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John, restaurant equipment technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 2136
Experience:  25+ years experience. I'm now employed by a commercial cooking equipment service company
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have purchased a 30 year old trailer with a 30 propane gas

Customer Question

have purchased a 30 year old trailer with a 30" propane gas range, Gaffers & Sattler. Previous owner has plugged up the pilot lights. Can use the 4 burners but when I smell propane, shut off until next time I need. Looked at where it had been plugged and see a couple of pin holes which I can plug as well with appropriate high temperature putty. haven't looked at oven which could have same problem. Question is will this be safe if I can successfully plug all pilot lights? Am a senior lady and don't want to blow myself up!! Any help would be appreciated. [email protected] Thank you so much, Wenda.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  John replied 7 years ago.

Plugging any gas threaded holes with anything other than the proper size threaded plugs is inherently dangerous, because all putties, including the epoxys tend to shrink over time. This shrinking is what's lead to your present situation. I suggest, for safety's sake, that you have a repair person remove the putty plugs, and, either insert threaded plugs, or, better yet reinstall the pilot lights.

Some think that the pilots waste gas, but one of their most important functions is to light off any gas coming from the burners should the burner valves be accidentally left on or bumped into a 'on' position. The small cost of gas usage is a small price to pay for the safety the pilots provide.

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for your advice. My only problem now is twofold, I am a Canadian in California (a 'snowbird') until March. I am located in Niland, California and miles from any technician. Have you any suggestion as to how I can unplug this putty (I might damage the hole) which has hardened and whether screws are still available. I gather the screws are designed to shut off the pilot lights...why? Admit I have used it this way now for a while but only to cook supper and then I turn it off. I don't smell anything unless I leave on for a day. I will ask around the RV park as to whether there are any retired experts around (it is an over 55 park). It is so nice to be able to speak with someone who knows what they are talking about. Wenda
Expert:  John replied 7 years ago.

In order to replace the pilot valves the putty must be removed and the original threads cleaned with a thread tap. The adjustment screw on the pilot valve is for adjusting the gas flow at the pilot cap, although they can be used to shut off the gas supply as well.

Anyone who maintains their vehicle can do the job for you. If you don't find someone, you do as you have been, until the opportunity to find an RV dealer.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I feel so much better now. Thanks so much for your advice. Wenda
Expert:  John replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for choosing justanswer.