How to Light the Pilot on a Tappan Gas Oven

Written by chyrene pendleton
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How to Light the Pilot on a Tappan Gas Oven
Light your Tappan gas oven pilot after removing the oven bottom. (allumette image by Claudio Calcagno from

Tappan stoves have come a long way since W.J. Tappan sold them by horse-drawn wagons door-to-door, back in 1881. Tappan was first to offer porcelain stoves in different colours, in the 1920s, and was first to use electric ignitions for gas ovens during the 1960s. Once you initially light the pilot on your Tappan gas oven, the pilot will remain lit all of the time, unless your oven has an electric ignition.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Oven matches
  • Screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Turn the oven thermostat control knob to the "Off" position.

  2. 2

    Remove the bottom of your Tappan oven by using a screwdriver to remove the oven hold down screws, locate at the back of the oven bottom. Pull the oven bottom up from the rear, then remove the front of the oven bottom for the front frame. Pull the oven bottom out of your oven.

  3. 3

    Light the oven pilot using a match, located in the rear of your oven, on the pilot burner assembly. The burner assembly looks like a long tube with small holes along the sides. You will notice a small, steady pilot flame burning after a few seconds through the opening on top of the assembly.

  4. 4

    Adjust the pilot if you do not see a flame after lighting the pilot with a match. Use a screwdriver to turn the pilot adjustment screw in small increments and relight the pilot until you get a blue flame. You will find the pilot adjustment screw located near the thermostat or the pilot.

  5. 5

    Increase the size of the pilot flame by turning the oven thermostat control knob to 149 degrees Celsius. You should see a larger pilot flame stretching down the slanted ramp on the pilot assembly. The flame should be burning against a metal bulb next to the slanted ramp. You should also see the main oven burner ignite after about 20 to 40 seconds and continue burning until your Tappan oven reaches 149 degrees C. The pilot flame will get smaller after that time and move away from the little metal bulb. As the flame moves away, the main oven burner will turn off after 20 to 40 seconds and will turn on and off again to keep the temperature at 149 degrees C.

Tips and warnings

  • If you smell gas other than when trying to light the pilot, do not touch any electrical switches, telephones, cell phones, or appliances. Leave your home immediately and call the gas supplier in your area from a neighbour's home, or call the fire brigade.

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