My oven's hot when it's not on -a problem?

I just recently moved into a new apartment. As usual, there are little things wrong with it and some things we should have known were wrong but missed when we were initially looking at the place -but that’s life.

Recently, my roommate noticed that the oven, although turned off, is very hot in a couple of areas. It’s a gas oven and stove with four burners. The two hot areas are between the front and rear burners on either side of the stove (one hot area on the left, one on the right).

I don’t have a clue why it’s hot or why in those two spots. I’m worried to use the stove now and I’m equally worried that’s it’s draining gas/electricity, amounting to a huge bill. If it helps, the oven appears to be an older model made by Tappan.

Any thoughts out there?

Old gas stoves sometimes came with pilot lights.

Pilot lights for the stove burners.

That makes sense. I’ve had gas stoves before, but they were newer models.

Are the pilot lights (or the stove, I guess) going to rack up my energy bill?

Is there anything I need to know in terms of safety? Is it safe to use alcohol cleaners on it? Is there any other type of cleaner that I should stay away from?

Don’t use any flammable cleaners, things like 409 work fine.

The amount of gas the pilots use is tiny.

Look very closely at those two hot spots and you will probably see a tiny hole with a small flame under it. This is the pilot light that ignites the burners when you turn the gas on.
Back in the day, electronic ignition was not yet invented, and the original gas stoves required you to use a match to light the burner each and every time you wanted to heat something.
Then came a huge leap forward, a pilot light that ignites the burner automatically when you turn the gas on. w00t!
So you want that hot spot to be there. Don’t put anything plastic or meltable over it that spot, and buy some matches, in case the pilot goes out.

:smiley: :wink:

Not true.

from here.

I have heard quotes of up to $1 a month for a gas pilot.

40% less then what?

Electrically-ignited stoves use 40% less energy than stoves with continuous-on pilot lights.

a pilot light burner while small is on 365 days for 24 hours. you have three, one also for oven.

I guess that is if you use it an “average” amount :confused:.

Clearly, if you cook for a family of 19, and the stove is always on, then the pilot is not contributing very much to the total gas usage. Most people don’t use their stove that much - a burner for coffee every day (maybe), and cooking a few times a week, oven use a few times a month.

I meant, how much does it cost, on average to use a gas stove with or without pilots for a month? If it’s $5, were talking about a $2 per month. If it’s $50 then we’re talking about $20 per month…much more significant.

ETA, the gas portion of my last bill was $14.34. That’s for the stove top (oven is electric) and the water heater. It’s just me using the stove and I only use it once or twice a week. If we round it up to say, $25 a month for a bigger family and do the math backwards (I don’t have a pilot light), it would be $41 to have a pilot light burning (based on 40% less to not have one). I suppose that’s pretty significant. Also, it makes sense. Many years ago I was living in an apartment with a fireplace that had a standing pilot. Since we never used the fireplace I turned off the gas to it and saved $8 per month.

:smiley: :wink:


Well thanks to everyone for the answers -helpful as always!

There is a wide range of estimates of pilot light power use.

Here I see 7.3 therms/year I’m assuming a fireplace pilot is about the same as an oven pilot, but perhaps not):

Here I see 17 therms/year:

This page gives, if you work the script, 2.6 therms/month, or 30.6 therms/year: Natural Gas from Gas South - Georgia's Natural Gas Company

Assuming a cost of gas of about 80 cents per therm, then you have a range of $5.84 to $24.58 per year.

Browsing some DIY forums I found a few folks who claimed ranges from 12 to 80 therms per year. I have to wonder how they were determining that in most cases, however.

That’s funny, I can’t remember the last time I saw therm written without a “deca” next to it :slight_smile:

It seems so lonely…

Also, just for fun, you can lift the stovetop and look around in there if you like. I only mention this because I didn’t realize you could do this, until I did. It’s likely on hinges - kinda like a car hood.

Or perhaps it’s not. This is the internet. You get what you pay for. Let me know if I’m out of line. I’m new to this forum (General Questions, not SDMB)

If you’re worried about the pilot lights or their energy consumption, you can have a service tech shut off the gas flow to them. You’ll have to use a match or lighter to light the burners when you want to cook anything but it’s not otherwise problematic.

I wouldn’t worry about it.