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Blow out the pilot light versus shutting off the gas

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by nariward, Jun 19, 2006.

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  1. nariward

    nariward New Member

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    I read this advice below, but it's a little unclear. My pilot lights - there are two, maybe four - are generating a lot of heat. And it's gonna be a hot summer.

    Can I just blow out the pilot light and relight when necessary, or do I actually have to shut off the gas on the stove entirely?

    I guess I should assume that the pilot lights are lighting a steady stream of gas, which will continue to emit with or without the pilot light, thus, I should shut off the gas if I'm going to blow out the pilot light???



    Record: 1350

    Subject: Gas stove - can I turn off gas in summer

    Question
    I have an Ovation gas stove I purchased from Quality Farm and Fleet. Is it safe to turn off the gas in summer or do we need to keep pilot lit all summer? We seem to get quite a bit of heat just from the pilot. There is no way to adjust pilot light. We may have learned our lesson about not purchasing a gas stove from someone we can also get service from.

    Answer
    No problem...go ahead and turn off the gas. You can even close the shut off valve behind the stove. When it gets cool again, you'll find lighting instructions inside the manual or labeled on the stove itself.

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I always turn off the gas. Why take a risk? Just make sure you know how to relight it, so you don't have to pay somebody to come over and do it for you in the fall.
  3. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Just shut off the control valve (under the stove) It'll say Off, Pilot, On just turn it until the red arrow on the valve lines up with off. If you were to just blow it out it would only continue to emit gas for around 30 seconds at which point the electro magnet would lose it's charge and shut down the gas supply. That's the whole concept of the safety valve.
  4. nariward

    nariward New Member

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    Thanks a lot.

    I'm sensing, then, that "killing the gas" is something one generally does NOT do with one's "daily use" stove?

    Only because it's somewhat of a hastle to relight the stove everytime I need to use it (?).
  5. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I was going to ask you about that.

    You can buy battery-operated stove-lighters, or use a conventional lighter or a match to light the gas. But you can't do that if you shut the gas off.

    I didn't know that modern stoves had pilot lights. The ones I've seen recently all have the electric spark clicker-thing that starts firing when you turn on the gas.
  6. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Standing pilot and Electronic ignition are the standard. Hearth & Home Technologies has come up with the IPI ignition kind of a hybrid electronic ignition/standing pilot configuration.
  7. nariward

    nariward New Member

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    Yeah - my stove is totally new (I'm in a rental unit) and it has the pilot lights. It doesnt have the spark-igniters, as fas as I know.
    It generates a ton of heat, and I'm sure doesnt do much for my gas bill.

    I guess I just have to play around with it. I just wanted to make sure that it wouldn't explode in my face or that the gas would kill me if I blew it out. I'll see if I can find an instruction manual.
  8. nariward

    nariward New Member

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    Or, I guess it has what Shane said - something does seem to spark up before the flame kicks in.

    Cheers.
  9. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    A pilot light, assuming your stove has one, shouldn't generate any noticable heat. Are you sure the oven isn't on?
  10. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    You can notice the heat of a pilot light. I have 5 of them burning in the showroom and everyone of them is noticeable.
  11. nariward

    nariward New Member

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    Thanks for your vigilance. Yeah, the heat is definitely noticeable. The surface of the stove is hot enough to the touch that you'd pull your hand away. It wouldnt burn you, but you'd think the oven might be on. (It's not.)

    I'm not sure what brand it is - I'll take a look when I get home, but maybe a good follow-up question is, is there a way to reduce the pilot flame?

    Again, I'm also thinking about cost, at least vaguely.
  12. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    You can adjust the pilot but I highly recommend you leave it alone it's something that should be done only by a qualified service tech. You can't adjust it enough to make a difference cost wise anyway. it's not adjusted for cost it's adjusted so that it heats the thermocouple and thermopile just enough so that the mv electricity generated powers the electro magnets in the valve and that if the pilot was extinguished the thermocouple and thermopile cool down quickly enough to shut off the gas supply. If I remember right the ovation only has a thermopile anyway but it doesn't matter.
  13. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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  14. mlouwho

    mlouwho New Member

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    If you have lots of spiders around your house, I would reccomend leaving the pilot on for the summer. Spiders like to lay eggs inside of the small openings, as the eggs grow, the gas flow closes off. That is a $150 service call in the fall. Most of our town is close to lakes/sand dunes so spiders are a big issue.

    There is one condo association, right on the beach, they insist on turning their pilots off, to save money while they live in $500,000 condos. We can go right down the street in the fall & pull a spider nest out of every other house. Then we have this conversation......
    I paid you $150 last year, maybe you didn't get it all out.
    No, I told you to leave the pilot on.
    It costs too much.
    See you next year.
  15. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    good call! i always advise leaving the pilot light on. I think constant heat on the pile and couple make them last longer too, (could be a old wives tale), but spiders will make a mess of a pilot assembly, i need to go back to school and learn why there attracted to the additive that makes propane and NG smell.
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