Dealing With The Electronic Pilot Relight Warning, Or EPRL

Depending on your furnace, you may get a blinking red light or some other warning that indicates you have a pilot light problem. This error code, known as an EPRL error, appears on the control board, and can mean any of a number of things.

When the EPRL Light Comes On

On some furnaces, there's simply a light. On some other models, the light may have an EPRL label. Typically, when you see this warning, one of these things may occur as well.

  • You cannot light the pilot
  • The pilot light will only remain lit for a short duration
  • The blower fan will not turn on
  • The pilot light will die as soon as the fan starts

Many more issues can come with an EPRL warning. They're usually indicative of a problem with the flame sensor or air intake.

Why the EPRL Warning Comes On

The most common reason you receive an EPRL error is because you have a dirty flame sensor rod. However, other issues can create a similar error. For example, if the control board itself has a problem, or a component of it is malfunctioning, then you may see the EPRL error warning.

You should let a professional take a look at any board errors, but there's a few things you can do to see if you can get the error to go away.

Check the Manual or the Website

Different manufacturers use different diagnostic light codes. It's possible that your furnace manufacturer has a list of error codes and LED flashing patterns. Unfortunately, not all furnaces have patterns or anything other than the flashing light to help you.

Clean the Flame Sensor Rod

Cleaning the flame sensor is a part of routine furnace maintenance. Usually your HVAC service will perform this when they're doing other maintenance duties. For the majority of EPRL errors, cleaning the flame sensor will do the trick. While it's a job that professionals typically do, it's possible for you to clean the flame sensor yourself.

Check the Filters and Air Intake

A lot of the time a dirty or blocked air intake can lead to a dirty flame rod. If the filters are clogged and the air intake is dirty, then you can clean them. If you have the flame rod cleaned, but not the air intake then you will have the same problem all over again.

Err on the Side of Caution

Often, red colored diagnostic codes can indicate some very dangerous situations. That's why it's important that you attempt to familiarize yourself with the diagnostic codes for your make and model. These codes can indicate anything from a possible gas leak to a high-voltage fault.

In most cases, if the light that's blinking is specifically marked "EPRL," then that's usually exactly what it is. But if it doesn't have any specific designation, it's best to call a furnace repair service company like Kohl Heating & Air Conditioning to come help you figure it out.