Portrait photo of Mike Bryant, AKA Mike the Boilerman

Mike the Boilerman -

Your Gas Safe Registered boiler 

and central heating repair technician in west Berkshire. Willing to travel :)



I am still carrying out house visits. Full details explained


(Last updated 21st April 2021)

Johnson and Starley J25-32 pilot light…

This seems to be the term most people are looking for about this boiler so I’ll cover that first. My comments also apply to the Hi-Spec J32 and most older Johnson and Starley warm air models. Lighting a pilot light involves taking the front from the boiler and finding the (usually grey) button and holding it down. Here is a close-up photo of a typical gas valve showing the grey button you’ll be holding down. Detailed lighting instructions are usually printed on the back of the front cover you just removed. 

Get down on your knees (sorry!) so you can peer into the burner area, press in the grey button which starts the flow of gas to the pilot, and ignite the pilot flame using your other hand to press the ‘ignite’ button. There may be no ‘ignite’ button, so poke a lit match into where the pilot flame ought to be. Once you can see the pilot flame alight in the burner area, hold the button in for 30 seconds then let it go. The pilot should stay alight. 

Here is a youtube video of a chap lighting the pilot light on a warm air boiler having this exact gas valve. He doesn’t explain much verbally but you can see him pressing in the grey button and hear him repeatedly clicking the ‘ignite’ button. Its not as clear as it could be so I shall record my own video illustrating how to do it in more detail, next time I service one.

If the flame won’t stay alight, the component call the ‘thermocouple’ has probably failed and needs replacing (although there can be other reasons too). You’ll probably need to call someone out to change it unless you’re both confident and competent with spanners and gas, in which case it is a straightforward repair. If you’d like me to visit and fix yours and you’re within driving distance of me in west Berkshire, call me on 07866 766364. Otherwise find someone local who is Gas Safe Registered and qualified to work on warm air. 

Bear in mind that  although most gas technicians will be Gas Safe Registered, there is an additional qualification required to work on warm air which most gas technicians do not hold. (I hold it by the way!) The easiest way is to find a local warm-air-qualified technician is to call Johnson and Starley themselves. They keep lists of Johnson and Starley-recommended and warm-air-qualified service technicians to give to people who call. Their number is 01604 762881.

Photo of pilot lighting grey button on gas control valve.
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Copyright Michael Bryant 2021

Site first published 16th January 2004

Last updated 26th April 2021

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