Fireplace pilot light

The fireplace pilot light works like a match, igniting the main fire with burning fuels such as wood. You can adjust how long the pilot light stays lit by adjusting how long it takes for it to go out on its own. If this is not fixed, then your fireplace may not work properly and could pose a risk to yourself or others.

The fireplace pilot light is one of the most important parts of your fireplace’s functionality. It provides a steady, reliable source of heat for your fire, which means that you won’t have to worry about cold spots or flares up during the winter months.

The pilot light also increases the lifespan of your fireplace and makes it easier to clean. When it comes to having a good fireplace pilot light, many people don’t realize just how important it is. So, on this page, you will get to know more about the functions and importance of a fireplace pilot light.

What is a fireplace pilot light?

Fireplace pilot light

A fireplace pilot light is a small device that lights the fire in your fireplace, which helps to keep it burning. Without a pilot light, your fireplace will go out, and you’ll be forced to restart it.

The purpose of the pilot light is to keep the fire burning so that it doesn’t go out on its own. If the pilot light goes out, you’ll need to restart the fire manually and wait for it to start again.

Mind you, and the pilot light will go out if it is not lit for any period of time. If you want to relight the pilot light, you can do so by pressing a button on the top of your fireplace.

If you ever notice that your pilot light is out, you should check to see if there are any clogs in your chimney or flue pipe. If so, call an expert plumber to fix it for you.

The function of the pilot light on the gas fireplace

The pilot light on a gas fireplace is what ignites the fuel when you’re ready to turn it on. It’s also the part of the gas fireplace that has a sensor, so it knows when it needs to be lit. The pilot light is located in the chimney and is usually made of cast iron or steel.

The function of the pilot light on a gas fireplace is to start the combustion process. When you turn on your gas fireplace, there will be a few seconds where it looks like nothing is happening. This is because the pilot light kicks in and ignites all of the fuel at once.

In addition, the fireplace’s pilot light helps to keep the flame going. The pilot serves as a kind of thermometer for the fireplace, and it controls how much air gets through to the main burner. Without a pilot light, your fireplace would not work properly.

How to light a pilot light

You can light a pilot light in a fireplace by following these steps:

  1. Open the door to your fireplace and place a piece of paper between the door and firebox. Do not close it yet.
  2. Turn on your gas valve (if available) or turn on the gas supply line running to your fireplace until you hear a hissing sound. You may need to adjust the gas supply line if it leaks.
  3. Move the paper away from the firebox, making sure that no ashes fall into the fireplace during this process.
  4. Put on protective gloves, if necessary, and use a poker or shovel to place some kindling pieces under one side of the chimney damper so that it rests against it once it’s placed inside the fireplace opening (the damper should not be touching any walls).

    If you have an electric starter/pilot, insert it into its starting position (marked with a red arrow) and push down on it firmly with one hand while at the same time turning on the power switch with another hand until it snaps into place; then turn off all unnecessary electrical appliances such as ceiling fans and lights before continuing with next steps below.

  1. Once you see some smoke coming out of the chimney, start adding wood so that eventually, all of your wood will catch on fire at once and start burning away. This can take some minutes, so don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t happen right away.

How to light a gas fireplace

If you’re looking to start up a gas fireplace, here’s how to do it.

  1. Use safety goggles and gloves. The gas will be hot for sure.
  2. Open the damper and close the flue.
  3. Light the pilot light on your gas furnace or water heater so that it lights with a bright blue flame.
  4. Close the damper completely and then open it again once you see that the flame is steady and burning evenly.
  5. Turn on your gas fireplace (or insert wood pellets into your fireplace). You’ll know it’s working when you hear a hissing sound coming from inside your fireplace.
  6. Keep an eye on your fire until it gets going.

The pilot light keeps going out

If your pilot light keeps going out, that could be a frustrating thing to deal with. However, if you get to know the cause, you can easily find the right solution to it.

So, here are some common reasons why your pilot light might go out.

  1. The wind knocked it over
  2. The gas has leaked out of the gas line and into the burner
  3. The flame is too hot and has blown out the pilot light
  4. The propane tank has been punctured by something small, like a nail or sharp screw
  5. The flame is too small, and the wick isn’t long enough to burn properly
  6. There’s a hole in the chimney, and the flue isn’t wide enough
  7. There’s a chimney cap that’s too tight or too loose

The fireplace pilot light is always on.

