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My O'Keefe & Merritt Oven's Pilot Light Won't Stay Lit

O'Keefe & Merritt stoves are antique gas stoves, many of which feature a stove top with burners and a griddle, glass door oven, broiler, warming oven, clock and cover. Available online or through select antique appliance stores or dealers, O'Keefe & Merritt ovens are gas powered and use a pilot light to heat the oven and cook food. As with all gas appliances, this pilot light may go out occasionally, which requires some troubleshooting efforts to determine the source of the problem prior to relighting the pilot light.

  1. Turn off the oven, turn off the gas supply and unplug the oven from the power supply. Open the oven door and remove any racks or pans. Lift out the oven bottom, which is a large flat metal sheet, followed by the flame spreader, which is a smaller, partially concave metal sheet over the pilot light ignitor.

  2. Examine the ignitor for signs of excess dirt or debris, as this will impact the pilot light. Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe the ignitor clean and remove any food residue or dirt. Dry with a soft, dry cloth.

  3. Locate the air shutter, at the base of the oven burner above the safety valve. Loosen the screw that locks down the plate on the air shutter, adjusting the opening to increase the amount of air that mixes with the gas.

  4. Ensure the oven is not placed near windows or doors with strong drafts, as this may be causing the pilot light to go out frequently. Block drafts if possible.

  5. Relight the pilot light by turning off all controls and waiting a few minutes for the gas to dissipate from the lines. Turn the pilot adjustment screw in small increments while holding an open match to the pilot tip until the pilot light ignites.

  6. Replace the flame spreader pan and the oven bottom. Close the oven door.

About the Author

Meredith Jameson writes early childhood parenting and family health articles for various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from San Francisco State University.