How to Repair a Pilot Light


A stove's pilot light, although very small, plays an important role in the function of the appliance. If you have a gas range stove that refuses to light, most likely it is due to a problem with the pilot light. Sometimes grease and food can harden over the tip of the pilot light, inhibiting gas flow and preventing the stove from turning on. Whether you have an electric igniter or a traditional pilot light for your gas range stove, checking and cleaning the pilot light tube is a relatively simple task.

Things You'll Need

  • Brush or sponge
  • Dish soap
  • Pin
  • Long-handle match
  • Turn all of the controls of your gas range stove to the "off" position; you don't want any gas to be flowing while you're working.

  • Remove all grating, pots and pot holders from the stove top. Remove the cap covering the gas burner spigots to expose the pilot light.

  • Examine the pilot light for debris. Remove caked-on food with dish soap, scrubbing with a brush or the rough side of a sponge. Press a pin into the gas opening of the pilot light to clear it. Make sure the stove top is dry and free of excess soap before you light it.

  • Relight the pilot light by lighting a long match and holding it over the gas hole of the pilot light. If your cleaning has paid off, the pilot light will light. If it doesn't, clean more. If you have an electronic ignition pilot light, turn the stove top dial to "light" and see if your cleaning has paid off. If the stove still does not light after a second cleaning, there may be a problem with the electronic igniter.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always make sure the gas is off before you begin cleaning your gas range stove. If you smell any gas odor, stop cleaning immediately and wait until the odor disappears before proceeding.

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  • Photo Credit gas stove image by Christopher Walker from
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