Natural Gas Appliances at Home

From appliances inside the home to equipment and accessories outside the home, natural gas fuels the comforts of everyday life. And here’s why:

Regardless of the type of appliance you use, make sure it has a seal from a recognized independent testing laboratory.

Gas Appliance Pilot Lights

Some gas appliances operate with a standing pilot light - a small gas flame that burns continuously, which serves as an ignition source for the main gas burner. Furnaces, water heaters, gas fireplaces, and gas stoves often have standing pilot lights. These pilot lights can get extinguished at times due to a nearby draft, dirt buildup or a malfunctioning thermocouple. Should the pilot light flame be extinguished, most appliances have a safety (called 100% shutoff) that will stop the flow of gas to the main burner and pilot. Older appliances are equipped with a valve that will only stop the flow of gas to the main burner, allow gas to escape through the pilot tube. In that case, the gas must be shut off at the appliance isolation valve normally located close to the appliance.

Pilot Light: Should I Leave it On or Off?

The question most frequently asked about gas fireplaces is “Should I turn my pilot light off if my fireplace is not being used for an extended period of time?” The answers vary, as there’s no single right decision.

True, your pilot light burns gas which costs money. However, your fireplace or furnace, if applicable, only uses a small amount of gas to power the pilot light. Turning the pilot light off could only save you pennies per day. Additionally, if the pilot light is turned off, as the cold season comes around sometimes unexpectedly, that pilot light will have to be relit to access heat. So, if you turn your pilot light off, it’s important that you know how to safely relight it.

There are a few things to consider before turning off your pilot light. Spiders are attracted to the compound mercaptan, which is used to produce the rotten egg smell in gas. When you turn off your pilot light, trace amounts of mercaptan will be maintained in the tubes. Spiders can crawl in and spin webs that can clog the tubes. Additionally, keeping the pilot light on will help keep moisture out which helps prevent corrosion. Also, if the fireplace is in a basement it could help reduce humidity.

If you are having trouble lighting a pilot light, do not keep trying – call Jackson Energy Authority or your plumber.


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