Pilot lights are often found in older ovens and a few modern ones. The pilot light is simply a small flame in a gas oven that stays lit throughout in order to provide a source of ignition to the gas. If the pilot light fails to work, it may cause problem with lighting the oven. Luckily, you can easily troubleshoot where the problem is and fix it using simple tools you can get at home. You don’t have to spend a lot of money hiring an oven repair expert.
The first step before you begin the troubleshooting is to make sure that your oven actually has a pilot light. A lot of modern ovens use a spark igniter or an electronic system to ignite gas. To check whether your gas oven has a pilot light, simply open it by removing the top plate and flame spreader. You should of course check that the gas is turned off before proceeding. To identify a pilot light, look for a small gas tube. This is where a small flame burns from. If you see some other device, you may need to call a specialist for help.
Once you have established that your oven has been fitted with a pilot light and that it is not working (there is no flame) follow the following steps to diagnose and fix the problem. Do not forget to keep the gas turned off.
1. Test the pilot light
For this part, you need to momentarily turn your gas on so that you can test whether the pilot light just blew off or there is a deeper malfunction. Use a pin to clean the tip of the tube. Try lighting the pilot light using a match.
2. Thoroughly clean out the tube
If the pilot light fails to light up, use a pin to go deeper and clean out any grease or dirt that has accumulated. You can use a detergent to completely get rid of the grease from the tube. Once you are sure that the tube is fully clean and nothing is blocking the path of the gas, try lighting it again using a match.
3. Replace the pilot light
If cleaning does not solve the problem, completely remove the tube as per the user’s manual and check whether it has been corroded. If it has, you may need to get a new one and replace the damaged one. Most manuals for gas ovens will have clear instructions on how to remove and replace a pilot light. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kADI9VRxrk
4. Check the thermostat
If after cleaning the pilot light works, check the thermostat to make sure it is okay. Just turn it on while observing the pilot light. Turning on the thermostat should make the pilot light flame extend to reach the SVT or safety valve thermocouple. This is what triggers the inlet of gas. If the flame does nothing, you may need to replace your thermostat.
If after checking everything and your pilot light is still not working, ensure that the main gas valve is turned on to let in gas.