A pilot light refers to a small gas burner that is constantly burning to light a larger burner. Whether it’s your furnace, oven, stove, or water heater, an extinguished pilot light can leave your house cold and even cause trouble every time you try to start your cooking equipment.
The good news is that relighting your pilot light is actually really easy. All you need to do is locate and access the pilot, turn the gas valve to the pilot light position, and then use a long lighter to relight the pilot light. But how do you light a pilot light on a flat top grill?
Well, perhaps the first thing is to find the instructions label on your larger burner. Nearly every furnace will have a sticker on it that provides instructions on how to light its pilot light. You might have to use a flashlight to locate the label if the furnace/ larger burner area is dark.
The instructions label will also inform you where the gas and reset button are located so you can relight the pilot light. Below we have provided some tips on how to light pilot light on a furnace, oven, gas stove, water heater, and flat top grill.
How to Light Pilot On Flat Top Grill
First, make sure everything is off: Switch all the knobs to the off position and make sure the oven isn’t on. Ensure that no gas is being released when you relight the pilot light or you may end up causing a fire or an explosion.
Also, make sure you don’t smell gas in your kitchen before trying to light the pilot light. Listen attentively for a hissing sound that could indicate that gas is leaking from the stove. If you do, get a technician to help repair your stove.
Remove any covers and grates from the burners so they don’t fall when you raise the stovetop. Keep them aside until you’re done. Remember to clean the burners before putting them back on.
Lift the Stovetop Lid to Expose the Pilot Light Valves: On the underside of the lever, there will be a lever or switch that you should engage to raise the lid of the stovetop.
Check for a smaller pipe that connects the burners on the right and another one that connects the burners on the left. You should see a pilot port in the center of each of these pipes.
Open the oven door and check for the pilot light hole at the bottom. This is where you should light the pilot light.
Based on the model of your oven, the pilot light hole can be in the center corner, front corner, or back corner. Consider checking the user’s manual or look up your oven online to find the pilot light if you’re unable to locate it.
Light the Pilot Light Using a Long-Stemmed Lighter: Ignite the long-stemmed lighter and bring the flame to the pilot light valves in the center of the pipes on the stovetop.
Light the valves as well as the pilot light. Then close the stovetop lid and the oven door and make sure it locks into place.
Lighting a Gas Water Heater
If you want to light a gas water heater using a pilot light, the first thing will be to open the access panel covering the pilot light. Most gas water heaters feature small access that can be removed to access the gas valve and the pilot light.
Subject to your water heater, you may be able to just snap the panel off. Else, you may have to utilize a small screwdriver to open the panel.
Note that if you have to remove screws to open the access panel, be sure to put them in a small plastic so you don’t lose them.
Wait 10 minutes before proceeding to make sure any residue gas from the tank has cleared from the air.
Set the Temperature Control to the Lowest Setting: To set the temperature of the water heater, check for a temperature control valve near the gas regulator valve.
Turn the switch or the dial to the lowest possible temperature setting. With some heaters, you will find the lowest temperature setting labeled as “Pilot”. Simply turn the switch to that direction.
Light the Pilot Light Using a Long Lighter: After setting the gas valve to the pilot position, or with you holding the valve in the pilot position, light the tip of the pilot light’s valve using a long-stemmed lighter.
Remember to keep the regulator valve in the pilot position for one or two minutes so that the thermocouple senses the pilot light when it is on to restart the water heater.
Reset the Temperature Setting and Turn the Gas Back On: After getting the pilot light back on and burning smoothly, turn the gas regulator valve back to the “On” position. Then set the temperature valve back to its normal settings.
Now that the pilot light is on and your water heater is working, you can close the access panel by either screwing it back on or snapping it back into place.
How to Light Pilot Light on a Furnace
Turn off the Gas Valve: Before you try to light the pilot light on your furnace, make sure you shut off the gas. This will help to avoid any chances of causing a fire or an explosion.
In most furnaces, you’ll find a small valve near the bottom of the furnace that features three positions labeled “On, “Off, and “Pilot.
The point here is to turn the valve to the “Off” position. Wait for at least 5 minutes before proceeding to ensure any gas left in the pipes has cleared out.
Turn the Gas Valve to Pilot: Once you’re satisfied that any gas left in the pipes has cleared out, switch the gas valve to the position labeled “Pilot” or “Pilot Light”. At this point, there shouldn’t be a smell of any gas coming from the valve. If there is, then you may have a gas leak.
Caution: if you think you may have a gas leak, evacuate the area immediately and call a furnace repairman.
Press and Hold the Reset Button: Near the gas valve, check for a small button or switch labeled “Reset”. Locate the reset button and hold it down before you try to light the pilot light.
If you’re unable to locate the reset button, check the user’s manual of the furnace to see if there’s a diagram that tells the location of the reset button. In case there is no user manual, consider looking up your specific furnace online.
Use a Long Lighter to Light the Pilot Light: Keep on pressing the reset buttons as you ignite the lighter. Take the flame to the pilot light valve and keep it steady until you see the pilot light reignite. Then release the reset button.
You can roll a piece of paper into a long tube or use a long match to light the pilot light. Note that it’s possible that you’ll have to relight the pilot light several times before it stays on.
Switch the Valve Back to “On” Position: After reigniting the pilot light, turn the furnace on by turning the gas valve back into the “On” position. You should hear the furnace turning back on and it should start to generate heat to the house afterward.
If the pilot light keeps on getting extinguished, you may have a faulty or broken thermocouple. Contact a professional to inspect and repair your furnace.