It is important to know which appliances in your home run on gas. The most common gas appliances are stove top ranges, ovens, water heaters and furnaces.
Many older gas appliances and most water heaters have a small, continuously burning gas flame—the pilot light—that ignites the main burner. Some newer models have electronic igniters.
If the pilot light is out, shut the gas off at the appliance’s gas shutoff valve. Always wait five minutes to let gas disperse before trying to relight an appliance pilot light.
Follow the appliance manufacturer's instructions to relight a pilot light. Often, basic relight instructions are located inside the main burner compartment door. If you cannot relight the pilot light yourself, call PG&E or another qualified professional for assistance.
Gas Appliance Shutoff Valves
Most gas appliances have a gas shutoff valve located near the appliance that lets you turn off the gas to that appliance only. In some cases, turning off the gas at the appliance's shutoff valve will suffice if there is a gas leak or the appliance needs to be replaced or serviced. You should have an appliance gas shutoff valve installed at each gas appliance so that you can turn off the gas to that appliance only, instead of shutting off all gas at the main gas service shutoff valve.
To turn off the gas at the gas appliance shutoff value, rotate the valve a quarter turn.
Stoves (ranges and ovens)
- When lighting the burners, light the match before you turn on the gas. If the flame goes out, turn off the burner and let the gas disperse before relighting.
- Clean away any grease, oil or debris from the area to prevent a grease fire. In the event of a grease fire, never add water. Use baking soda or, if the fire is in a pan, use a lid to smother the flame. Stock your kitchen with a fire extinguisher.
- Move any flammable objects such as towels and curtains away from the burners.
- Never use your oven to heat your home. This misuse puts you at risk of burns from hot surfaces and shortens the life of oven parts and controls.
- Make sure your water heater is securely anchored to a wall to prevent it from shifting or falling during an earthquake.
- If your water heater is elevated, make sure the platform is sturdy enough to withstand the weight of the water heater if it moves during an earthquake.
- Have your furnace serviced once a year.
- Clean or replace your filter regularly—depending on how frequently you use it.
- Air supply vents must be clear of obstructions. Furnaces need a constant supply of fresh air to run efficiently and safely.