How to Light the Pilot on Your Gas Fireplace in 5 Easy Steps

  • Mulki Sulaeman
  • Jul 30, 2023
How to Light the Pilot on Your Gas Fireplace in 5 Easy Steps

What is a pilot light on a gas fireplace?

A pilot light is a small flame that continuously burns in your gas fireplace. It ignites the gas that comes through the burner when you turn the fireplace on. Without a pilot light, there is no way to ignite the gas and produce heat in your fireplace. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that the pilot light is on and functioning correctly.

As a homeowner with a gas fireplace, you need to know how to light the pilot on a gas fireplace since it can go out due to various reasons. Luckily, you don’t need to call a technician to light the pilot light since it’s a simple DIY task that only requires basic knowledge and tools.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to light the pilot on your gas fireplace.

Why is a properly functioning pilot light essential?

A functioning pilot light guarantees the safe operation of your gas fireplace. It serves as a safety measure that ensures that gas doesn’t escape into your home when the fireplace is off. If the pilot light goes out and you continue to use the fireplace, gas will keep flowing without igniting, which can lead to a gas buildup.

Furthermore, a pilot light that’s out or malfunctioning will also prevent your gas fireplace from producing heat. A malfunctioning pilot light can also cause the thermocouple to cool down, rendering your entire system useless if not addressed promptly. As a result, it’s imperative to ensure that the pilot light is on and properly functioning.

How to light the pilot on your gas fireplace?

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of a functioning pilot light, let’s dive into how you can light it in your gas fireplace.

Before starting, ensure that you have the following tools: A flashlight, a lighter, and a small wrench. Also, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the exact steps for lighting the pilot light on your specific gas fireplace.

  1. Ensure that the gas valve is open and that there’s no smell of gas in the room. If you smell gas, stop immediately, and seek professional help.
  2. Locate the pilot assembly, which is usually inside the fireplace or behind the control panel.
  3. Switch the gas control to the “off” position and wait for a few minutes to allow any remaining gas to dissipate.
  4. Find the pilot knob and turn it to “pilot.” Press it down and hold it firmly to start the gas flow.
  5. Using your lighter, ignite the gas that’s coming out of the pilot assembly. If the pilot doesn’t light, repeat the above steps and try again.
  6. Once the pilot is burning, continue holding the pilot knob down for around 30 seconds. This allows the thermocouple to heat up and signal the gas valve that it’s okay to continue the gas flow.
  7. Release the knob and switch the gas control back to the “on” position. This turns on the main burner, and you should have a fully functioning gas fireplace.


Lights, camera, action – it’s as simple as that! Now that you know how to light the pilot on a gas fireplace, make sure to do it safely and correctly. Remember, a functioning pilot light ensures that your fireplace is safe to operate and can provide the heat you need. If you face any issues with lighting the pilot, contact a gas fireplace technician.

Gather Necessary Supplies

Before attempting to light the pilot on your gas fireplace, it’s crucial to have all the necessary supplies at hand. Here’s a list of the essentials that you’ll need to get started:

1. Lighter or Matches

You’ll need a long-reach lighter or matches to reach the pilot light inside your gas fireplace. Make sure to use a quality lighter or matches to ensure they work reliably when needed.

2. Flashlight

Having a flashlight or a headlamp on hand is very important, as it can help provide adequate illumination to see the pilot light and any obstructions that might be in the pilot light’s path. This makes the process safer and ensures that everything is working correctly.

3. Gas Valve Key

The gas valve key acts as an intermediary between the gas valve and the pilot light. It’s an essential tool to ensure that the pilot light is turned on and that the gas supply to the fireplace is functioning correctly. You can purchase a gas valve key at any home improvement store, make sure it’s of the right size for your fireplace.

4. Protective Gear

While lighting the pilot light on the gas fireplace, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, so make sure you have protective gear like gloves that fit snugly, goggles, and a long-sleeve shirt. Safety comes first!

5. Dusting Cloth

You’ll also want to have a dusting cloth on hand to help clean off the pilot light and surrounding areas before and after attempting to light the gas fireplace pilot. This helps ensure the pilot is clean, clear and unencumbered by debris and dust that might cause obstructions or fires.

Now that you have identified the necessary supplies, you’re ready to move onto the next stage of lighting the pilot light on your gas fireplace. Always remember that safety is a priority, and if you feel unsure about doing it yourself, it’s always better to call in professional help.

Locate the Pilot Light

Before attempting to light the pilot on your gas fireplace, it is important to know its location. Most gas fireplaces will have the pilot light located at the bottom of the fireplace, near the burner. However, the exact location may vary depending on the model and make of the fireplace.

To locate the pilot light, start by turning off the gas supply and waiting for the fireplace to cool completely. Once cooled, remove any decorative logs or embers that may be blocking access to the pilot light. Check the user manual of your gas fireplace to identify the exact location of the pilot light, or look for a small metal tube running from the gas valve to the bottom of the fireplace.

