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Pilot light in old stove

Old 08-22-2015, 06:37 PM
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Default Pilot light in old stove

We have an old range at our "country" home that runs on propane. Since we are not there for weeks at a time we shut the valve off at the tank when we leave. If while we are at the house and the pilot light blows out (there are 2), will enough propane enter the house to make it dangerous? One tends to blow out more often than the other. Without being a slave to constantly checking the PL and obsessing over it, What if 1 blows out and we light the stove top with a match (no electric ignition)? Am I being paranoid?

I don't have LP at my primary home so I'm not familiar with it.
Old 08-22-2015, 08:03 PM
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Yes!!!
Old 08-22-2015, 08:06 PM
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I don't know much about propane stoves but any older gas furnace or water heater I have owned had a thermocouple that prevented pilot light gas from flowing if pilot light was off. I would research that model stove and confirm but yes it could cause an explosion.
Old 08-22-2015, 08:09 PM
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Typically there is a thermal cutoff on the pilot. It must get warm in order to let the gas pass thru.

This is typical, so you may want to check the manual on your particular stove.

David
Old 08-22-2015, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by bjm9818 View Post
I don't know much about propane stoves but any older gas furnace or water heater I have owned had a thermocouple that prevented pilot light gas from flowing if pilot light was off. I would research that model stove and confirm but yes it could cause an explosion.
X2
Old 08-23-2015, 03:14 AM
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Thanks. I'll see if I can find a manual
Old 08-23-2015, 03:26 AM
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Also, buy a gas detector and put in near the oven.
Old 08-23-2015, 04:36 AM
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Propane is a heavy gas and will settle and not dissipate as quick as natural gas. It's more powerful and has a strong odorant added. If you smell this odorant I would not relight the pilot. I'd get it fixed or get rid of it myself.
Old 08-23-2015, 04:47 AM
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Why does the pilot light keep going out? Draft? Damaged tin work? ?? Look for spider webs they reek havoc on older propane systems. Fix it!
Old 08-23-2015, 04:53 AM
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The pilot shouldn't "blow out", so get the problem repaired before it kills you.

On a more positive note, if the safety controls are working properly, the gas should shut off when the pilot goes out.
Old 08-23-2015, 05:47 AM
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Old 08-23-2015, 05:49 AM
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How long should it take for the pilot to stay lit?
Old 08-23-2015, 05:50 AM
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Are the pilot lights that are blowing out located at the burners or in the oven?
Old 08-23-2015, 05:55 AM
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If its in the oven and there is a thermo couple there then replace it asap. That stove has survived many years without blowing up but just in case until the issue is resolved leave the door open.
Old 08-23-2015, 06:06 AM
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change the thermo coupler - prob solved
Old 08-23-2015, 06:52 AM
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Not stove top just oven. I'll replace the TC. Thanks for the input.
Old 08-23-2015, 06:58 AM
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Thremo couplers go bad when you start turning them off and on. They last a long timed if left on. And no, gas wont come in when the pilot light goes out.

How it works
The electromagnet is made up of a coil of wire and "U" shaped iron core. When the thermocouple is heated and the millivolts generated the coil will be energized and create a magnetic field. The magnetic field will cause the "U" shaped iron core to be magnetized; it in turn will hold open a seat allowing gas to pass through.
When this system malfunctions it typically causes the pilot to go out and the gas will not flow.
Old 08-23-2015, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Thalasso View Post
Thremo couplers go bad when you start turning them off and on. They last a long timed if left on. And no, gas wont come in when the pilot light goes out.

How it works
The electromagnet is made up of a coil of wire and "U" shaped iron core. When the thermocouple is heated and the millivolts generated the coil will be energized and create a magnetic field. The magnetic field will cause the "U" shaped iron core to be magnetized; it in turn will hold open a seat allowing gas to pass through.
When this system malfunctions it typically causes the pilot to go out and the gas will not flow.
Development of the Standing Pilot
On the old stoves, people used to turn on the gas and light the main burner with a match. As time went on, someone invented the pilot light. The pilot always stayed lit, and when the main burner was turned on, this component ignited it — nice and simple. But what happened if the pilot went out?

A small amount of gas was released to the atmosphere from the pilot burner, and when you went to light the stove, you realized the pilot was out because the stove wouldn’t light. You relit the pilot and you were set.

Now let’s apply this to a boiler. The original gas boilers had what we called wild pilots. There were two gas cocks on the old boilers, an “A” cock and a “B” cock. The “A” cock ran full size to the main gas valve and the “B” cock ran off a 1/8-in. tapping on the “A” cock. The outlet side was a 1/4-in. compression fitting.

From this fitting, 1/4-in. aluminum tubing ran to a pilot assembly. The pilot assembly sat above the main burner, and when the gas valve opened, the pilot lit the main burner. This was known as a “Wild Pilot.” There was no pilot safety control, and if the pilot went out, the main gas would still turn on when there was a call for heat.

I guess you can see the problem here: no pilot, main gas, big boom. This did lead to explosions, fires, and lots of burned hair and eyebrows.

At one time there were no safety gas valves so be cautious
Old 08-23-2015, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Mine Now View Post
Development of the Standing Pilot
On the old stoves, people used to turn on the gas and light the main burner with a match. As time went on, someone invented the pilot light. The pilot always stayed lit, and when the main burner was turned on, this component ignited it — nice and simple. But what happened if the pilot went out?

A small amount of gas was released to the atmosphere from the pilot burner, and when you went to light the stove, you realized the pilot was out because the stove wouldn’t light. You relit the pilot and you were set.

Now let’s apply this to a boiler. The original gas boilers had what we called wild pilots. There were two gas cocks on the old boilers, an “A” cock and a “B” cock. The “A” cock ran full size to the main gas valve and the “B” cock ran off a 1/8-in. tapping on the “A” cock. The outlet side was a 1/4-in. compression fitting.

From this fitting, 1/4-in. aluminum tubing ran to a pilot assembly. The pilot assembly sat above the main burner, and when the gas valve opened, the pilot lit the main burner. This was known as a “Wild Pilot.” There was no pilot safety control, and if the pilot went out, the main gas would still turn on when there was a call for heat.

I guess you can see the problem here: no pilot, main gas, big boom. This did lead to explosions, fires, and lots of burned hair and eyebrows.

At one time there were no safety gas valves so be cautious
We are talking about a stove not a boiler
Old 08-23-2015, 06:17 PM
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If replacing the thermocouple doesn't keep it lit, like you alluded to in the post above, that means the gas valve at the bottom of the pic is stuck. Non-serviceable, and Controls will not sell them anymore. Haven't since 2008. Liability reasons, all manufacturers want to go to glow bar ignitors for oven burners.

Spend the 14$ at ACE Hardware for a new thermocouple, see if it works. If it doesn't, you're gonna have to replace the range if you want a standing pilot.

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