What it means: A small flame, which is utilized to ignite the gas at the main burner(s).
See it in action: Something has to start the combustion necessary for natural gas to work in your home appliances; the pilot’s small flame helps kick start ignition when you call upon it.
While pilot lights are still in use for many larger home appliances like water heaters and furnaces, they have been replaced in some in-home applications by electric igniters. If you have a newer gas cooking range you may be familiar with the clicking noise caused by the electric starters.
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