How to light a pilot light on a gas fireplace

How to Light a Pilot Light on a Gas Fireplace?

Gas fireplaces are popular for homeowners looking for a convenient and efficient way to heat their homes. Unlike traditional wood-burning fireplaces, gas fireplaces are easy to operate and require minimal maintenance. However, if you’re new to gas fireplaces, it’s important to know how to properly light the pilot light to ensure safe and efficient operation. This guide will walk you through the steps to light the pilot light on a gas fireplace:

How to light a pilot light on a gas fireplace

Find the gas valve:

The gas valve for the fireplace is usually located behind an access panel or underneath the fireplace. It may be labeled with “On,” “Off,” and “Pilot” markings.

Turn the gas valve to “Off”:

Before attempting to light the pilot light, ensure the gas valve is in the “Off” position. It will prevent gas from flowing while you’re working on the fireplace. If the gas valve is labeled with a lever, turn it so that it’s perpendicular to the gas line.

Locate the pilot light:

The pilot light is a small flame that ignites the gas when the fireplace is turned on. Look for a small metal tube or pipe near the bottom of the fireplace with a small silver knob at the end. It is where the pilot light is located.

Turn the knob to “Pilot”:

Once you’ve located the pilot light, turn the knob to the “Pilot” position. It will allow gas to flow to the pilot light when you press the igniter button.

Press the igniter button:

The igniter button is usually a small red button near the pilot light. Press and hold the button down while you continue to the next step.

Light the pilot light:

While holding down the igniter button, use a fireplace lighter or match to light the pilot light. Then, hold the flame to the pilot light for a few seconds until it stays lit.

Keep holding the igniter button:

After the pilot light is lit, continue to hold down the igniter button for about 30 seconds. It will allow the thermocouple, a safety feature that ensures the gas supply is shut off if the pilot light goes out, to heat up and signal that the pilot light is stable.

Release the igniter button:

After 30 seconds, release the igniter button. The pilot light should remain lit. If it doesn’t, repeat the process from step 4.

Turn the gas valve to “On”:

Once the pilot light is lit and stable, turn the gas valve knob to the “On” position. It will allow gas to flow to the fireplace, and the flames should ignite.

Check the flames:

After turning the gas valve to “On,” check them to ensure they’re burning evenly and not producing excessive smoke or soot. If there are any issues, turn off the gas valve and contact a professional for further assistance.

Replace the access panel:

Once the fireplace is lit and running smoothly, replace the access panel and enjoy the warmth and ambiance of your gas fireplace!

Things to keep in mind while lightening a pilot light on a gas fireplace

When lighting the pilot light on a gas fireplace, remember a few important things to ensure safety and proper operation. Here are some tips to remember:

  1. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and follow the recommended procedure.
  2. Ensure the gas valve is “off ” before lighting the pilot light.
  3. Use a long lighter or match to ignite the pilot light, and keep your face and body away from the fireplace during ignition.
  4. Hold the control knob for at least 30 seconds after lighting the pilot light to allow the thermocouple or thermopile to heat up and stabilize the flame.
  5. If you smell a gas leak, immediately turn off the gas supply and seek professional help.
  6. Regularly inspect and maintain your gas fireplace, and schedule professional maintenance annually to ensure safe and efficient operation.


Q1: Why is my gas fireplace not igniting?

A: If you’re having trouble igniting your gas fireplace even when the pilot light is lit, the problem could be a dirty or faulty igniter. To fix this, check for any obstructions or buildup blocking the igniter’s path to the thermocouple or thermopile, and clear away any debris. If the igniter is still not working, it may need to be replaced or repaired by a professional.

Q2: Is the pilot light always on in gas fireplaces?

A: The pilot light in a gas fireplace is a small flame that remains lit even when the fireplace is turned off. A standing pilot light constantly runs, using gas and increasing energy bills. Some gas fireplaces feature electronic ignition systems that only use gas when the fireplace is in use, which can be more energy-efficient.

Q3: Will the gas leak if a pilot light is off?

A: A pilot light going out on its own does not produce carbon monoxide gas, but frequent outages may indicate other issues that can lead to carbon monoxide leaks. It’s important to address pilot light issues promptly to ensure your gas fireplace’s safe and proper operation.


Lighting the pilot light on a gas fireplace involves a simple process of turning the gas valve off, locating and igniting the pilot light assembly, holding down the control knob to allow the flame to stabilize, and finally, turning the knob to the “on” position. By taking these steps, you can enjoy the warmth and ambiance of a gas fireplace while ensuring the safety of your home and loved ones. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and to regularly inspect and maintain your gas fireplace for safe and efficient operation.

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