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What Is A Standing Pilot?

What Is A Standing Pilot?

Pilot lights are a necessary but overlooked piece of every gas fireplace. While there are several types of pilot lights, today we will focus on the standing pilot light and teach you how to light a gas fireplace with this type of lighting system.

A standing pilot light is a part of the burner system within a gas fireplace that stays lit and is capable of holding a constant flame whether the fireplace is burning or not. The standing pilot is lit by first turning on the main gas valve on the outside of the fireplace. A small pilot supply line is connected to the main gas valve in the appliance.

Then, you switch the control knob to the "pilot" position, gas flows from the gas valve to the pilot assembly, allowing the pilot flame to be lit. Some appliances feature a push-button spark ignitor for lighting the pilot light, while others require the pilot to be lit by a match or lighter.

Standing pilots are a bit different than, let's say, the IPI or intermittent lighting systems. The IPI systems only light the pilot light when the fireplace is about to be used. This has the benefit of saving gas, as the pilot flame doesn't continuously run.

Though, some people value ease of operation over fuel savings and may prefer the standing pilot to the IPI because the pilot flame constantly stays lit and is one less step you have to accomplish before enjoying the warmth of your heater.

What Is A Standing Pilot

It's important to note that while the things we outlined above are general rules for pilot systems, there are caveats to those setups. IPI systems can also have a standing pilot that is kept on for use in colder climates.

So, it's always a good idea to talk to a professional about all the options out there before making a big purchase. This will ensure you get exactly what you need.

Using either pilot lighting system can be a good option. Which one you choose all depends on your preferences. However, we suggest that those of you who live in warmer climates and won't use the fireplace often should consider an IPI pilot system.

Since this system fully turns off in between sessions, it would shave off a good bit of wasted gas during those times where the fireplace isn't being used.

What Is A Standing Pilot
pilot flame

If you live in a cooler environment and will use your fireplace or gas logs regularly, a standing pilot is the best option for you. The ease of operation is an added bonus. Plus, having a continuously running pilot prevents low temperatures from causing a slow start to your system.

So, that about covers this topic for our Tech Tuesday discussions. If you have any questions about how to light a gas fireplace or standing pilot systems, please give our NFI certified technicians a call at 800.203.1642.

About the Author

Collin Champagne

With over 13 years in the industry, Collin is a National Fireplace Institute (NFI) certified technician and managed content for the eFireplacestore and eCanopy brands. He has achieved the highest NFI certification possible as a Master Hearth Professional and is certified in all three hearth appliance fields: wood, gas, and pellet. With experience with sales and in-field installations, his expertise shines through his technical knowledge and way with words.

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