How To Light a Stovetop and Oven Pilot Light

How To Light a Stovetop and Oven Pilot Light

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

In older gas stoves, a small light called a pilot should constantly be on. This tiny flame is used to light bigger ones on your stovetop burners and oven. Occasionally, that light can go off, whether it's because it's covered in debris, a draft or other gust of wind has blown it out, or you have an older over that's gotten finnecky over time. When that happens, the burners and the oven will not ignite, which means you can't cook your food. Fortunately, it's fairly easy to relight a pilot light that has gone out. Here's how.

How To Light a Stovetop Pilot Light

What you'll need

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Lighter (one with a long wand is easiest) or match

Instructions

  1. Turn everything off: Make sure your kitchen doesn't smell like gas, which it could if you've been trying to light the stove or oven for a while and it's not igniting. If it does smell like gas, make sure both then oven and the burners are turned off, and open the windows to ventilate the kitchen before addressing the problem. If you've got it, refer to the appliance manual for instructions. If not, continue.
  2. Remove the burners: If your stovetop is not igniting, remove the burners. Maybe set them in the sink to soak. Now would be a good time to clean them, because why not? See: How To Clean Enameled Cast Iron Stove Grates
  3. Open up the stovetop: Depending on your oven, the entire top might lift up from a hinge, which will hold it in place once open. Or your drip trays will be removable to reveal the workings of the stovetop.
  4. Find the pilot port: Underneath, there will be one gas line connecting the two left-side burners, and another gas line connecting the right-side burners. In the middle of each of those pipes is the pilot port, the opening where, when things are working properly, you'll see a little blue flame there called the pilot light.
  5. Clean the area: Make sure there is no grease or debris on the pipes or blocking opening. If you see anything, wipe it up gently with your microfiber cloth.
  6. Light the pilot light: Use your lighter to light each of the openings. A small blue flame should shoot up.
  7. Replace the parts and check the burners: Close the top of the stovetop and replace the burners. You did it! Your burners should ignite just fine now!

How To Light an Oven Pilot Light

What you'll need

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Lighter (one with a long wand is easiest) or match

Instructions

  1. Turn everything off: Make sure your kitchen doesn't smell like gas, which it could if you've been trying to light the stove or oven for a while and it's not igniting. If it does smell like gas, make sure both then oven and the burners are turned off, and open the windows to ventilate the kitchen before addressing the problem. If you've got it, refer to the appliance manual for instructions. If not, continue.
  2. Locate and light the pilot light: It's often labeled "pilot light," and can be a small hole in the bottom of the oven, front center near the door opening, or in a back corner. If you don't see it inside the oven, it could be in the back of the broiler compartment. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the area. Light your lighter or match and hold it near the hole. The pilot light should light immediately.
  3. Check the oven: Turn on the oven and see if it starts heating up.
  4. Turn the oven off: Unless you plan on using it, turn the oven off.

Note

  • If these instructions don't work for the burners or the oven, it's time to call your super or a repair professional.
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