Why Would a Pilot Light Go Out?

pilot light

In 2021, it was reported that at least 20 percent of Americans struggled to pay their energy bills. This goes to show that homeowners can run into all sorts of problems in their homes. One of the problems that owners of fireplaces have is their pilot light going out, but what causes this?

Pilot light issues can often come unexpectedly and it can be confusing as to what caused it to go out. If this happens to you then you will want to get your fireplace up and running as quickly as possible.

To do this, you need to know exactly why your pilot light has gone out and how to fix it.

So if you would like to learn what causes pilot lights to go out and get fireplace repair solutions for this issue, then keep reading.

What Causes a Pilot Light to Go Out?

Before we get into all the ways you can repair a pilot light when it has gone out, let’s cover why it goes out first. We have gone into more detail below.

Thermocouple Isn’t Working

One reason your pilot light can go out is the thermocouple. The thermocouple is a safety device that is designed to stop the gas valve from opening if the pilot isn’t lit.

The thermocouple sits just above the pilot, and it senses whether or not the pilot has been lit. When the pilot is lit then the thermocouple will, in turn, heat up, and this is what causes the gas valve to open and create the fire.

The problem is that thermocouples can often run into issues, and this can be the main cause for your pilot light struggling to ignite. One reason for this is that the thermocouple may simply be damaged or faulty.

In some cases, you may be able to repair it, however, in other cases, it may be too damaged and the best solution is to replace it.  There are also times when the pilot light may just have worn out over time and again you will need to replace it.

The Fireplace Needs to Be Cleaned Out

Another cause of the pilot light going out is if the fireplace is not clean. If you don’t clean your fireplace regularly, then over time it is common to find that dirt may build up.

Whenever this happens, it can cause small bits of debris and other bits of dirt to get in the way of the pilot light. The best solution is to get your fireplace professionally cleaned once per year.

In some states, like PA, NJ, DE, CA, NY and MN, state law requires homeowners to have residential fireplaces inspected by a certified professional every 12 months.

How to Fix It

As mentioned before, when this kind of problem arises, you must know how to fix it quickly. We have gone over some of the top ways to fix this problem below.

The first thing that you should do if it isn’t working properly is to turn it off and wait a few minutes. After this, you can try it again to see if it will start lighting. You can give this a few tries to see whether or not anything changes.

If it doesn’t start lighting, then you may need to take a closer look to get the issues fixed.

If you find that your pilot light isn’t working, then you may want to consider replacing it completely. While this can sound like a lot of work, it doesn’t have to be.

You can either look up an instructional guide on how to do it, or you can get a professional to do pilot light repairs for you. This may make it safe for you, and you can also feel more confident that it is getting fixed in the right way.

You must get your thermocouple replaced sooner rather than later. This is because there is still a chance that the gas may be affected, and this can potentially cause gas leaks in your home, which is the last thing you want.

How to Avoid Getting a Fireplace With a Faulty Pilot Light

While it is normal for thermocouples to need to be replaced at some point in their lifetime, getting a high-quality fireplace can reduce the likelihood of unexpected damage. There are many types of fireplaces available, and you must choose the right one.

Look at Ratings and Reviews

When you are looking for a fireplace, you must consider how other people have found using it. For example, some people may have found that the fireplace wasn’t very good quality, while others may say it was a good purchase.

The key is to look at the ratings and reviews that have been left. You should look for products that have as many five-star ratings and positive reviews as possible, as this may be a good indication of a high-quality fireplace.


Another aspect to consider is the price of the fireplace that you want to get. While cheap fireplaces may save you money in the short run, they may cost you more in the long run.

This is because they may need a lot of maintenance (for example, getting your pilot light fixed regularly). While some high-quality fireplaces are expensive, you may be able to get a great deal on them.

Gas Insert Fireplaces 1

Explore Your Fireplace Options Today

Having a high-quality fireplace that has a reliable pilot light is crucial. If you don’t choose the right fireplace, then you can start to find a lot of problems with your pilot light, and this is the last thing you want.

To make sure that you get a reliable fireplace, you should choose one from a company that is highly experienced in both gas and electric fireplaces like Dreifuss Fireplaces.

If you would like to learn more about our fireplace options, then contact us today.

Latest Articles