Leaving a stove pilot on while away for an extended time...

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Old 11-16-12, 06:04 PM
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Leaving a stove pilot on while away for an extended time...

Long story, but my wife inherited a house and we need to leave it unoccupied for a few months. The house has a gas stove (and gas range). Is it OK to leave the pilot light in the stove lit while away for a long time? We'll be leaving the heat on while away (albeit turned town low), so I'm guessing it would be ok.

Thanks,

Andy
 
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Old 11-16-12, 07:30 PM
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I'm guessing older appliances ? Most newer ones don't have pilots any more. No problem with leaving the pilots lit if they have them. Even if the pilots got blown out there still wouldn't be enough gas accumulation to cause an issue.
 
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Old 11-16-12, 08:52 PM
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Absolutely turn the gas off to the appliance. The gas will not necessarily turn off if a pilot goes out. Depends on the age and/or model of the unit.

Some stoves will shut the gas down if the pilot goes out and others do not.

It would be your best interest to replace that stove IMO.

If you leave the pilots on and the pilot goes out for some reason, and if its not the type that turns itself off, the home may be reduced to ashes....
 
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Old 11-17-12, 07:41 AM
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I would turn off the stove. If gone for a couple months you won't need the stove so why pay for the gas to feed the pilot. There there's the whole safety concern. Yes, if the stove is relatively modern it should shut off if the pilot goes out but I would worry less knowing the stove and it's shutoff where turned off.

I travel a lot and when we're going to away for more than a week the gas gets turned off the un-needed appliances, water turned off and water pressure bled from the pipes. I've seen too many unusual and "how in the world..." situations to doubt that Murphy's Law is all too possible.
 
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Old 11-17-12, 01:05 PM
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Yes should be behind it. But if as old as you think it is it may not have a shut off. And the other issue is the flex line might be the old style. They crack and split and leak gas if disturbed too much. They were old aluminum type. Should be replaced if it is.... Look for it being grey in color. Newer is yellow.
 
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Old 11-17-12, 01:12 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. I should also mention that the stove is always slightly warm (in fact, my wife's parents used to keep cereal boxes in there to avoid ants getting into them lol). I'm not sure about the age. I'll have to ask my wife.

Would the main shutoff for the stove be located behind it?

Thanks,

Andy
 
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Old 11-17-12, 10:59 PM
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Yes.....it should be or possibly in the basement right below. Some old ranges had a valve under the top burner cover. Lift it up and look for where the gas line connects.
 
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Old 11-18-12, 12:14 AM
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The valve should turn 90 degrees. When the handle is parallel with the gas line it is ON. When the handle is 90 degrees to the line it is OFF.

It is amazing how much heat a pilot light puts off. We have a free standing, heating gas stove and leave the pilot light on during the winter. The entire stove is warm and the top is almost hot to the touch. I don't mind it during winter when we want the heat but I do make certain that I turn off the pilot during the summer.
 
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Old 11-18-12, 06:51 AM
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OK, I'll take a look around when I get back down there. The house is on a slab, so no basement. Guess I will find it behind the stove or under the range top. Thanks for the advice.

Andy
 
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Old 11-18-12, 07:05 AM
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The little pilot flame on the standard 40 gal. gas water heater in my vacation cabin keeps the water hot enough for a full comfy shower, even after sitting for several weeks. And we've long been taught that the pilot is "wasted energy"

A question on earlier posts: pilot off/gas off--I've never seen a gas valve that will shut off the pilot gas supply if the pilot goes out. Is that what was meant in those comments? I thought if the pilot went out the gas would still flow through the pilot orifice but the gas valve (just) wouldn't allow the main gas to flow.
 
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Old 11-18-12, 10:30 AM
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Most modern pilots have a thermocouple/pile in the flame to sense when it goes out and turn off the gas. If you have to hold down a button or dial to light the pilot and then hold it for several seconds after the pilot is lit to keep it lit, then it probably has the safety feature.
 
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Old 11-18-12, 05:38 PM
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Oh I guess I have then. But my cabin range doesnt have sensors so I smell gas when the pilot goes out.
 
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Old 11-19-12, 10:05 AM
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Hello hickerguy and Welcome to the Gas Appliances topic.

Turning off pilots may be a good idea and sound like one, but not always the case. Reason? Condensation forms... Then rust... and corrosion... if the area in which the house is located is in a or the Cold and/or Damp climate zone areas. or if house heater not set to maintain some heat or keep inside of house dry and not damp, etc. You did not specify location.

Therefore, assumptions have to be made.... and you know what an a-ss-umption causes.... Considerations have to be made before turning off gas and/or appliance pilots, etc. IMO.
 
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