Will a Gas Stove Work Without Electricity?

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If your gas-powered stove was made in the last few decades, it most likely requires electricity to light the burners during normal operating conditions. But you can bypass the electric ignition during a power outage by using matches to light the burners instead.

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Bypassing Electric-Ignition Stove Burners During an Outage

Things You'll Need

  • Flashlight or other light source (optional)

  • Long fireplace matches

Step 1

Shine a flashlight or other light source -- even a flashlight app from a cellphone -- near the stove if it's too dark to see the stove well.

Step 2

Turn all the stove burner and oven dials to their "off" positions.

Step 3

Set the flashlight on a counter near the stove, aiming the light toward the stove burners and controls for the burners. Skip the light if you can see well without it.

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Step 4

Light a long wooden match and hold the flame near the holes located around the center of a burner.

Step 5

Turn the dial for the same stove burner to a low setting while holding the match in place. Act quickly to light the burner before the match burns down toward your fingers.

Step 6

Remove the match from the burner area once the burner lights. The burner should light within a few seconds. Blow out the match.

Warning

Do not use short, flimsy matches out of a matchbook to light a burner -- they're too short to keep your fingers a safe distance from the gas flame.

If you can't light one burner and you try another instead, be sure to turn the dial from the first burner to the off position, otherwise the burner releases gas fumes into the air, creating a fire hazard.

Tip

If you own a vintage gas stove that typically requires a match to light a burner -- in other words, it has no electric or electronic ignition system -- operation remains the same even during a power outage.

Avoid the Oven

Although the burners on an electric-ignition gas stove may be lit by hand, the cooking flame inside the oven works differently on models from the 1990s and newer. As a safety feature, these require electricity to light and cannot be lit by hand -- so skip the oven and cook on the stove burners instead until the power returns.

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references

Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.

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