Top burner pilots need to be replaced if they become clogged. They are very difficult to unclog, and generally need to be replaced. There are three types of pilots:
- Those with the tube pre-welded to the pilot head.
- Those that have a nut and ferral to slide over the tube and be tightened onto the tube.
- Pre-formed pilot assemblies specific to a particular range.
Finally, there are new “flex tube” pilot burners that have a flexible pilot tube, making them very easy to install.
When replacing the pilots you will have to remove the front top plate (bull nose) from the range to access the pilot adjustment valves. This will also have to be removed to replace the burner valve described below.
The pre-welded type is fairly easy to install. To replace, disconnect the pilot tube from the pilot adjustment valve and remove. Place the new pilot head and tube next to an existing one and follow the contour while slowly bending to form the same shape. When you get to the end you may need to cut the tube off, using a tubing cutter. A nut then needs to be put on, and then a ferral and screw back onto the pilot adjustment valve.
The type with the nut and ferral is very easy. Simply use a tubing cutter and cut if off just below the old pilot head. Remove the nut and ferral from the new replacement pilot head and slide them over the tube, nut first and then the ferral. Slide the pilot head onto the tube and tighten the nut up to the pilot head.
The pre-formed pilot assemblies are far easier because they are all bent and ready for installation, the only draw back is they are a little more expensive than the others.