Once you have located the pilot light, you can proceed to the next steps for lighting it.

Lighting the Pilot

A gas fireplace is a great way to bring warmth and comfort to your home during the cold winter months. However, like any other gas-powered appliance, it requires proper maintenance and attention to ensure safety and efficiency. One of the essential tasks that you need to know as a gas fireplace owner is how to light the pilot light. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to safely and properly light the pilot light of your gas fireplace:

Step 1: Locate the Pilot Light

Before you start, it’s important to locate the pilot light. In most gas fireplaces, the pilot light is located at the bottom of the fireplace, behind a small metal panel or a glass door. Check your fireplace user manual to determine the exact location of the pilot light if you’re unsure.

Step 2: Turn Off the Gas Valve

Before you attempt to light the pilot light, make sure the gas valve is turned off. Locate the gas valve near the fireplace or on the wall, and turn the valve knob to the “off” position. Wait for five to ten minutes to allow the gas to dissipate before proceeding to the next step.

Step 3: Remove the Panel or Door

Next, remove the metal panel or glass door covering the pilot light. You may need to use a screwdriver or a wrench to loosen the screws or bolts securing the panel. Place the panel or door aside where it won’t get damaged or lost.

Step 4: Locate the Pilot Light Assembly

Once the panel or door is removed, look for the pilot light assembly. The pilot light assembly consists of a gas line, a control valve, and a pilot light tube. Make sure the pilot light tube is free from dust, debris, or any obstruction that may affect the pilot light’s performance.

Step 5: Set the Thermostat to “Pilot”

Set the thermostat to the “pilot” position. This step will allow the gas to flow to the pilot light tube when you push the control valve knob.

Step 6: Push and Hold the Control Valve Knob

Push the control valve knob down and turn it to the “pilot” position. Hold the knob in this position to allow the gas to flow to the pilot light tube. You should hear the gas flow and smell it slightly.

Step 7: Ignite the Pilot Light

Ignite the pilot light using a fireplace lighter or a long match. Place the flame near the pilot light tube until the pilot light ignites. Continue holding the control valve knob in the “pilot” position for 30 seconds to a minute to allow the thermocouple to heat up. The thermocouple is a safety device that detects whether the pilot light is lit or not. If the pilot light goes out, the thermocouple will shut off the gas valve automatically.

Step 8: Release the Control Valve Knob and Set the Thermostat to “On”

Once the thermocouple is heated, release the control valve knob and set the thermostat to the “on” position. The gas fireplace’s main burner should start within a few seconds, and you should feel the warmth spreading through your home.

By following these step-by-step instructions, you can easily and safely light the pilot light of your gas fireplace. However, if you’re unsure or uncomfortable doing it yourself, it’s always better to have a professional technician handle it for you. Regular maintenance and inspection by a licensed technician are crucial in ensuring the safety and efficiency of your gas fireplace.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Light Pilot on Gas Fireplace

If you have a gas fireplace, it’s important to know how to light the pilot light. This is necessary for the fireplace to function properly and efficiently. Follow these steps to light the pilot light on your gas fireplace:

1. Turn off the Gas Supply

Before attempting to light the pilot, make sure the gas supply to the fireplace is turned off. This is essential for safety and to prevent any gas leaks. Look for the gas shut-off valve near the fireplace and turn it off by rotating the valve handle a quarter turn.

2. Locate the Pilot Light Assembly

Find the pilot light assembly, which is usually located behind the lower grate of the fireplace. If you’re unsure, consult the fireplace manual or contact a professional.

3. Turn the Control Knob to Pilot

Next, locate the control knob on the gas valve. Turn the knob to the “pilot” position, which is usually marked with a small flame icon. Hold down the control knob to start the flow of gas to the pilot light.

4. Light the Pilot Light

While holding down the control knob, use a fireplace lighter or long match to light the pilot light. You should see the pilot light ignite and stay lit. Keep holding down the control knob for about 30 seconds to allow the safety sensor to warm up and detect that the pilot light is on.

5. Turn the Control Knob to On

After the safety sensor has detected the pilot light, you can release the control knob and turn it to the “on” position. This will allow gas to flow to the main burners, and your fireplace should be ready to use.

Final Checks

After lighting the pilot light and turning on the gas supply, it’s important to perform final checks to ensure that the fireplace is functioning properly. Check the appearance of the flames to make sure they are blue and steady. Yellow or flickering flames can indicate a problem with the gas supply or venting system and should be addressed by a professional.

You should also listen for any strange noises like hissing or whistling sounds that could indicate a gas leak. If you detect any unusual odors or signs of a gas leak, immediately turn off the gas supply to the fireplace and contact a professional.

With these simple steps, you can safely and efficiently light the pilot light on your gas fireplace and enjoy a warm and comfortable home during the winter months.

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