Last winter my pilot light thought it would be fun to start randomly going out. Just when I least expected it, the temperature in the house would suddenly plummet and I'd have to go downstairs, take the cover off the furnace, wedge a match into that annoying wire thingy, light it, push the button, and stick the match all the way in the back of the furnace until it went "boof" and lit.
I had to do this a lot. I had to do this so much that I just left a box of matches on the floor next to the furnace.
Tandra's cousin is in HVAC - he came out and replaced the thermal coupler. Transplanted the soul of my pilot light. In fact, it's like having a completely other pilot light. It worked for a while after that, but of course it was warm enough a month later that we didn't need the furnace much anymore.
This fall when it started getting cold again, like in October, that same pilot light returned. Probably angry at having been replaced, it came back to my house. It went out and REFUSED TO COME BACK ON. It's like it was jealous of my wood-burning fireplace insert with the nice blower on it - "Fine, if you don't need me to keep your house warm, I'll just be going now. *poof*."
So I had to call the people who have a great big sticker on the side of my furnace, the local HVAC company who I guess have ownership over my wayward pilot light. They sent a lackey out who replaced my thermal coupler (yes, transplanting the heart and soul of my pilot light again), decided that it might be good for my furnace to have a FILTER (I LIVED THERE FOR A YEAR AND A HALF WITH NO FURNACE FILTER AT ALL?!?), and informed me that my blower motor needed to be disassembled and cleaned due to the aforementioned lack of filter. I couldn't afford all that, so I skipped the cleaning of the motor and decided to be satisfied with having my wayward pilot light once again removed.
So yeah. Last night it went out again. I lit it again. Then I had a really nice, really HOT fire in my fireplace last night. The kind that usually get the living room up to about 82 degrees. Only, the living room didn't get up to 82. Only about 74. It didn't occur to me that the pilot light might have gone out again since I had just lit it TWO HOURS AGO.
This morning it was 65 degrees in my house when I woke up. THIS IS NOT A COMFORTABLE TEMPERATURE FOR ME. THIS IS NOT A HAPPY WAY FOR ME TO WAKE UP. I lit the pilot light again, even though my better judgement tells me to stop giving life to that evil, evil thing, and even though I fully expect it to be out again at lunch.
So yeah, that was a long story, but my question to you HVAC people can best be summed up as follows: