No announcement yet.

pilot stays lite

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • pilot stays lite

    Hi All

    I have an old gas stove with a heater build in. The pilot
    light stays lite but is not a steady flame. Also, when I turn
    the heat up and then a minute later turn it off the pilot
    light is half the size it was.

    What would be causing this?

    One thing I read somewhere is that cleaning the pilot orifice might work.
    What I did the other day was to buy a can of compressed
    air and blow it in there. I think it might have helped. Anyway,
    what is the proper way to clean the orifice?

    (sorry the font changed by accident)


  • #2
    Re: pilot stays lite

    If you have a pilot light, you should have some type of flame proving device such as a thermocouple. The thermocouple could be bad or the gas valve is bad. You can test the thermocouple with a fluke that can read millivolts. Is your flame blue or are there other colors? This question is more suited for an appliance repairman but I hope this helps.
    Buy cheap, buy twice.


    • #3
      Re: pilot stays lite

      The proper way to clean a pilot is to remove the orifice from the assembly, clean off any external build-up, and use a pilot orifice drill to make the hole the proper size.

      I'd say the problem is more than likely a bad pilot gas regulator. The system could also be a 750mv Powerpile. Either way I think you need a repairman to diagnose and fix the problem.


      • #4
        Re: pilot stays lite

        i think the key word is "old gas stove".

        typically these have standing pilots with no thermocouple.

        follow the pilot gas line, back to the gas manifold assy. this will lead you to a screw that is the adjustment for the pilot.

        the flame that is going high and low sounds like it is more of a pressure regulator issue. but you didn't mention anything about the main burner dancing flame size. a bad regulator will cause the main burners to dance high and low or extremely high or low.

        i would clean the pilot, (probably grease) and adjust the screw for the flame size.

        phoebe it is


        • #5
          Re: pilot stays lite

          More replies than I hoped for!

          Well I bought this used 25 years ago, so someone
          said it probably has no thermocouple.

          The other day, with the pilot low, I turned on the gas
          heat really low to see what would happen. After several
          seconds there was a mini explosion. There of course was
          disturbing. It also put out the pilot light.

          I don't remember seeing variation in the main gas heater
          flames, once I get the thing going though.

          My neighbor is mechanically inclined and is open to helping
          me in all this. I'm going to print out your replies and tape them
          to his door shortly.

          He said that in Massachusetts there is no way to replace a gas
          heater because of the codes now. I was surprised to hear that.
          That was a way out of this I was considering.



          • #6
            Re: pilot stays lite

            Just to clarify.

            The pilot light doesn't get bigger and smaller and back again.

            The other day after I thought I cleaned and fixed this problem
            with compressed air, the pilot light was big. I turned on the heat
            and it turned on fine. When I turned off the heat the pilot light
            was much smaller. Basically there are 3 pilot lights in one it seems.
            The largest one wouldn't come back on.



            • #7
              Re: pilot stays lite

              (Ok, last reply to myself today.)

              My neighbor was just here 10 minutes ago. He said he has
              done some very basic cleaning on gas stoves/heaters. It
              does indeed have a thermocouple.

              We plan on turning off the gas and dealing with this either
              Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

              Thanks for the replies, if anyone wants to add that's fine too.

              Off to work I go,



              • #8
                Re: pilot stays lite

                iI think the "thermocouple" he sees is the capillary tube for the baso valve


                • #9
                  Re: pilot stays lite

                  I don't know. But I'll get your comment to him about
                  the baso valve.



                  • #10
                    Re: pilot stays lite

                    What about asking an appliance repair person before someone gets hurt?

                    Am I the only one who sees this as an accident waiting to happen?
                    I love my plumber

                    "My Hero"

                    Welcome, Phoebe Jacqueline!


                    • #11
                      Re: pilot stays lite

                      Originally posted by MrsSeatDown View Post
                      Am I the only one who sees this as an accident waiting to happen?
                      No, you are not. I definately dont condone this type of DIY stuff. But if others are comfortable typing out instructions I'll usually throw in my 2 cents. Most of the time they are worth it.


                      • #12
                        Re: pilot stays lite

                        My neighbor is only comfortable doing a little. So we'll turn off
                        the gas and give it a shot. He said he has done some of this before.
                        I also spoke to him regarding a professional coming in. He is going
                        to see if the landlady knows anyone. She is aware of the situation.

                        We plan on doing this Sat. or Sun. I'll give him the oppurtunity to
                        back out without condemnation when I talk to him again.



                        • #13
                          Re: pilot stays lite

                          Me and J. worked on the gas heater just now. (Actually I just
                          held his cape.) The pilot light is somewhat better. Before it had
                          a tendency to lose one of the three jets of the light. So it lost
                          50% of the flame.

                          I'm going to see if the light stays at the same
                          level over time.

                          They say you know if you have a good mechanic by the size of
                          his boat. I was at google and tried to find what I should look for
                          in a gas guy/gal assuming I need one. This would be in Massachusetts.

                          Insured I would think. But are there certifications? I don't want someone
                          coming in and saying "Man, I've never seen one of these before."
                          So I'd like the highest level of expertise, if I can find somone should
                          I need to.

                          J. said the pilot area should be cleaned out of buildup. Some of the
                          main gas jets are also plugged, but I don't care too much about that.

                          Should be simple J. said, 2 hours or less.