How to Convert Pilot Light to Electric Ignition

Did you know that nearly 30% of household accidents involve kitchen appliances? It’s not just about the immediate hazards; it’s also about efficiency and ease of use. One significant concern for many homeowners is the outdated technology in their kitchens, particularly pilot light stoves.

how to convert pilot light to electric ignition

The main challenge with pilot light stoves is their reliance on a constantly burning small flame, which can be inefficient and risky. It’s an old method that not only increases the risk of gas leaks but also wastes energy. Moreover, the inconvenience of manually lighting the stove is a needless complication in our fast-paced world.

In this post, we’ll discuss how you can convert your pilot light stove to an electric ignition system. You’ll learn the benefits of making this switch, including increased safety, improved energy efficiency, and the convenience of modern technology. We’ll guide you through the step-by-step process, ensuring you have all the information needed to make this upgrade smoothly and safely.

Understanding Pilot Light Stoves

Pilot light stoves have been a common feature in homes, valued for their reliability and simplicity. However, the continuous small flame they maintain — essential for igniting the burners when turned on — can be inefficient and a safety concern. Understanding the mechanics and drawbacks of pilot lights is crucial for homeowners considering an upgrade to more modern technologies.

image to explain what is pilot light on gas stove

Pilot lights work by keeping a small gas flame lit continuously, which ignites the main burner gas as the stove is turned on. This method, while effective, results in continuous gas consumption and can pose risks such as accidental gas leaks or fires if the flame extinguishes unnoticed.

Advantages of Electric Ignition

Switching to an electric ignition system offers significant benefits, enhancing both the safety and efficiency of your kitchen appliances. Electric ignitions are known for their ability to start heaters and stoves with just the push of a button or the turn of a knob, eliminating the need for a standing pilot light.

advantages of electric ignition

  1. Increased Safety: Without a constant flame, the risks of gas leaks and accidental fires are greatly reduced. Electric ignition stoves provide peace of mind, especially in households with children or pets.
  2. Energy Efficiency: By only igniting when needed, electric ignition systems reduce overall gas usage. This not only lowers energy bills but also contributes to a more environmentally friendly home. You can visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s official website and look for sections related to energy efficiency in home appliances.
  3. Convenience and Reliability: Electric ignition systems are user-friendly, igniting burners instantly and reliably. This modern convenience is a significant upgrade over the often temperamental pilot lights that may fail to ignite or require re-lighting.

By understanding these key differences and advantages, you can make a well-informed decision about whether to upgrade from a pilot light stove to an electric ignition system. This transition can lead to a safer, more efficient, and more convenient kitchen experience.

Step-by-Step Guide to Conversion

Converting your pilot light stove to an electric ignition system can seem daunting, but with the right guidance, it’s a manageable project that offers significant benefits. Here’s a straightforward, step-by-step process to help you make the transition smoothly and safely.

convert pilot light gas stove to electric ignition step by step

  1. Preparation and Safety:
    • Turn off the gas supply to your stove to ensure safety before starting any work.
    • Gather all necessary tools and components, including the electric ignition kit suitable for your stove model.
  2. Removing the Pilot Light Assembly:
    • Carefully disassemble the stove top to access the pilot light system. This might involve removing burner grates, burner caps, and the burner base.
    • Locate and carefully disconnect the pilot light assembly from the gas supply line.
  3. Installing the Electric Ignition System:
    • Install the new electric ignition module according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This typically involves attaching the module to the stove’s framework and connecting it to each burner.
    • Route the wiring for the ignition system, ensuring that all connections are secure and that the wiring does not interfere with any moving parts or heat sources.
  4. Testing and Calibration:
    • Reconnect the gas supply and test each burner to ensure the electric ignition is functioning correctly.
    • Adjust the flame settings as necessary to ensure optimal performance and efficiency.
  5. Final Checks and Cleanup:
    • Double-check all connections for security and proper installation.
    • Reassemble the stove top and clean up any debris or tools from the work area.
  6. Safety Test:
    • Perform a final safety check to confirm that there are no gas leaks or other hazards.
    • It’s advisable to have a certified technician review your installation to ensure everything meets safety standards.

By following these steps, you can successfully convert your pilot light stove to an electric ignition system, enhancing your kitchen’s safety and efficiency. For additional guidance, refer to detailed manuals specific to your stove model or consult with a professional.

