What is a pilot light and is it safe to be on all the time?

Before we dig too deep, let’s talk about how gas fireplaces and stoves work! They are hooked up to your home’s natural gas or propane lines to draw gas in to create a flame. You can adjust the size of the flame based on the amount of gas you’re letting in. The flame ignites when the gas meets the pilot light. A pilot light is the small blue flame that you see lit under your logs. The pilot typically stays lit at all times so when you’re ready to start a fire it is good to go. 

The pilot light stays lit because of a small amount of gas that is released into a small valve keeping the flame burning. Inside of the pilot light there is a small device called a thermocouple which monitors the light to make sure it doesn’t go out. If the pilot light goes out without you knowing it can leak gas into your home which can cause an explosion. THANKFULLY, the thermocouple uses the heat to keep the valve open. If the light goes out, the valve cools down causing it to close and cut the gas off. (how cool!) If you need to relight the pilot, all you need to do is reopen the valve (typically done by a push of a button) and use a lighter to start the light again!

Stainless Steel Chimney Liner

Pilot lights can seem scary or intimidating to some if they don’t understand how they work or what they do which can deter someone from using gas fireplaces or appliances. Pilot lights and gas appliances are perfectly safe when used and maintained properly! If you’re still unsure and want some more information on the safety of our products or a quote, contact Elite Chimney today!