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Pilot Light

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,923
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Pilot Light

We have a gas hob/boiler which lights using electronic ignition but a modern gas fire, recently installed has a pilot light that is on constantly.

Checking on the net I was surprised to discover that left on all year this could add £60 to £70 to our gas bill.

9 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,251
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Pilot Light

It seems to use 700BTU per hour for a thermocouple system

For my fire - runs on propane- this equates to about 0.125 kg per hour or 110Kg per year if we assume the fire is only on 10% of the time this means that it wastes about 100kg per year or 1.5 cylinders

Crikey - that is about £100

 

alanf
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: 17-10-2007

Re: Pilot Light

How has the EU missed this one after all the palaver with light bulbs and vacuum cleaners to reduce carbon emissions? My parents had a gas fire with battery powered push button ignition 40-50 years ago. All the gas cookers I have encountered over the past few decades have had battery or electric mains ignition to prevent this waste.

Minivanman
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Registered: 04-11-2014

Re: Pilot Light

I've always assummed that the reason these things had pilot lights was for when they lit automatically on demand or via a timer. A cooker for example would only need and electronic ignition?  

All views expressed are my own but you can express them too if you want to be right about everything like I am.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 23-09-2010

Re: Pilot Light

When I worked out the cost for the pilot light on my water heater I made certain adjustments that reduced the pilot flame by more than half.

Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Pilot Light


alanf wrote:

How has the EU missed this one after all the palaver with light bulbs and vacuum cleaners to reduce carbon emissions? My parents had a gas fire with battery powered push button ignition 40-50 years ago. All the gas cookers I have encountered over the past few decades have had battery or electric mains ignition to prevent this waste.


The EU may not have missed it.

The old gas fire that was taken out was powered by a spark switch (no battery) but the fire was a open fronted fire.

The new fire is glass fronted and are claimed to give out more heat than a open gas fire. We were also told that whilst it is still possible to purchase a open gas fire a air brick would need to be installed in the room the fire was which seems a little daft as you are trying to keep the heat in, we were also told that from 2020 all new gas fires must be enclosed ie: behind glass.

The reason why the pilot light must be left lit is that some degree of warmth is essential to prevent small particles such as dust collecting on the glass as they can be burnt into the glass and not be removed.

Having said all that I have not researched any of it, much of it is what I have been told by the company supplying the fire so may discover errors in the above.

My main concern was the cost of the pilot light which Oldjim confirms in his post

Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-11-2014

Re: Pilot Light

If it needed to have a pilot light to operate on a timer or thermostat, then, it could be outfitted in the same manner as modern boilers, I.E. when demand is applied, it opens the gas valve, sparks it up, heats the thermocouple and whoomf, no need whatsoever to have a permanently-lit pilot light...

 

If I were you, I'd get onto the people who installed it and have them replace it with something else, as that's a bad design that costs more than it should to run...

Community Veteran
Posts: 38,251
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Pilot Light

I don't know about the air brick but as part of the installation of a gas fire they have to check the draught up the chimney to ensure that fumes don't enter the room

With a closed fronted fire that is very easy as it is normally connected to the chimney stack

I am not sure how that works with a fire with a catalytic converter as that doesn't need a connection to the chimney but the legal requirement for those includes additional ventilation of - typically - 100 sq cm

The requirement for additional ventilation goes way back as I had to add one when I fitted a gravity fed anthracite central heating boiler yonks ago

Minivanman
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Re: Pilot Light

Many years back, my old Dad worked for a company that were contracted to fit window vents in those houses that were being supplied with norther sea gas and used to joke that it was fine, but difficult to light because it was so damp. Wink

All views expressed are my own but you can express them too if you want to be right about everything like I am.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Pilot Light


alanf wrote:

How has the EU missed this one after all the palaver with light bulbs and vacuum cleaners to reduce carbon emissions?


Thats nothing. I recently bought a telescopic pickup tool from Lidl - you know one of those things like the old car aerials but with a magnet on the end and a small light. I previously bought one from another shop  -you just pull it out of the box where it stands with others and thats it. This one came in a packet... along with a folded instruction booklet that was stupidly ridiculous at 3mm thick. I kid you not, for such a simple tool that most people can fathom out in seconds, it's amazing how much they felt they needed to put in writing for this one. Now granted its being sold all over europe but people are still pretty intuitive in most countries these days.. but even so.. they've created an instruction book that is not only idiotically large, it covers countries that obviously are not here - what is the point of that? - Sure it covers whereever the product is sold but it's also a waste of paper!

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!