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Using a gas stove/oven when there's no electricity...


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#1 melissel

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 10:47 AM

You can do this just by lighting the burner with a match or long butane lighter, right? The gas will still flow when you turn the dials, but the electric spark won't happen. A friend posted this on Facebook, and it sounds right, but I just wanted to be sure.

If this is true, then those of us with gas stoves should be in OK shape foodwise even if the power goes out. Am I wrong?

TIA!

#2 Parrothead

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 10:50 AM

Yes, that is how it generally works. Now lighting the stove top is fairly simple. Just turn on the burner and put a lit match close. It will catch.

The oven on the other hand can be more tricky. Last time I had a gas oven I couldn't get it to light easily because it was electric start and there was no pilot light. I was always afraid I'd get my head lit up trying to get the thing on so I never tried it.

#3 betty

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 10:53 AM

If the power goes out and I want/need to cook I plan to use the grill outside. My power isn't usually out for more than a day though and so that option probably won't be needed. I'm pretty lucky about power outages.

#4 Mary in VA

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 10:53 AM

When we lost power last winter I was able to light our gas stove top with a lighter. It worked just fine. There may be a way to light the oven, but it seems a little more risky to me. I can't get to the source of the gas with the lighter, so I didn't try. I'm planning foods now that I can heat up on the stove top. :001_smile:

Mary

#5 melissel

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 10:54 AM

Yes, that is how it generally works. Now lighting the stove top is fairly simple. Just turn on the burner and put a lit match close. It will catch.

The oven on the other hand can be more tricky. Last time I had a gas oven I couldn't get it to light easily because it was electric start and there was no pilot light. I was always afraid I'd get my head lit up trying to get the thing on so I never tried it.


Great, thanks! We've lit the burners on both the stove and the oven in the past when they wouldn't catch on their own for some reason, and it's been OK. We even have one of those long, skinny lighters. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't completely crazy in my thinking before we got blown up trying it :lol:

#6 Amira

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 10:56 AM

Yes, you shouldn't have a problem with the stove. Like the pp mentioned though, it's harder to light the oven. My highly technical system is to turn on the gas and throw lit matches into the space where the gas is coming out. There's no way I'd put my hand close enough to the gas spitter-outer in the oven to do anything different, and my oven has no electric starter so there's no other way to do it. Maybe your oven has a better design.

Edited by Amira, 26 August 2011 - 10:58 AM.


#7 melissel

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 10:56 AM

If the power goes out and I want/need to cook I plan to use the grill outside. My power isn't usually out for more than a day though and so that option probably won't be needed. I'm pretty lucky about power outages.


That was our original plan too, but hopefully this will make it that we don't need to. I have no idea what to expect for outages--our power company is pretty responsive, but there were some bad storms a few years ago (not even hurricanes), and the power was out for days. My parents bought a generator after that.

#8 RegGuheert

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 10:57 AM

The oven on the other hand can be more tricky. Last time I had a gas oven I couldn't get it to light easily because it was electric start and there was no pilot light. I was always afraid I'd get my head lit up trying to get the thing on so I never tried it.

Great, thanks! We've lit the burners on both the stove and the oven in the past when they wouldn't catch on their own for some reason, and it's been OK. We even have one of those long, skinny lighters. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't completely crazy in my thinking before we got blown up trying it :lol:

Modern gas ovens have a safety feature which prevents the gas from coming on until the electric glow plug is hot enough to ignite the gas. As a result, you will not be able to light the stove without a source of AC electricity (~400W).

#9 melissel

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 10:58 AM

Yes, you shouldn't have a problem with the stove. Like the pp mentioned though, it's harder to light the oven. My highly technical system is turn on the gas and throw lit matches into the space where the gas is coming out. There's no way I'd put my hand close enough to the gas spitter-outer in the oven to do anything different. Maybe your oven has a better design.


Our oven has a broiler underneath. When we open the broiler, we can see a long, skinny oval where the gas flows from. With the long butane lighter (what ARE those things called?!), we can reach in just a little ways and have it catch easily. I guess this is the one time I can be thankful for my 472-year-old oven and it's incredibly simple design :D

#10 sweetbasil

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 10:59 AM

FYI you can light the end of a spaghetti or linguini noodle in order to light the pilot light, if you don't have a long match. Works great, doesn't burn too quickly. I did it all the time when I used to cook in a commercial kitchen.

HTH!

#11 melissel

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 11:01 AM

Modern gas ovens have a safety feature which prevents the gas from coming on until the electric glow plug is hot enough to ignite the gas. As a result, you will not be able to light the stove without a source of AC electricity (~400W).


Nothing in our kitchen will ever be referred to as modern :D We suspect the stove and oven are original to the house (circa 1964). I'm thinking it can be done, because I know we've accidentally knocked the gas on without the dial turning all the way to "ignite" and filled the kitchen with gas unknowingly. I know my mom's has done this too. I wonder how new the stove has to be to have this feature?

