malfunctions, and other hazards while providing your home with heated air.

Here’s a quick rundown of its heating process:

Your furnace has various links, such as intake pipes, fuel supply lines, and power sources.

  • Motors distribute electricity to furnace blowers and sensors, including furnace limit switches and control panels that automate activation and deactivation.
  • The gas valve discharges gas supply into furnace burners, opening and closing as required by thermostat demands.
  • A furnace plenum reaches between different source and distribution pipes; blockages may deflect air flow into the furnace and result in short cycling.
  • An air filter (furnace filter) prevents any debris or carbon buildup within the air inside your furnace, which may cause hazardous clogs and affect the entire burner operation.
  • The furnace blower fan directs intake and discharges through chambers to begin heating, which may lead to airflow issues due to loose parts and pollution.
  • The combustion chambers contain ignition components that ignite the fuel supply according to the thermostat’s designated setting.
  • heat exchanger manages heat particles from one state to another, separating fuel input and breathable warm air output into the air ducts of your HVAC system.

Sensors are armed to detect a surplus in supply based on the temperature inside your furnace. The furnace limit switch is the safety feature that deploys a lockout mode for supply intake and a hard shutdown of engines.

Why is the Fan Limit Switch Important?

The quick answer: A furnace housing a functional limit switch prevents overheating.

Overheating is caused by various factors and may affect one or more of your furnace’s components, impacting their integrity and functions. All elements play vital roles and work in conjunction with one another. When one component fails, another overcompensates to make up for its role.

Switch terminals linked to separate control panels prevent the furnace and heat exchanger overheating when the supply and demand do not align. A surplus of hot air in your furnace due to waste heat from components working overtime hinders the cohesive function of your furnace, leading to disastrous airflow issues.

The furnace fan limit switch prevents the internal air handler (furnace fan or another air exchanger) from exceeding a specified temperature. A corresponding component of the furnace limit switch located inside the control board manages other materials, such as engines, to withhold power and ignition.

High-temperature Limit Switch

A furnace high-limit switch works much in the same fashion. However, it is more accurate in deploying safety measures such as a total furnace shutdown.

Unlike the furnace limit switch, a flame sensor, another safety device located near the pilot light, directly prevents ignition based on the temperature inside the combustion chamber or the surface of its bearings.

The furnace limit switch shuts down furnace burners when the air temperature inside the furnace is too high. Too much heat within your furnace affects intake and output, leading to pressure buildup and damaging your furnace further.

Furnace High Limit Switch for less reliable furnaces

A furnace high-limit switch is more useful for unstable heating systems.

A gas furnace, especially older or poorly maintained, produces an erratic fuel supply. Its furnace blower may also affect temperature readings due to producing minimal cool air by mixing condensation with airflow.

Due to poor and unreliable intake, a standard furnace limit switch may intermittently shut systems down and boot them back up. Endless repetition will eventually initiate a lockout mode, preventing any supply from coming in and any output from being produced.

While routine maintenance can prevent any of that from occurring, a furnace repair specialist may recommend upgrading your furnace limit switch. It is best to upgrade your heating system and have them tuned up regularly. However, if you are still getting ready for a new HVAC unit, upgrading your furnace limit switch is a necessary first step in ensuring safe and reliable heating.

Can You Manually Adjust the Furnace Fan Limit Switch?

If your air handlers are blowing cold air against your designated temperature settings, your furnace’s limit switch may have shut down the heat exchanger. In this instance, the furnace limit switch inhibited the furnace fan from delivering warm air into your vents.

A furnace limit switch and its corresponding fan limit switch are predominantly automated. However, you can take measures to operate the furnace fan yourself if you think the furnace limit switch is faulty.

You can manually adjust the furnace limit switch to control your heating system.

Faulty Blower Fan Limit Switch: Control Wires

Faulty furnace limit switches may be due to their wires being frayed or corrosion in their sensors. The high-voltage electricity wires connecting the furnace fan limit switch to different components may have been compromised during operations or improper maintenance.

If you clean your own furnace, be careful while opening chamber doors and dismantling components. You may trip wires and cause short circuits, compromising sensors and making your furnace fan limit switch less reliable.

How Do I Know If My Furnace Limit Switch is Broken?

You need your furnace limit switch inspected by a professional HVAC technician.

You can rely on your assumptions and jump to conclusions about your furnace fan limit switch and spend on a new switch when all you may need is to clean a dirty filter.

OR you can reach out to professionals for help.

What to Do About a Malfunctioning Limit Switch?

A furnace doesn’t only deliver heat; it impacts your air quality in many ways. Without a proper inspection, maintenance, and tune-up, your furnace may succumb to typical wear and tear a decade earlier than its life expectancy.

