Lately, it may seem that every time you turn around, your furnace is not turning on because your pilot light keeps going out. Even if you repeatedly relight it, it does not take long for the flame to die down. If so, there are a couple of possible reasons why your gas furnace's pilot light keeps going out.
1. Top of the Thermocouple Is Covered in Dirt and Soot
One possible reason why your gas furnace's pilot light keeps going out is that the top of the thermocouple is being blocked by a layer of dirt and soot. The hole at the top of the thermocouple is where the gas for the pilot is delivered to keep the flame burning.
If this hole becomes even partially blocked, two things can happen. First, not enough gas will be delivered to sustain the flame. Second, the backflow of the gas will send a message to the sensor that there is plenty of gas so the flow can be shut off.
In either case, the hole will need to be cleaned out. While you could do this yourself if you have the know-how, the thermocouple is delicate and part of the gas system, so it is best left up to a professional to do the job.
2. Thermocouple Rod Is Knocked out of Alignment
Another reason why your pilot light keeps going out no matter how many times you attempt to light it is that the thermocouple rod has become knocked out of alignment. The rod is the part that connects the gas line with the pilot's hole.
As part of its job, the thermocouple mixes the right amounts of gas and air together to keep the flame lit. If the rod is knocked out of alignment, this mixture can become askew, with too much air mixed into the gas.
If there is too much air and not enough gas, there will not be enough fuel for the flame. The rod will either have to be straightened or the thermocouple replaced, depending on what caused the misalignment in the first place.
No matter what is making your pilot light go out, you need to have it fixed immediately to not only keep your home warm but also to prevent a gas leak if the issue is caused by a broken thermocouple. Contact a contractor who provides HVAC repair services to have them find the exact cause of the issue with the pilot light so that it can be fixed as soon as possible.