There are many reasons your fireplace pilot light will always be on, and if you’re not sure what the problem is, here are some you should know.

  1. You could have a gas leak. The gas line needs to be checked for leaks.
  2. You could have defective parts in your heater. It’s possible that the firebox has been damaged or that there are too many creosote build-ups in the flue system.
  3. You could have an airlock in place of a pilot light. If there’s an air pocket in the flue, it might block the flame from igniting.
  4. Your chimney is dirty or needs cleaning.
  5. You’ve got a draft going through the flue.
  6. There’s an obstruction in the flue.
  7. You haven’t cleaned out ashes from the ashpan since you last cleaned it out (and we mean cleaned it out)
  8. The pilot light is always on because the fuel line has been disconnected.
  9. The pilot light is always on because the thermostat is not working properly.
  10. The pilot light is always on because there is a bad connection between the chimney and the flue.
  11. The pilot light is always on because there is a loose wire in the system.

Fireplace pilot light

10 Causes of a bad fireplace pilot light

There are many reasons why your fireplace pilot light might not be working properly. The most common cause of a bad pilot light is faulty wiring, which may be the result of moisture damage or corrosion. If you suspect that your pilot light is out, it’s best to call an electrician to inspect the wiring and check for any other problems.

However, here are some common causes your fireplace pilot light is not working fine:

1. Worn out thermocouple

When your fireplace pilot light has gone out, you may have a worn-out thermocouple. The thermocouple is what allows the gas to enter the pilot light and burn. If it is not working correctly, the pilot light will not work.

The good news is that thermocouples are really easy to replace. All you have to do is open up your fireplace and remove the old thermocouples before replacing them with new ones.

2. The gas valve is not on

If you’re having problems with your fireplace, you might want to check the gas valve. The pilot light may be out, and the gas valve is not on. The gas valve controls how much gas is flowing into your fireplace. If the valve is off or not working properly, there’s no way for heat to get through to your fireplace, so it won’t heat up.

You can check if the gas valve is on by turning it to “on” and then lighting a match with it in front of the pilot light. If there’s no flame coming from the pilot light, then the gas valve is most likely not turned on.

3. Obstruction

There are a few causes of a bad fireplace pilot light. The most common is obstruction, which can be caused by anything that gets in the way of the pilot light and prevents it from igniting. This can be as simple as a loose piece of wood or any other object that gets in the way when you try to light your fire.

If this happens, don’t panic. The first thing you should do is make sure there isn’t anything blocking the pilot light. If there is, remove it and try again. If not, then it may just be time for an upgrade.

4. Low gas pressure

A common cause of a bad fireplace pilot light is low gas pressure. When you have low gas pressure, the flames may be too weak to ignite fully. To resolve this problem, you should check your supply pipe and regulator for clogs and make sure that they are in good working order.

You can also try adjusting the flow rate by loosening or tightening the regulator knob. If your gas pressure is still low after you’ve made these adjustments, it may be time to call a professional to help you troubleshoot your system.

5. Moisture drip

Water that drips into the fireplace can cause a bad pilot light. If water is dripping into the fireplace, there may be a problem with your chimney. The fireplace should be sealed so that water cannot enter and damage the chimney.

It’s also possible that there is something wrong with your gas line or regulator. If you have had any problems with this, contact a professional to inspect your system and make any necessary repairs.

6. Clogged burner ports

In order for your fireplace to work properly, it needs to be able to ignite the fuel in its pilot flame. It does this by opening up its burner ports and allowing air to enter. If the burner ports are clogged, then your pilot light won’t be able to ignite properly.

If you suspect that your fireplace is clogged with debris, then you should first try cleaning them out using a compressed air canister. If that doesn’t work, then you’ll want to check out professional cleaning services in your area.

7. Fuse/breaker overload

The most common cause of a bad pilot light is a fuse/breaker overload. This can happen when you have a broken main breaker or if the power is too high for your home’s wiring.

To fix this problem, you’ll need to replace the main breaker. You can also call an electrician to check your circuit breaker, but they will likely recommend that you replace it as well.

8. High winds

When the wind is strong, the pilot light can get knocked out by the wind, causing a fire to go out. If you see that your pilot light is out and you have a backup system in place, this could be the case.