Contact specialists if you suspect a defective limit switch or anything wrong with your furnace. They have the necessary HVAC tools and expertise to detect carbon monoxide leaks, conduct thorough internal inspections, and do everything it takes to keep your furnace pristine and functional.

How Much Does Limit Switch Replacement Cost?

It depends on the type of furnace you have. Sometimes, furnace limit switches are only a few dollars, but a high-limit switch may cost more. Some limit switches cost up to twenty or so dollars. It is a necessary safety device on your furnace, and if you have to spend on a repair or replacement cost, don’t tighten the purse string for a limit switch.

Please remember safety features on furnaces should only be installed by professionals. You may establish a faulty switch and be left entrusting your family’s safety to a defective component.

Keep Your Family Safe from Winter & the Furnace

If you live in Utah and require heating and cooling assistance for furnace tune-ups and maintenance, we have just the guys for you!

A Professional Service You Can Trust in Sandy: One Stop Heating & Air Conditioning

One Stop Heating & Air Conditioning is a Utahn-built and beloved furnace repair specialist. Our top-rated team provides heating and cooling services all over Utah.

Please leave your sophisticated HVAC systems to experts and reliable contractors. Unreliable handypersons who don’t possess the necessary expertise may add to the damage. Your comfort and safety are our priority. Please book a consultation online today, and let our dedicated representatives guide you through your needs.

At One Stop, we prioritize transparency, honesty, and efficiency. Give us a call to find out why we rank among Utah’s most beloved contractors.

Call for Emergency Heating Repair (801) 355-9500

We provide residents and commercial establishments with 24/7 emergency assistance. Direct your urgent concerns to the hotline provided above.

Why Won’t My Furnace Pilot Light Stay Lit?

Is your furnace pilot light refusing to stay on? Gas furnaces have a pilot light that ignites the furnace burner whenever it’s in use.

When this pilot light refuses to stay lit, that also means your gas furnace won’t work—leaving you with a freezing home.

There are several reasons why your furnace pilot light won’t stay lit, the most common being:

  • A faulty thermocouple
  • A broken gas regulator
  • A corroded pilot tip
  • An unknown draft

Keep reading to learn more about what’s causing your pilot light problem and its corresponding fixes.

Reasons Your Gas Furnace Pilot Light Won’t Stay Lit

If you notice anything wrong with your furnace pilot light, it’s a great idea to get furnace repair services to help fix the issue. While you wait for services to become available, you can use the following quick fixes to temporarily correct the problem.

Reason #1: Faulty Thermocouple (Flame Sensor)

The thermocouple is a long copper tube that controls the gas valve inside gas furnaces. It’s often referred to as the flame sensor because it turns the gas flow on and off in the furnace whenever it senses heat.

A broken flame sensor can be dangerous as it means the gas valve won’t automatically shut off when it needs to. As a result, gas from your furnace will start flowing into your home, putting everyone at risk.

Symptoms of a Faulty Thermocouple

A visual inspection is needed to determine if the problem truly is a faulty flame sensor. You can contact a professional to do the assessment for you. Or you may also check it yourself using the following steps:

  1. Locate the flame sensor inside your furnace
  2. Look for signs of cracks, holes, or discoloration in the tubes
  3. Check for signs of corrosion in the wirings
  4. Check for bare wires or missing insulations
  5. Look for physical damages that could be affecting the reliability of the connectors

If there aren’t any obvious signs of a problem, the issue may lie elsewhere. This may be a great time to get in touch with an HVAC professional to check your furnace functionality.

How to Fix a Faulty Flame Sensor?

There are two things you can do about a faulty gas furnace flame sensor: Cleaning or Replacement.

CLEANING A dirty flame sensor

Soot build-up can cause the flame sensor to stop working properly. A quick and deep clean should be able to help if that’s the case.

For this, you’ll need the following materials:

  • A screwdriver
  • Steel wool
  • Pencil eraser

After locating the dirty flame sensor, use the screwdriver to loosen it from the pilot assembly. Gently remove the soot from the flame sensor using a piece of steel wool.

DO NOT use any type of house cleaner on the flame sensor. This may cause unwanted damage to happen to the thermocouple.

Once you’re satisfied with the state of the probe, use the pencil eraser to clean the threaded end of the flame sensor.

Finally, reattach the thermocouple to the pilot assembly and see if the pilot light now works.

Replacing a Thermocouple

Gas furnace thermocouples come in different sizes. To ensure you get the right one, don’t forget to bring your broken thermocouple with you to the store.

If you’re unsure how to proceed with the process, getting a professional HVAC technician to help can save you from damaging your gas furnace further.

