Suddenly seeing orange flames emerge out of the burner of the gas stove can be concerning. This often means that there is something wrong with the stove mechanism. It can be harmful to health as sometimes a gas leak can cause such an issue. The cookware can also be potentially damaged.
Moreover, an orange flame indicates a stove problem, and letting it be can decrease the effectiveness of the gas stove. That is because the flame will not be hot enough to thoroughly cook food and you have to keep the gas on for a longer duration. The prolonged heat will eventually end up corroding the inner mechanisms.
An orange flame on a gas stove indicates that there is an incomplete combustion taking place and the balance between the usage of fuel and oxygen is not optimal. As in, the oxygen is being used more than the fuel. Several things can cause this. Read on to find out more.
Why is The Flame on My Gas Stove Orange?
The underlying reason behind the gas stove flame suddenly turning orange is partial combustion. In chemical terms, it is called partial oxidation. There is a poor supply of oxygen when the combustion occurs and this leads to the formation of carbon monoxide instead of carbon dioxide.
Now that you have been provided with a very basic scientific explanation behind your gas stove burning orange, it is time to know why this imbalance in the usage of fuel and oxygen takes place.
This may not be known by most people but a rise in the level of humidity inside your kitchen can be directly responsible for an orange flame on the gas stove.
This may be caused by any present humidifier. Because humidifiers manipulate the air moisture to produce a water vapor mist. When this comes in contact with the flame, it the flame to turn orange.
The reason why your gas stove suddenly has an orange flame could be because one or more of the holes in the burner is blocked with soot. That fire causes soot is common knowledge.
If you are not into cleaning your gas stove regularly, or at least once every day, the burner holes may get blocked due to accumulated soot.
And since the fuel or the gas comes through the pipe and flows out from these very holes on the surface of the burner, its pathway is blocked due to the heavy layer of accumulated soot.
That is why the fuel flows out unevenly in an inconsistent and haphazard manner which causes an imbalance in the air-to-fuel ratio. This causes the flame to turn orange.
The same issue with soot can happen with food. Gas stoves are used for cooking and therefore it makes sense for food to sometimes spill on the burners.
If the spilled food gets into the burner holes and dries there, it will block the passage of the fuel.
This will directly cause an orange flame. Therefore, it is wise to not allow food that has spilled on the burner to dry but clean it immediately after.
A Faulty Gas Valve
The Gas Valve is one of the most important parts of the gas stove. This is the operator of the pipeline that acts as a connector between the gas stove and the cylinder. Therefore any fault in the gas valve will lead to either an inadequate or excessive supply of fuel from the burner.
This will cause the gas to burn too strongly or too weakly due to the valve not opening or closing properly. This may cause the issue of the flame in your gas stove burning orange.
The Wrong Orifice
Connecting the gas stove using the right orifice is needed to produce a natural blue flame.
Since the fuel is carbon-based, the air-to-air ratio needs to be precise for smooth cooking as well as safe combustion of the flame. But if the burner on your stove is fitted with the wrong shutter, there will be an orange flame.
A Problem With The Stove
Sometimes, the stove may have been faulty, to begin with, and not a fault of the kitchen or any connecting mechanism. In that case, there is nothing to be done except get a replacement or repair.
How to Fix Orange Flame on The Gas Stove?
The method to fix the problem of an unusual orange flame appearing from the stove will depend on what the causing agent is. Keeping that in mind, a few remedies to fix the color of the flame have been provided for you.
Cleaning The Burners
Orange flame or not, your burners deserve a good scrub every once in a while. Preferably once every day.
The accumulated food, soot, and dried-up liquid can all clog up the burner holes and cause the color of the flame to change. So turn your gas off, from the valve and then remove the iron utensil support and take a cloth to gently scrub off any accumulated dirt or food residue. This is very likely to solve the issue.
Decrease The Humidity Levels
We have already touched upon how the presence of a humidifier in your kitchen can raise the humidity and moisture levels and cause an orange flame.
So, it is recommended that you turn it off. But there are places where the weather itself is overly humid and although it is unlikely that natural humidity can affect the flame but in case it does happen, invest in a dehumidifier as this is going to be a long-term problem.
Adjust The Burner’s Air Shutter to Admit More Air
Any discrepancy in the amount of air and fuel can lead to incomplete combustion and cause an orange flame to appear. Therefore, a possibility is that maybe the burner in your gas stove is not getting enough air. To rule out the possibility of this happening, adjust the burner’s air shutter to let in more air.
Use Proper Orifices
Using the incorrect orifice can cause an imbalance in air to fuel ratio. To avoid this, make sure to use the correct orifices in your gas stove, according to the range you are using, whether natural gas or butane.
Additionally, also make sure that the gas pressure regulator valve was changed and an adjustment was made to the brass orifice.
Get a New Gas Valve
It can be extremely problematic if the gas valve in the stove is stuck or broken. It can even cause a potentially dangerous situation where you cannot shut the gas supply off due to a stuck valve and your kitchen now smells of gas.
It is best to not delay fixing this issue as an orange flame is truly the least of your problems if the valve is broken. Get it changed at the soonest and the orange flame will go.
Increase The Airflow
At times poor ventilation can cause an imbalance in the air-to-fuel ratio leading to incomplete combustion.
A decrease in the airflow can thus cause an orange flame. You should either open up the windows and then turn on the gas after waiting for a while. Or the other more practical solution is to install air vents in the kitchen.
Does Orange Flame Mean a Gas Leak?
Yes and No. The dual answer may confuse you but not all orange flames mean a gas leak. Only if the gas range valve is faulty or broken, it can cause a gas leak.
A broken valve may cause gas to leak not only from the burners but also from under the stove. The precise place where the valve connects the pipe and the cylinder may be compromised as the fuel may be leaking from there.
In its natural state, LPG gas, which consists primarily of propane and butane, is odorless. But the infusion of a distinct smell into carbon-based fuels like LPG makes it easily noticeable and aids in the detection of gas leaks.
Are Orange Flames on Gas Stoves Dangerous?
Yes, Orange Flames are dangerous and should be treated as so.
Orange flames indicate incomplete combustion and that results in the production of carbon monoxide which is a literal cause of death around the world. Besides, CO is a colorless and odorless gas that you will not notice until it is too late and has gotten into your windpipe.
This study conducted over a 10-year period, in Turkey concluded that CO poisoning from stoves was still a prevalent cause of death, especially in rural areas with lower socio-economic status where electric stoves are still a far-reached possibility.
Gas stoves are one of the most indispensable tools of modern man. But we better keep in mind that this tool uses fire which is a corrosive and destructive element of nature.
So it is always wise to handle gas stoves carefully. If you notice an orange flame, try to fix it immediately using the above methods. If these don’t work then calling a professional is recommended.
Lastly, a broken valve must be taken very seriously. Do not delay opening up all the windows in such a situation and definitely do not take anything combustible or burning near the kitchen till the potential gas leak is fixed. Otherwise, a lethal explosion or CO poisoning may be caused.