How To Control the Burner and Find Gas Leaks

The safe use of a gas furnace depends upon a steady flow of fuel and a strong, continuous flame. These instructions will help you determine that your furnace is getting the proper amount of gas, and that it's all going where it should.

Burner Adjustment


The flames on the gas burner should be full and steady, with no sputtering and no trace of yellow. To adjust the flame height on the main burners, call a professional service person. To adjust the height of the pilot flame, turn the flame adjustment screw until the flame is from 11/2 to 2 inches high. The adjustment screw is located near the gas valve on the pilot assembly, if the control has this adjustment feature.

Gas Leaks

If you suspect leaks around the furnace unit, stir up a mixture of liquid detergent and water. Paint this mixture on the gas supply line along its connections and valves; the soapy water will bubble at any point where there's a leak. If you find a leak, try tightening the leaking connection with a pipe wrench, but be careful not to overtighten the connection. If the pipe connections or valves still leak, call a professional service person.

Now that you know how to fix your gas furnace, you'll be able to stay warm and quite possibly save a few dollars on professional repairs.

For more articles on home repair, check out the following links.
  • Furnace Maintenance: Save yourself time and money by learning the steps to keep your furnace in prime condition.
  • Major Appliance Repair: If the furnace isn't the only thing in your house on the fritz, you can learn how to fix other machines in this article.
  • Small Appliance Repair: Once you've tackled the furnace, a toaster or blender seems like child's play. Find out how to fix them here.
  • Thermostat Maintenance: To make sure there's actually a problem with your heating system, you may want to check the thermostat, too. Learn how to calibrate a thermostat.

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