Murdoc’s FurnaceCam

How people were able to survive before high-speed internet, Murdoc can’t figure.

Anyway, this weekend I had some trouble with our furnace’s pilot light, so I did what anyone would do: I called my dad.

I told him the pilot light was too big and too orange, and tried to explain exactly what it looked like and also what the flames in the main combustion chamber looked like. Why try to explain, though, when you can shoot a quick video with your digital camera, upload it to YouTube, and get it analyzed by an expert in minutes?

Once I pulled the thing apart, I shot some digital stills and sent them via email. In short order the furnace was back in operation. All that was wrong was a partially-plugged outlet for the pilot light, but it was nice to get a few quick tips from someone who knows more than I do before pulling apart a gas furnace. Quick and easy, thanks to technology.

If you really, really, have nothing better to do, I’ve embedded the video in the extended section of this post. (I’m going to watch the “viewed” counter on the clip so that I can tell how pathetic MO readers are.)

As you can see, the pilot light (center) is not right. Cleared out some soot and we were good to go.

Note: The code from YouTube to embed a player into a web page is not valid XHTML. If you care about such things, try this solution.


  1. Yep, that pilot light don’t look right. We just got a new Trane system with pilotless ignition. Since our house is small and very well insulated that will probably save us more money on gas than the increase in efficiency. Just something to think about.

  2. I’m so disappointed, I thought from the headline you were going to announce that we could log on any time, 24/7, and see what your furnace is doing. Endless entertainment.