Most people would expect purchasing a gas range is straightforward. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Please Note: Do not buy an “off the shelf” gas range for your kitchen if you live off of the grid or use a generator to run your home. They use an electric glow plug to light the oven. This glow plug can consume 400-800 watts the entire time the oven is on. If you buy your gas range as a backup for power outages, these glow plugs will not operate without power. The oven cannot be lit with a match.
There are a few types of gas ranges, and the difference is how the stove burners and oven burners are lit. The types are as follows:
1. The oldest type of gas ranges have burners that are lit with a match or some type of lighter. This type is very efficient but inconvenient.
2. Another style of gas range uses pilot lights to lite the burners. These pilot lights are just tiny flames located close to the main burners that burn 24 hours a day so the main burners will light when their valves opens.
3. A more advanced type of gas range uses electronic igniters to lite the burners. These igniters are similar to a spark plug in a car engine. They make a small spark just big enough to lite the burners. This electronic ignition system only uses a watt or two and only for the few seconds the burners are being lit. Most of these ranges use the igniters on the top burners and some other type of lighter (pilot lights or glow pug) for the oven burners.
Ninety nine (99%) percent of gas ranges sold in North America have the electronic type of ignition for the stove burners and glow plugs to light the oven.
Glow plugs are essentially electric heating elements that glow red-hot to light the oven. They typically consume between 400 and 800 watts each and some ovens even have two of them (one per burner).
These glow plugs are on the entire time the oven is on. This is different from a typical gas clothes dryer where the glow plug only operates for a few seconds to light the burner and then turns off.
The glow plugs consume a lot more power than most homesteaders realize. Imagine baking for 5 hours at 800 watts. The result would be 4000 watt hours (4 kWh) consumed just to bake a turkey.
The other downside of these glow plugs is the oven cannot be lit manually in the event of a power outage (from low battery voltage or lightning), making the oven useless.
Off grid homeowners have few solutions to the glow plug problem.
We can decide not to bake, buy an oven that uses pilot lights or use the only oven in North America that does not use glow plugs.
PEERLESS PREMIER RANGE
This range uses a special electronic ignition system for the oven. Peerless Premier manufactures the only gas range that uses electronic ignition for the stove burners and the oven burner. The stove top is fairly normal in that the burners are lit by electronic ignition.
However the oven is very unique. The oven is lit by their proprietary ignition system that uses a spark to light a pilot and then the pilot to light the main burner. When the oven is turned off, the main burner shuts down and a few seconds later the pilot turns off. No waste; no large energy consumption.
When you turn the Peerless Premier oven on, a small amount of propane is released to make the pilot. This small amount of gas is lit by their proprietary electronic ignition system (consumes 1 watt). The lit pilot heats a thermocouple which opens the main gas valve allowing the main burner to lit.
If there is no electricity you can manually light the Peerless Premier’s pilot with a match or lighter.
How to light the Peerless Premier’s oven during a power outage
Open over broiler drawer and find burner assembly. At the back of the burner (toward the rear) you will see a small tube where the gas exits to make the pilot.
Turn the oven to your desired temperature.
There will now be gas at the pilot tube. Hold a match or lighter at this tube until you see a nice blue flame.
You are done. The Peerless will take care of the rest.
The pilot will stay lit until you turn the oven off completely. If you want it to stay on just leave the oven temperature setting at the lowest setting (150 degrees F).
Google “Peerless Premier” for more information.