The Green Revolution in Plumbing: Environmentally Friendly Plumbing

5 Reasons for Gas Heater Failure

You depend on the heater to actually heat your home. If your furnace is gas-powered, there are a few things that can cause it to stop working. Knowing what they are can help you determine the best repair option more quickly.

1. Tripped Safety Switch

The most common reason for an unexpected heating failure is a safety switch was triggered. Many furnaces won't operate if the unit's access panel door isn't properly secured, for example. Checking that the door is in place may be all that is necessary to have heat flowing out of the vents again. This switch can also malfunction, which will require a replacement. 

2. Low Fuel Supply

Low fuel prevents the furnace from coming on at all. If you depend on tank refills to supply the fuel, then make sure the gauge is working properly and that there is sufficient fuel in the tank. Otherwise, the fuel lines and the delivery valve need to be inspected for possible clogs or leaks. Cleaning out the lines and replacing any damaged parts may be necessary.

3. Failed Pilot Light

A pilot light ignites the fuel in the burner when it is time for the furnace to heat the air. The pilot light can go out if fuel delivery is interrupted or if dirt gets into the pilot light assembly. Damage to the burner can also lead to pilot light and ignition issues. The pilot and burner assembly may require cleaning or a repair may be necessary if there is damage.

4. Fan Breakdowns

The blower fan moves the hot air out of the heater and through your home's vent system. If the blower isn't working properly, the hot air stays in the furnace and causes it to overheat. Overheating, in turn, causes the furnace to shut down prematurely, and it won't come back on until the overheated components have cooled. Blower systems can sometimes be repaired, but often replacement is needed.

5. Electrical Problems

Although your gas heater depends on gas for fuel, there are still electrical components in the system. The ignition that ignites the gas is usually controlled by a spark that is generated through electricity. The thermostat control panels are also electrical in nature. Any issues with the electrical system can cause the heater to shut down, so they must be repaired promptly. 

Contact a heating repair service in your area if your heater is no longer warming your home.