Troubleshooting Problems Lighting Your Gas Furnace With An Igniter Switch

While preparing to fire up your gas furnace for the first time this season, you may have discovered that the burner refuses to light. If you have a newer model gas furnace that has an igniter switch instead of a pilot, use the following troubleshooting guide to see if you can find a simple solution to the problem.

Make Sure the Switch Has Electricity

When you try using the igniter switch, listen carefully for a clicking noise that indicates that it is trying to light the burner. If you do not hear anything, this could mean that there is no electrical current reaching the switch. 

Check to see if the power switch on the side of the furnace is on. If it is, then check the breaker that controls the furnace. If these are both switched on, there could be a wiring issue in the igniter switch itself that will need professional attention.

Ensure the Gas Valve Is On

If you do hear the clicking noise and feel that the switch itself is working, the next thing you need to do is make sure there is gas flowing to the switch. Find the gas valve for the furnace to make sure it is open.

This valve is located either near the igniter switch or right outside of the furnace, depending on your model. Check your manufacturer's manual to find out its exact location if you are having problems finding it.

If you discover that the gas valve is open, there could be a problem with the gas lines or thermocouple that feeds the electric pilot or the burner. A heating repair professional will be needed to find out what is causing the issue.

Push the Reset Button on the Igniter Switch

If the switch is clicking and the gas is flowing freely, it is possible that the igniter switch just needs to be reset after a long season of not being used. Usually located right next to or a part of the switch, the reset button should be pressed for a few seconds. If resetting the switch does not work, the part may be faulty and need replacing.

After going through the above troubleshooting tips, you may still find that you are unable to light your furnace. If so, contact an HVAC contractor service, like Biggerstaff Plumbing Heating & Air, so that they can inspect the switch to find the issue and discuss your options for making the necessary repairs.