#12 DarlaS

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 11:09 AM

Nothing in our kitchen will ever be referred to as modern :D We suspect the stove and oven are original to the house (circa 1964). I'm thinking it can be done, because I know we've accidentally knocked the gas on without the dial turning all the way to "ignite" and filled the kitchen with gas unknowingly. I know my mom's has done this too. I wonder how new the stove has to be to have this feature?


I didn't know they made electric start gas ranges in 1964. :confused:

I just replaced our gas range yesterday (with this one). The prior model, original to the home in 1994, was pilot lit. Very basic stove--not even a light bulb. It worked in a power outage without having to do anything special.

Dh is going to be thrilled (not) to hear we probably won't be able to find a way to light the new one. :tongue_smilie:

We do have a generator though, and getting a bigger one is on the to-do list for this fall.

#13 Moxie

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 11:17 AM

As a side note, if you have a gas water heater, you will still have hot showers when the power is out! I was so scared of the gas when we moved to this house but we've had our power out for an entire week TWICE! in the past 8 years. I hope to always have a gas stove and water heater!! Sadly, my big chest freezer doesn't run on gas.

#14 chepyl

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 11:17 AM

We used to use our gas stove top, but I was always to scared to try and light the oven. We use our grill now if the power goes out.

#15 RegGuheert

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 11:18 AM

Dh is going to be thrilled (not) to hear we probably won't be able to find a way to light the new one. :tongue_smilie:

Just in case I wasn't clear, you should not have any difficulty lighting the stovetop with a match. It's the oven solenoid which has the safety feature I mentioned. I think the reason is that the oven turns itself on and off via a thermostat whereas the stovetop is always something the user controls.

#16 OLG

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 11:20 AM

FYI you can light the end of a spaghetti or linguini noodle in order to light the pilot light, if you don't have a long match. Works great, doesn't burn too quickly. I did it all the time when I used to cook in a commercial kitchen.

HTH!


Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

Agree with the oven part not being easy to light in a number of ranges. Stovetop works though and is a life saver. We gets lots of power outages in the wintertime here. Hope the storm doesn't cause you problems though!

#17 melissel

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 11:22 AM

I didn't know they made electric start gas ranges in 1964. :confused:


I have absolutely no idea. I could be wrong that it's electric start. What else would make the spark when I turn the dial all the way to Ignite? Either way, it's old :tongue_smilie: I'd be happy to have a 1994 model :lol:

Just in case I wasn't clear, you should not have any difficulty lighting the stovetop with a match. It's the oven solenoid which has the safety feature I mentioned. I think the reason is that the oven turns itself on and off via a thermostat whereas the stovetop is always something the user controls.


Oh, interesting! I guess we'll find out soon whether or not it works. We mostly use the stovetop anyway, so I'm just glad to know we'll have the option.

#18 gardenmom5

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 11:22 AM

yes, just use a lighter or match. open a window and make sure you have good ventaliation.

#19 In The Great White North

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 11:25 AM

Just in case I wasn't clear, you should not have any difficulty lighting the stovetop with a match. It's the oven solenoid which has the safety feature I mentioned. I think the reason is that the oven turns itself on and off via a thermostat whereas the stovetop is always something the user controls.


I think its a safety feature - you used to hear about people blowing up the gas in their face (with serious injury) regularly.

#20 gardenmom5

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 11:27 AM

As a side note, if you have a gas water heater, you will still have hot showers when the power is out! I was so scared of the gas when we moved to this house but we've had our power out for an entire week TWICE! in the past 8 years. I hope to always have a gas stove and water heater!! Sadly, my big chest freezer doesn't run on gas.


we just had to replace our water heater, and elected to keep the gas and NOT go with a tankless (they're electric) for just that reason. We've also had our power out for over a week within the last five years.

#21 DarlaS

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 11:35 AM

I have absolutely no idea. I could be wrong that it's electric start. What else would make the spark when I turn the dial all the way to Ignite? Either way, it's old :tongue_smilie: I'd be happy to have a 1994 model :lol:


It sounds like it could have been pretty high end for 1964.

My 1994 model is so basic it does not even have a light bulb (one step above a campfire). I offered it on freecycle and so far no takers. :tongue_smilie:

#22 melissel

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 11:36 AM

My 1994 model is so basic it does not even have a light bulb (one step above a campfire). I offered it on freecycle and so far no takers. :tongue_smilie:


:lol:

#23 Rhonda in TX

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 11:38 AM

If the power goes out and I want/need to cook I plan to use the grill outside. My power isn't usually out for more than a day though and so that option probably won't be needed. I'm pretty lucky about power outages.


We never had a problem, either, until Hurricane Ike. We were without power for 13 days.