Comparison Table: Pilot Light Stoves vs. Electric Ignition Systems

FeaturePilot Light StovesElectric Ignition Systems
CostGenerally lower upfront cost but higher operational costs due to continuous gas usage.Higher upfront cost but more cost-effective in the long run due to lower gas usage.
Energy EfficiencyLess energy efficient as the flame burns continuously, using more gas.More energy efficient; uses gas only when the stove is turned on.
Maintenance RequirementsRequires regular cleaning of the pilot light and may need more frequent servicing to ensure the flame is properly adjusted.Lower maintenance, with fewer issues related to gas leakage or flame adjustments.
Safety FeaturesHigher risk of gas leaks and potential fire hazards if the pilot light goes out.Safer with no open flame to monitor; includes safety features like automatic shut-off.

Safety Considerations and Best Practices

When converting your pilot light stove to an electric ignition system, safety must be your top priority. Here are essential safety considerations and best practices to follow:

  1. Consult Professionals: Before beginning, consult with a certified technician to understand the specific requirements and safety precautions for your stove model.
  2. Check Local Codes: Ensure that your conversion complies with local building and safety codes to avoid legal issues and ensure operational safety.
  3. Use Recommended Parts: Only use parts and conversion kits recommended by the stove manufacturer to avoid potential hazards and maintain the warranty.
  4. Ventilation: Work in a well-ventilated area to avoid gas buildup, which could lead to hazardous conditions.
  5. Leak Tests: After installation, perform thorough leak tests using soapy water or a gas leak detector to ensure there are no gas leaks.
  6. Emergency Procedures: Be aware of and prepared to execute emergency procedures in case of a gas leak or fire.

Following these guidelines will help ensure a safe conversion process, protecting your household and preserving the functionality of your kitchen appliance. To learn more about safety considerations and best practices visit The American Gas Association.

Cost Analysis

Understanding the costs involved in converting from a pilot light to an electric ignition system is crucial for budgeting and determining the return on investment. Here’s a breakdown of potential costs and if you are interested you can visit relevant section on comeprhensive buying guides:

cost analysis

  1. Conversion Kit: The price of an electric ignition kit varies depending on the stove model but typically ranges from $100 to $250.
  2. Professional Installation: Hiring a professional can cost between $150 and $400, depending on the complexity of the installation.
  3. Additional Supplies: Additional parts like connectors, wires, and gas fittings may be needed, adding $50 to $100 to your total expenses.
  4. Potential Savings: Calculate your potential savings from reduced gas usage, which can offset the initial investment over time.

Common Challenges and Troubleshooting

Even with careful planning, you might encounter some challenges during the conversion process. Here are common issues and their solutions:

troubleshooting common issues

  1. Ignition Failure: If the new system fails to ignite, check the connections and ensure the module is properly powered.
  2. Irregular Flame: An uneven flame often indicates improper installation or calibration. Adjust the burner settings or consult the installation guide.
  3. Persistent Gas Smell: Any smell of gas could indicate a leak. Immediately turn off the gas, ventilate the area, and check all connections.

Including a troubleshooting guide provides valuable support to readers, helping them resolve issues independently.

Regulatory and Warranty Considerations

Before modifying your stove, be aware of the following regulatory and warranty considerations:


  1. Building Codes: Check local building codes for any restrictions or requirements related to stove modifications.
  2. Manufacturer’s Warranty: Understand how modifications can affect your stove’s warranty. Some manufacturers may void the warranty if the stove is altered by unauthorized personnel.



Q1: What are the main benefits of converting from a pilot light stove to an electric ignition system?

A1: The main benefits include increased safety, improved energy efficiency, and reduced maintenance.

Q2: How much can I expect to pay for converting my stove to an electric ignition system?

A2: The cost can vary depending on the model of your stove and local service rates, but typically ranges from $250 to $500 including parts and labor.

Q3: Will converting my stove affect its warranty?

A3: Conversions can affect warranties, so it’s important to check with your manufacturer or consult a professional before proceeding.

Q4: Can I convert my stove myself, or do I need a professional?

A4: While some DIY kits are available, it is recommended to hire a professional to ensure safety and compliance with local codes.

Q5: How do I find a qualified technician to convert my stove?

A5: Look for licensed and certified appliance repair professionals in your area, and check reviews or ask for referrals to find someone reliable.


Converting a pilot light stove to an electric ignition system can significantly enhance kitchen safety, efficiency, and convenience. This guide provides all the necessary steps, safety tips, and considerations needed for a successful conversion. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or prefer professional installation, understanding these aspects will help ensure a smooth transition to a more modern kitchen appliance.

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