How to Light a Safety Pilot System for your Vented Gas Log Set



Below are steps that are needed to relight your safety pilot light for your vented gas logs. If you do not feel safe turning on your pilot, please call a professional. If you smell gas, TURN OFF your gas appliance, and the supply line to that gas appliance and call your local gas utility company.

If you have a vent-free or unvented gas log please check out our video on our other fireplace help page for vent-free burners. Click Here


  1. Ensure the gas is turned on to allow gas to the fireplace.
  2. If the log set has a switch on it, place it in the OFF position.
  3. Turn the safety control valve knob to the pilot position. At the pilot position, you will be able to push the knob the maximum amount toward the valve.
  4. Push and hold the knob in for a time sufficient to replace the air in the pilot line with gas (this can sometimes take up to three minutes, as the pilot line is very small, as is the amount of gas flowing to the pilot).
  5. While pushing the knob in, light the pilot with a match (or push the button of the piezo ignitor, if equipped). Continue to hold in the knob with the pilot lit for 30 to 90 seconds, or until such time as when you release the knob, the pilot remains lit.
  6. Once the pilot remains lit, you may turn the valve to anyplace up to and including full on to allow gas to flow to the main burner.
  7. If the pilot fails to light, repeat the steps above.

Warning: Fireplace doors and your damper must be open during operation

Troubleshooting Guide

The pilot will not light
  1. Obstruction in pilot gas supply or pilot gas-supply line is kinked
  2. Inadequate gas supply
  3. The air in the line
  1. Clear out obstruction. Replace pilot gas-supply line if kinked
  2. Have gas pressure checked by installer or gas supplier
  3. Air should clear; attempt to relight
The pilot will not stay lit after releasing knob
  1. Thermocouple connection to valve either too tight or too loose
  2. Bad thermocouple
  1. The thermocouple should be finger tight and 1/8" turn with a wrench
  2. Replace thermocouple
Burner system extinguishes a few minuted after lighting
  1. Inadequate gas supply causes pilot flame to reduce afterburner lights
  1. Using a pilot adjustment, increase gas to pilot. Pilot flame must be in contact with the thermocouple
Burner system extinguishes a few minutes after burning for some time (approximately 10 minutes to 1 hour)
  1. Thermocouple has overheated; glass doors are closed
  2. Thermocouple has overheated; insulation pad is not in place
  3. Thermocouple has overheated; burner flames are heating the thermocouple cold junction
  1. Be sure glass doors are open during operation
  2. Be sure that the insulation pad is in place between the burner pan and the pilot bracket
  3. Be sure the pilot assembly and the flame diverter are in their proper position. Re-arrange logs so that flame is not deflected to the thermocouple

These troubleshooting materials can be found in the RH Peterson Co. Real Fyre Installation and Owners Manual.