Master Plumber Dot Net Plumbing and Heating Answers

I have a gas fired boiler with a standing pilot light.

With no heat in the whole house.

First things first, if you landed on this page first please follow this link back to the starting page, to read and understand
the danger of working on your boiler yourself.

The first thing you will need to do is make sure your thermostat or thermostats are turned up as far as they will go, please be sure you turn them up as far as they go, if not you may get an inaccurate conclusion to your no heat problem. Please don't second guess me on this turn them up as far as they will go. Believe it or not it was necessary to to press that point.

Now go to the basement or wherever your boiler is and look at the boiler to see if anything is happening.

Check the boiler gauge, what is the boiler pressure? it should be between 10 and 20 PSI (pounds per square inch)

Check to see if the boiler is hot or not, the gauge (if it is working) will show you the boiler temperature.

If the boiler temperature is 140 degrees F. or higher your boiler is firing but not sending heat to the rest of the house.

The gauge may be stuck so before we assume it is showing the correct pressure and temperature place your hand near the boiler and the boiler pipes to see if you feel any heat at all, don't actually touch the pipes or the boiler because they may be very hot, even though you do not have any heat in the house.

If there is any heat at the boiler chances are the boiler is firing and you need to go to the I have some heat section and start from there even though you do not have any heat in any part of the house.

If the boiler is cold please continue on this page.

If the pipes and the boiler are cold and the thermostats are turned all the way up your boiler is not firing.

Check to see if your pilot light is lit, if it is not lit, read the instructions printed on your boiler to relight the pilot, be sure to wait the amount of time the instructions state before you attempt to relight your pilot light.

I do not post lighting the pilot light instructions because it's best to follow the instructions posted on your boiler.

Not all boilers have a standing pilot light some have an electronic spark ignition and some have a HSI (hot surface igniter) you should not place an open flame under any spark ignition or HSI if your boiler does not have instructions to light the pilot light, it may be because it does not have one.

Please select the statement that best describes what you have discovered so far.

My pilot light was lit.

My boiler does not have any instructions to light the pilot light.

I followed the pilot light instructions and I held the button down for more than a minute but as soon as I release the button the pilot goes out.

I followed the instructions but the pilot will not light at all.

I followed the instructions and the pilot light stayed lit.

Do you want to get help NOW? 24/7 Help Line,

 

My Boiler does not have pilot instructions.

You may not have a standing pilot boiler.

Have a look at the control knob on the gas valve, does it have a pilot setting on it?

If not it is not a standing pilot gas valve.

Your pilot is either electronic spark or a hot surface igniter, on this type of system, the pilot would not be lit unless there is a call for heat.

I plan on writing a troubleshooter for this type of ignition, but for not please use my 24/7 help Line.

Pilot will not stay lit.

If you have lit the pilot, and it lights, and stays lit as long as you hold the button down, but goes out as soon as you let the button go.

It may be your thermocouple is bad, click here for instruction on how to replace it.

If you have replaced the thermocouple and the same thing happens, check the pilot flame, is it hitting the thermocouple?

Are you holding the button down for a full 60 seconds?

Check for any debris in the area the thermocouple screws into the gas valve.

Try another thermocouple.

If none of this helps and the pilot goes out after you let the button go, chances are the gas control valve is defective and needs to be replaced.

A gas control valve can-not be repaired.

Do you need my help? use the 24/7 Help Line.

Pilot will not light.

Assuming that you have a standing pilot valve with a push button to light the pilot.

You held the button down and held an open flame to the pilot assemble, but nothing happens.

The pilot assembly or the pilot tubing may need to be cleaned, inside the pilot assembly there is a small orifice, this orifice may need to be cleaned.

If you have cleaned the pilot assembly and the orifice, and there is still no gas going to the pilot, make sure your gas is on.

If your gas is on, the gas control valve may be bad, and may need to be replaced.

If you need my help use the 24/7 Help Line.

The pilot stayed lit.

Now that the pilot is on, turn the knob on the gas control valve to the on position and see if the boiler fires up.

If so you are good to go, but keep an eye on it, there is a reason the pilot went out in the first place, so it may go out again.

If the pilot is lit not but the boiler still does now fire go here.

If you need my help, use the 24/7 Help line.