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Possible to Add Safety Pilot to Vintage Gas Parlor Stove?

ruddy
ruddy Member Posts: 4
Hi,

We bought a Victorian house in WA and the previous owners heated with this 120 year old gas (LP) stove. It works fine, but we're not crazy about lighting the stove manually with a match and were wondering if it's possible to retrofit a safety pilot.







I've found various websites of folks saying they can add a pilot light to a stove like this, but haven't managed to actually get any of these companies to reply back with specifics.

I guess my question is: is this even possible to do?

Comments

  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,829
    edited March 4
    Anything is possible. You can add a 24 VAC transformer and a thermostat across the room, electronic ignition can also be added. The problem is hiding all those parts so you don't loose the aesthetics of that old appliance.

    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
    mattmia2Long Beach Ed
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,569
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    EdTheHeaterManLong Beach Ed
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,829
    edited March 5
    Zman's kit is a great idea but you still need a 24 AC source and since @Zman is going that far, you might as well add a thermostat


    Do you think the box should be made out of sheet metal or would a pine box be appropriate?

    And what colour should we recommend it be painted?
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • ruddy
    ruddy Member Posts: 4
    edited March 5
    Thanks, all, these are exactly the kind of ideas I've been looking for. The part I'm not clear on, is where the pilot burner itself would be positioned. Would I need to drill a hole in the bottom of the stove so that the pilot flame can be positioned inside the firebox where the gas supply meets the fire-ring?

    As to aesthetics for hiding the controls, I'm not opposed to having a small metal box behind the stove that we could paint black. Since the granite slab that the stove sits on is also black, I think it will kind of disappear. The big question I have is how I find a pro who would know how to do this? I have the stove in the Los Angeles area right now, but I'm open to traveling or shipping. If anyone knows of someone looking for a cool project, I'd appreciate referrals.

    One reason I've been assuming we want a manual pilot light is that we want a backup heat source if we lose power as well. Our main heat is now an electric "ductless ducted" heat pump system.
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
    Pilot with a thermocouple?
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • ruddy
    ruddy Member Posts: 4
    edited March 5
    delcrossv said:

    Pilot with a thermocouple?

    Doesn't a safety pilot rely on a thermocouple to switch off the gas if the pilot flame blows out?

    So, yes, that's what I'm hoping to retro-fit to this heater. Just not clear on how to find someone to help me do it.
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
    edited March 5
    Yes. Where are you located? A gas fireplace installer could retrofit this. There are kits with a thermocouple, pilot and gas valve.

    Gas valve would be between the supply and main burner behind the stove and you'd need to drill a hole for the pilot supply and thermocouple lead. Probably put those on a bracket where the two burner "legs" connect.

    If you're not really familiar, it would be better to hire a pro to do that.

    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • ruddy
    ruddy Member Posts: 4
    delcrossv said:
    Yes. Where are you located? A gas fireplace installer could retrofit this. There are kits with a thermocouple, pilot and gas valve. Gas valve would be between the supply and main burner behind the stove and you'd need to drill a hole for the pilot supply and thermocouple lead. Probably put those on a bracket where the two burner "legs" connect. If you're not really familiar, it would be better to hire a pro to do that.
    Yes. My preference would be to have a pro do it. I think you’re right about treating it like a gas fireplace. It’s definitely a very similar device and we will use it as a secondary heat source.  

    The house is in WA, a couple of hours from Seattle. Right now the stove is in Southern California where we are packing up the rest of our stuff to move there. I brought it down here in case I would be able to find more potential sources for a repair. But I can bring or ship it anywhere if I find someone likely to be able to fix it right.