Reason #2: Broken Gas Regulator

If your pilot light refuses to stay lit, there could be something wrong with your gas regulator. This mechanism controls the gas pressure that flows to your furnace and other gas-powered appliances.

When this part is broken, gas pressure is reduced, resulting in your pilot light shutting down.

Symptoms of a Broken Gas Regulator

In cases where the gas regulator is the issue, signs can be observed in more than just one appliance in your home. Besides your gas furnace, make sure to check other gas-powered appliances such as burners, air conditioners, stoves, grills, and dryers.

If you notice that the gas pressure is low in any other appliance, it may not be getting enough gas from the supply.

How to Fix a Broken Gas Regulator?

The best solution to a broken gas regulator is a complete replacement. Repairs can be done; however, experts advise against it since the risk of doing something wrong is high.

Contact your gas supplier or an HVAC technician to inspect your gas furnace and assist you with any necessary procedures.

Reason #3: Corroded Pilot Tip

Furnaces, especially older models, have something called a pilot light that ignites the furnace’s burners when in use. A healthy pilot light flame is normally blue with a strongly-shaped cone.

If the flame you see on your furnace pilot is yellow, you may have a corroded pilot tip in your hands. This type of problem can interrupt the gas flow and disrupt the furnace heating cycle.

Types of Furnace Pilot

Furnace pilots typically come in two forms:

  • Traditional Standing Pilot Light
  • Electronic Intermittent Pilot Ignition (IPI)

The standing pilot light is a traditional ignition system found in most older furnaces. They’re referred to as “standing” because they have flames that stay lit regardless of whether the fireplace is on.

On the other hand, an IPI uses a modern ignition system for the pilot burner that works only when the system is hooked into an electric power source. It doesn’t have a constant flame like the standing pilot light; instead, it needs you to manually ignite the pilot every time you use it.

How to Clean a Corroded Standing Pilot Light Tip

After confirming that your pilot light tip is corroded, you may want to clean the tip to try and fix the problem. Cleaning your furnace’s pilot is simple:

  1. Twist the gas valve to turn off the gas supply to avoid accidentally igniting the furnace pilot. If the pilot tip is still hot, give it around 30 minutes to cool down before proceeding to the next step.
  2. After cooling the furnace’s pilot, take a small pin or needle and use that to remove any debris or dirt from the pilot orifices.
  3. Use a small blower to remove loose bits of dirt and dust that you’ve managed to pry out of the pilot light.
  4. Turn on the gas supply and see if anything has changed with your pilot light.

Are you getting a bluer, healthier flame? Is the furnace staying lit?

If so, the process was successful and you don’t have to worry about it happening again anytime soon.

Unfortunately, there might also be cases when cleaning might not be enough to solve the issue. In that case, you may want to contact a professional to give your furnace a little once-over.

Reason #4: Unknown Draft

Another issue that might be preventing your pilot light from staying lit is an unknown draft. Cold air can flow through open doors and windows—it can even sneak in through cracks or holes in the walls.

Drafts can make it harder for your furnace to heat the air inside your home. Furthermore, drafts can blow out the pilot light flame without you even knowing about it until later.

How to Check Your Home for a Draft?

The following techniques can help you determine if your home has an unknown draft that’s preventing your furnace burner from staying lit:

  • Stand close to your door and see if you can feel a soft breeze blowing on your skin. This means you probably have a draft somewhere near.
  • Carry a lit candle around your home and observe if it flickers or burns out. This means that a draft is nearby. Don’t forget to turn off appliances like fans and air conditioners. These appliances can cause disturbances in the air and can mask the presence of drafts in your house.
  • Take a coat hanger and hang a piece of plastic on one end of it. Hold it near your doors or windows and see if the bag blows up. If it does, this means there’s a draft somewhere near your windows or doors.

If none of these techniques work but you still suspect your home of having a draft, it might be time to contact a professional to do a complete sweep of your home. They’re more likely to have the right tools and materials to effectively spot drafts in your home .

How to Fix a Draft in Your Home?

The only way to fix a draft in your home is to identify where the draft is coming from and seal it off permanently. If you’re not confident in your DIY home improvement skills, hiring someone to do the repairs for you is ideal.

Another thing you can do is get a barrier for your furnace. This barrier goes in front of your furnace and prevents air from blowing out the pilot light flame.

One Stop Heating Helps You Determine and Fix Pilot Light Issues

To avoid experiencing pilot light issues, getting annual furnace maintenance is key. One Stop Heating has all the services you need to keep your gas furnaces in tip-top shape throughout the year. Whether you need professional heating system installation or emergency AC repair, you can trust our technicians to get the job done.

Let us take care of your pilot light issues while you take care of your family!

Call (801) 355-9500