So, if you live in an area that experiences high wind, your pilot light can stop working because the wind will blow the ashes out of the fireplace.

9. Broken or loose gas valve

A broken or loose gas valve can be a big problem for your fireplace pilot light. The gas valve is the device that controls the flow of gas to your pilot light, and if it’s broken or loose, you might not be able to get your fire going.

This issue can be caused by a number of things. Sometimes, it’s simply due to wear and tear or rust over time, especially if you’ve had a lot of use out of your fireplace in recent months. Other times, though, it’s just something that needs to be fixed right away.

10. Faulty venting

The venting of a fireplace is the most critical component to making sure your fire burns correctly. If you have a problem with your venting, it can cause your pilot light to go out or even smoke up your house.

fireplace pilot light

Symptoms of a bad fireplace pilot light

The pilot light on your fireplace can go out for a variety of reasons. If you notice any of the following symptoms, it’s important that you call a professional and have them inspect the fireplace.

  1. The pilot light will not stay lit.
  2. There is no flame or ash coming from the chimney.
  3. The flame or ash is too large to be called a flame or ash.
  4. The flame is yellow or orange instead of blue
  5. It’s hard to start at all
  6. The flame looks like it’s going out or flickering

Types of fireplace pilot light

Pilot lights are a term that describes the way a fireplace works. A pilot light is used to check whether the firebox is properly lit and ready to be lit by a match or lighter.

There are three types of fireplace pilot lights:

Gas ignitors

A gas ignition is the most common type of pilot light. It uses natural gas to ignite a flame, which then lights your firewood. Gas igniters are quite effective because they are very reliable and easy to use.

The downside of gas igniters is that they require you to have an open flame nearby in order to work properly. You also have to ensure that there is enough oxygen in the air around the fireplace so that the gas ignitor will burn correctly. This can be difficult if you have pets or allergies, as well as children who may need attention at other times during dinner time!

If you are looking for a good alternative to a gas ignition, then consider using a battery-powered starter kit instead.

Electric ignitors

Electrical igniters are the most common type of pilot light for fireplace inserts and inserts for gas furnaces. These can be installed in the electrical box or directly on the fireplace unit itself.

Also, electric igniters come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all have the same basic function: they produce a spark that ignites the fuel in the firebox and keeps the fire going.

In addition, electric ignitors are made from either steel or ceramic, and they are installed inside the fireplace’s firebox. They can be connected directly to an electric outlet or through an extension cord.

Manual ignitors

These are the most common type and are also the simplest to operate. They use a small piece of wire to connect a flame-generating device to an electric circuit. The amount of electricity required to keep the pilot light burning is variable, but it’s usually around 100 watts or less.

These are good for smaller chimneys because they don’t require much energy to operate and won’t be affected by windy conditions.

Fireplace pilot light

Is it OK to leave the pilot light on the gas fireplace?

Yes, you can leave your gas fireplace on while you’re gone. However, the safety of your family is your responsibility, so check the instructions on the fireplace before leaving it running.

If there are any instructions stating that you should not leave the pilot light on, follow them to the letter, and then make sure to turn off the pilot light before you leave.

Can you get carbon monoxide poisoning from a pilot light?

You can get carbon monoxide poisoning from a pilot light, but it’s not as scary as it sounds. Carbon monoxide is a gas that is released when fuels burn. It is odorless and colorless, so you won’t know if there is any carbon monoxide in the air until you are exposed to it.

Carbon monoxide can build up in your home from things like cooking on an open flame or using your car’s exhaust pipe as an air freshener.

If you suspect there may be an issue with the pilot light of your stove, check for any carbon monoxide-related symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and weakness. If you have any of these symptoms after being exposed to carbon monoxide, call 911 immediately.

Does turning off the pilot light save money?

Turning off the pilot light will save you money on your energy bill. Pilot lights are small flame that burns at the top of a gas or oil burner. They burn until they are extinguished, which means they don’t need to be lit again if they’re turned off. Turning off the pilot light also prevents excess emissions from an appliance, which can cause environmental damage.


If you have a good fireplace pilot light, you will surely enjoy the best from your fireplace. However, if it is bad, it will be hard to enjoy every moment in front of your fireplace. So, this page covers lots you need to know about pilot lights, from the types, causes of the bad ones, symptoms, and how to fix them.