How To Light A Pilot Light

How To Light A Pilot Light

It doesn’t matter when this happens, if your pilot light goes out the consequences can be anything from incredibly annoying and ruining your dinner plans, to deadly and preventing you from heating your home and staying warm in the peak of winter.

While one sounds more serious than the other, ruined dinner plans can be life-threatening, especially when the in-laws are due to arrive any moment!

Regardless of what your situation is, knowing how to light your pilot light is an essential piece of knowledge all homeowners and renters should be aware of as this can salvage your plans or potentially your life, and is really not as difficult as some people make it out to be.

In this guide, we’re going to look at how to light a pilot light for several different appliances so that you’re able to take back control of your situation whatever happens and come to the rescue of anyone who doesn’t know how important this knowledge is.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the first set of instructions.

How To Light A Gas Oven Pilot Light

If you’re lucky enough to have a gas oven you’ll know just how good they are at cooking and how nice it is to be able to rely on them if the power should go out.

However, if the pilot light goes out things become a real problem.

To resolve this follow these steps;

  • Ensure that the oven is fully turned off and ideally empty.
  • Open the oven door and find the pilot light. It should be located in an opening near the bottom of the oven, however, this can differ depending on the brand and design of your particular oven, so refer to the owner’s manual if you’re not sure. If you don’t have one available, call the customer service for your brand.
  • Use a long match or specially designed grill lighter to light the pilot light valve in the recess you located at the base of the oven. You’ll need to use something long like this instead of a standard match as it can be hard to reach.
  • Some ovens are designed to be lit before each use and if you own an oven like this, it’s best to turn the temperature up slowly while holding the flame of your match or lighter towards the pilot light valve.
  • Once the pilot light is ignited, you can close the oven door.

How To Light A Water Heater/Boiler Pilot Light

There’s nothing worse than taking a shower only to be doused in cold water and realizing that the pilot light has gone out!

Pilot light auto igniter inside a hot water heater with flames

To resolve this follow these steps;

  • Find the pilot light at your water heater. Usually, it’s covered by a metal panel which can be removed by unscrewing the screws with a screwdriver.
  • Turn the gas regulator valve off and wait around 10 minutes for any leftover gas to clear out.
  • Turn the temperature valve down to its lowest setting or the pilot setting, then turn the gas regulator valve to the pilot setting.
  • If your heater has an igniter button, use this to relight the pilot light.
  • If there’s no igniter, press the regulator valve and hold a long match or grill lighter to the pilot valve until the flame lights. It’s best to hold the button down for a few seconds to ensure that the pilot light stays lit.
  • Turn the gas regulator to the on setting.
  • Turn the temperature control to your desired setting.
  • Close or refit the panel you removed earlier.

How To Light A Stovetop Pilot Light

To light your stove top pilot light follow these steps;

  • Turn all the stove’s knobs and controls to off
  • Remove the covers from the burners and set them aside for cleaning. A dirty stove cap can affect your gas flow which may be the cause of your problem so take some time to clean them if they are very greasy.
  • If you use a four-burner stove, find the main pilot light ports and give the valves a wipe with a cloth or paper towel.
  • Use a long match or lighter to light the main pilot light near the valve.
  • Replace the caps and lids you removed, and replace all other stovetop pieces you moved.
  • Turn on a burner and ignite it to check that the stovetop is working properly, then turn it off.

How To Light A Furnace Pilot Light

There’s nothing worse than your furnace going down at the height of winter, especially if the weather is bad enough to prevent any help from coming out to you.

To relight your furnace pilot light follow these steps;

  • Locate the pilot light valve on your particular furnace. The location should be well highlighted, or there should be visible instructions on the furnace itself.
  • Locate the gas valve and turn it off. Allow the leftover gas to dissipate.
  • Turn the valve to the pilot setting.
  • Press and hold down the reset button.
  • If this doesn’t work, use the igniter to light the flame. Now hold the reset button and use a lighter or long match near the pilot light valve and wait for it to ignite.
  • Once the pilot light ignites and stays lit, turn the valve to the on the setting.
  • Listen out for the sound of the furnace starting to turn back on and you should be good to go!


  • If you have a gas stove, furnace, or heater in your home, always keep a spare pack of long matches for an emergency, even if you have a grill lighter, as lighters can break or run out of gas at the worst times.
  • Always look for specific instructions for your model if you’re in doubt or have never done this before to avoid damaging anything.
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