Is Your Furnace Gas Valve Bad? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Test It Yourself

Gas valve on a residential heating system

One of the most common problems that gas furnaces experience is a gas valve that has gone bad. While it might be tempting to try to test or replace this component yourself, this isn’t a good idea. Attempting to test or replace a gas valve yourself could put you, your home, and your family at risk. There is also the potential that by doing so you could worsen the problem by causing more damage to your furnace.  

Apart from safety hazards, you likely won’t save yourself any money by attempting this repair yourself. In addition to the time required to do the job safely and correctly, you would need to buy the right tools to test and replace your gas valve. Also, you might even be breaking the law or voiding your furnaces warranty by taking on this task yourself. Here are some other compelling reasons why testing and replacing a bad furnace gas valve is not a good idea. 

Safety Concerns  

Gas furnaces operate using both gas and electrical components. Working with these various elements without the proper tools and training can put you and others at risk. In addition to electrical shock, the potential for creating a gas leak is a legitimate concern when dealing with a gas furnace. A gas leak is especially dangerous because you most likely don’t have the proper tools or skills needed to check for one (or stop it once it happens). If you can’t tell whether a furnace gas valve is on or off, you shouldn’t be attempting to test or repair one. 

Damage to Your Furnace  

If you have some DIY experience you probably feel confident you can repair most things around your home. However, this isn’t always the case, especially when it comes to equipment or systems that require professional training to diagnose and fix. To replace a furnace gas valve, you must know how a furnace gas valve works and the specific steps required to replace it. Missing a step, doing them in the wrong order, or doing one incorrectly can cause additional damage to your furnace.  

There is also a possibility that you could damage your furnace by installing the wrong gas valve. Many people don’t realize that not all furnace gas valves are interchangeable or even that a furnace gas valve can go bad. A lack of experience and knowledge is a recipe for disaster and could easily result in further complications.  

Cost of Time and Tools  

Another thing to consider is whether you’ll even be saving any money attempting this DIY yourself. Gas valve testing and replacement requires specialty tools, equipment and material that can really add up. And some of the tools and material you may not use again, unless of course you have to replace another valve.  

Learning how to use these tools and material and testing and replacing the valve itself is also a time-consuming process. A furnace gas valve making noise will require different tools and techniques than a gas valve with an electrical issue. By the time it’s all said and done, a job that would most likely take you a day or two can be done safely and professionally by an HVAC professional in much less time. 

DIY Replacement Could be Illegal  

Lastly and most importantly, DIY replacement of a furnace gas valve might be illegal in your area. Due to the risk of causing a gas leak that could result in an explosion, certain areas have restrictions in place that prohibit gas valve testing and/or replacement by anyone other than a licensed HVAC professional. This is not only for your safety, but for the safety of your neighbours as well. And at the very least, testing and attempting to fix a faulty gas valve will likely void your furnaces’ warranty. So, any repair or replacement that was originally covered will now be void.  

Let the Professionals Help 

Everyone likes the feeling of completing a DIY project and there are plenty of them you can confidently take on around your house. But testing and replacing a bad furnace gas valve is one task you should leave to the professionals. It is a decision that will ultimately save you a lot of time, headaches, and stress.  

If your furnace it not working properly, or you would like to have it checked out by a licensed professional, your local HVAC experts at Aire Serv can help. We have the knowledge, experience and tools to safely repair or replace your gas valve (if needed) and setup a maintenance program that keeps it running smoothly all year. This way you can focus on all those other DIY projects around the house. Give us a call or visit us online to schedule an appointment