Eliminate pilot lights antique gas stove?

Old 04-30-15, 12:10 AM
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Eliminate pilot lights antique gas stove?

Hello! I am dreaming of cooking on an antique Wedgewood or O'Keefe &Merrit style stove but cannot find an adequate answer to a question regarding the pilot lights.

The kitchen in question is in the California desert and the constant heat of pilot lights would be a SERIOUS drawback to an antique stove. Not only from the unnecessary heat when our temps can rise above 90 degrees for 5 months of the year, but because of the serious fire risk in my area I am just not willing to gamble with. Now it seems easy enough to permanently disable the pilot lights on the stove top (and then use a match to light), and I have found lots of information online about how to do just that. But what about the oven?

I lived in a rental years ago with a beautiful, old O'Keefe and Merrit. Whenever we wanted to use the oven, we turned the oven dial on low and held a match to the nearest side of the gas emitting tube inside the oven to light. This was a "recent" version mind you, mid 50's or so, with no "light here" spot, I think the pilot lights had just been dismantled somehow. If I could call that old landlord and ask how he did it I would. Anyways, that is exactly what I want. NO pilot light, NO safety valve, NO fancy thermocoupling whatever. I suppose that I could turn off the main gas each time I'm done cooking but then wouldn't I have to relight the oven pilot each and every time I want to turn on the gas and boil some water on the stove top to be sure that the oven pilot isn't uselessly (and dangerously) leaking gas? Or turn off the oven pilot light completely, but then turn it back on with a wrench and relight when I want the oven? How in the heck did that landlord make it so?!!

I know that if I find an old enough stove with the "light here" spot in the oven and no pilot at all then no problem, I'm set. But what about the 50's and 60's styles with pilot lights and safety valve's standard? How can I remove or bypass these features? Has anyone done this? If it's not possible or safe, how can I find out which stoves do not include these features to make my craigslist browsing easier?

There are so many antique stoves listed in my area in the $100-$200 range and I'd love to jump on one. But if I can't permanently dismantle the pilot lights it's a deal breaker and I will have to purchase a new, $800 electric starter unit. Bummer.

If it helps to know, my property is in the sticks with an on the porch (glassed in and covered) kitchen and we use large BBQ type propane tanks for gas until we can build a "real" house. Some day. Just my sweetie and me, no kids to bump or fiddle with knobs and inadvertently turn on the gas.
Thanks for the help
Old 04-30-15, 07:45 AM
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I wouldn't modify a stove. IF the range or oven flame were to go out and there's no pilot to re-light it, your insurance won't cover the damage (if you survive to care). Same thing could happen on an old manual-light oven but the difference is the explosion wasn't YOUR fault for altering the appliance.
Old 04-30-15, 10:03 AM
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There are companies that rebuild antique appliances. They could probably retrofit it to modern standards. Probably wouldn't be cheap.

Last edited by ray2047; 05-11-15 at 02:12 PM.
Old 05-11-15, 12:14 PM
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Check out Heartland gas ranges. Boy are they expensive. I've only worked on one. Sure was nice.

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