How to Adjust a Pilot Light Flame

Written by michael j. scott
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How to Adjust a Pilot Light Flame
Adjusting the pilot on your gas stove may prevent it from wasting gas. (detail of classical cooking stove image by Tomo Jesenicnik from

Gas appliances typically use a pilot light to ignite the gas supply. Your furnace, water heater, gas stove and gas dryer all probably have pilot lights. Depending on your needs and the factory settings of your appliances, you may need to adjust the size and intensity of the pilot light. Reducing the flame may save money on your gas bill, while increasing it may prevent the pilot from blowing out. The process typically requires only a flathead screwdriver. Refer to the owner's manual accompanying your appliance for specific instructions. Also, not all appliances, especially newer ones, have adjustable pilot lights.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Matches

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  1. 1

    Remove the access panel covering your pilot light. On a furnace or water heater, the panel will be near the bottom of the appliance. On a stove there are two areas for pilot lights. Remove the top hob to access the burner pilots, and remove the grill carriage in the oven to access the oven's pilot. A gas dryer typically has a small access panel in the bottom, front area of the dryer.

  2. 2

    Light your pilot light if necessary. Turn the gas control knob on your appliance to the "Off" position and wait 10 minutes for any residual gas to disappear. Turn the control knob to the "Pilot" position and press and hold the knob down. Hold a lit match over the pilot light port, or use the pilot-ignition button if your appliance has one, to ignite the light. Hold the control knob in for 60 seconds and release it. Turn the control knob to the "On" position.

  3. 3

    Rotate the pilot-adjustment screw with a flathead screwdriver. If your pilot light can be adjusted, there will be a small screw next to the pilot port, where the flame appears. Turn the screw counterclockwise to increase the size of the flame and clockwise to reduce the size of the flame. The pilot light should have a steady blue flame, about 1/2 inch high. Once the flame has been adjusted to your liking, replace the access panel.

Tips and warnings

  • If your pilot flame has a large amount of yellow in it, you are getting too much air in the pilot. Contact a repair service to clean or replace your pilot light port and line.

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