Gas Heater Safety
Stay Warm, Stay Safe
Safely troubleshoot basic gas heater problems, learn what to do if your system overheats, and find out when to call a technician.
Troubleshooting for Gas Heaters
If your gas heater doesn't seem to be working properly, check the following items:
- If you have a steam or hot water system, check the water in the sight glass or the pressure on the water pressure gauge. If it is below the manufacturer’s recommended water level, turn on the water supply valve to bring the water level up to the recommended level or to the 12 PSI mark on the water pressure gauge. Then, turn off the valve on the steam system.
- If the pilot light on your heating system is out, relight the unit by following the manufacturer's instructions in your owner's manual. If you no longer have the owner's manual, you may be able to find the instructions online by searching for the make and model of your unit, along with the phrase "pilot light."
- If the pilot light is already on, set the thermostat to “heat” and raise the setting to five degrees above room temperature. The heater should come on within a minute or two. Then, adjust the thermostat to the desired temperature.
- If you need help lighting the pilot light, call us at 1-800-436-PSEG (7734).
- If your heating system is not working properly, call us at 1-800-436-PSEG (7734) to have your heating equipment or other appliances inspected, serviced or repaired. You can also Schedule a Service Appointment online.
A boiler or furnace can overheat when a heating unit reaches an exceedingly high temperature and pressure and will not shut off. This condition is caused by failure of safety controls and can result in an explosion or fire.
Your system may be overheating if it:
- will not shut off
- is a cherry red color
- has paint peeling off
- is leaking water or steam
- has temperature or pressure gauges at the highest levels.
If you suspect your system is overheating:
- Evacuate your home immediately and call the fire department, followed by the PSE&G emergency line at 1-800-880-7734 (PSEG). Upon arrival, PSE&G will shut off the gas supply and allow the heating system to safely cool down.
- NEVER add water to a hot boiler and NEVER attempt to cool down a hot boiler by spraying water on it. You could be severely burned by steam.
If Your Heating Equipment Was in a Flood ...
Heating controls exposed to floodwater could be damaged and can fail, even if they were tested and appeared to be operable.
If your heating equipment was exposed to floodwater, call PSE&G at 1-800-436-7734 (PSEG) to have your equipment inspected and/or repaired.