The flames from the burners on your gas cooktop should always be blue as this indicates your cooktop is working efficiently. If the flame turns orange or yellow and stays this colour for longer than a few minutes, you need to get it looked as, not only will your cooktop not be operating efficiently, it might also pose a risk. We’ve compiled a guide to help you spot the warning signs and get the problem fixed, as well as tips to maintain your gas cooktop to avoid flame discolouration in the future.
A healthy gas flame will burn steadily and be blue in colour but if that flame isn’t getting enough oxygen it will appear yellow or orange. Sometimes it is temporary and caused by particles in the air, such as dust. However, if the flame continues to burn orange, your cooktop needs attention. It could be as simple as a dirty burner that needs a clean - this can cause the flame to burn too high, which can lead to it turning orange - but occasionally it is a more serious problem that will require professional help. If too much Carbon Monoxide is produced, due to incomplete combustion or lack of ventilation around the cooktop, it can prove dangerous so it is essential to get it checked out by a qualified gas engineer.
Essentially, if the flame is not blue, the gas isn’t burning correctly, which can cause a range of problems. A soot build-up can occur, leaving black marks or staining on and around the cooktop and, in the worst case scenario, you could fall victim to Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
If you suspect Carbon Monoxide poisoning - the symptoms of which include headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, and loss of consciousness - turn off your gas cooktop and shut the gas off at the meter immediately and open all doors and windows to get some fresh air and allow the Carbon Monoxide to escape. When it is safe to do so, leave the house and go to your GP or local hospital. If you’re worried, it’s advisable to call a qualified gas engineer to service the cooktop rather than try and fix the problem yourself.
To avoid combustion problems in the future, it pays to perform some simple maintenance tasks. Keep your burners clean by mopping up any spills on a daily basis and taking it apart to give it a thorough clean in warm soapy water every month or so.