How to Turn on the Pilot Light on a Stove

Many older gas stoves and even some new ones need a small continual burning flame to operate correctly.
Keep the pilot light on for safety.Keep the pilot light on for safety.
This small flame is known as the pilot light. The burners turn on by turning the control knobs to the "on" position. When the pilot light burns out, natural gas continues to flow through the pilot light port. The pilot light must stay on as natural gas is toxic. Turn on the pilot light on the stove only when natural gas fumes cannot be detected.

Step 1

Turn the burner controls on your gas stove to the "Off" position.

Step 2

Remove the cooking grates and the drip pans from beneath them. The cooking grates cover the burner heads so the cookware does not sit directly on the burner.

Step 3

Raise the cook top. Grasp the cook top at the front of the stove top surface and lift. Some gas stoves will have a prop bar to hold the cook top in the raised position. If your gas stove does not have a prop bar, you may need a partner to keep the cook top raised.

Step 4

Locate the pilot light ports between the two sets of burners. The ports sit between the two pipes that connect to each burner, one for the two burners to the right of your stove and one for the two burners to the left of your stove.

Step 5

Light each pilot light with a match. The pilot light flame should not exceed 5/16-inch. If the pilot light flame is lower than 5/16-inch, the possibility that the flame will die out becomes greater. The pilot-adjustment control opening is located at the front of the stove top above the burner control knobs at the center of the stove top. Insert a 3/16-inch or smaller slotted screwdriver into the hole and adjust the pilot light by turning the pilot adjustment control left or right. Turning right will raise the flame and turning left lower it.

Step 6

Lower the cook top slowly so as not to blow out the pilot lights. Replace the drip pans and the cooking grates on top of the stove.

Things You Will Need

  • Matches
  • 3/16-inch slotted screwdriver

About the Author

Cecilia Harsch has been writing professionally since 2009. She writes mainly home improvement, health and travel articles for various online publications. She has several years of experience in the home-improvement industry, focusing on gardening, and a background in group exercise instruction. Harsch received her Certified Nurses Assistant license in 2004. She attended Tarrant County College and studied English composition.