CommunityHow Do Oven Pilot Lights Work?

How Do Oven Pilot Lights Work?

I have an older Caloric (Amana) gas oven. I curious about the pilot light for the four burners under the hood. I was told that there are sensors called thermocouples that essentially shut the gas off if they detect that the pilot light is not lit. Is this true?

The Money Pit Answer

I can't speak to the specific model or manufacturer, but older ranges do typically use a thermocouple, which is a sensor that sits in the path of a pilot light.  It's there to confirm that the pilot light is on to ensure that when gas is released, it will have a flame.  If the light is off, the thermocouple won't let the gas turn on, for safety reasons.  This technology has largely been replaced by electronic ignition - the mechanism responsible for the clicking sound when you turn on a range.  And yes, thermocouples do sometimes wear out and need to be replaced.  You also find thermocouples in gas-fired furnaces and water heaters.