Central Heat Gas Furnace Pilot Light Problem

I have lived in a house for ten years that has an elderly central heat gas furnace. Each fall when the temp drops I switch the thermostat to HEAT and in a few minutes I have hot air flowing from the vents. Not this year. Following the gas line I've located the gas valve and the thermocouple connected to it, but unlike the wall furnaces and hot water heaters I'm familiar with, I don't know how to get it lit. I'm used to depressing a knob while holding a match under the thermocouple until it lights. This unit appears to send an electrical charge to light the thermocouple. Anyone have an suggestions as to how I should proceed? All advice appreciated.
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Elderly? As far as I remember, electronic ignition has been around longer than that.
Call a tech to look at it.
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Have you ever had it professionaly cleaned or serviced? You will get more efficiency keeping it clean. Do yourself a favor call a pro.
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Thermocouples do not light. They sense the heat of the pilot light.
We need to know more about what you have and I am not sure you know. Many modern furnaces do not use pilot lights. They use spark or glowbar ignition. They are getting more complex and unless you know what you are doing of have the manual (many have built in diagnostic systems) you are not likely to be able to resolve the problem yourself.
It may be time to call the service man and remember, it is getting cold and they are going to get very busy very soon. You may want to call now.

--
Joseph E. Meehan

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Hi Joseph, hope you are having a nice day
On 05-Nov-04 At About 07:14:29, Joseph Meehan wrote to All Subject: Re: Central Heat Gas Furnace Pilot Light Problem
JM> Thermocouples do not light. They sense the heat of the pilot light.
Actually they don't sense the heat. the flame causes a small voltage which is what keeps the pilot solenoid open.
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