Quantum phase estimation algorithm (PEA) has been successfully adapted as a sub frame of many other algorithms applied to a wide variety of applications in direrent fields. However, the requirement of a good approximate eigenvector given as an input to the algorithm hinders the application of the algorithm to the problems where we do not have any prior knowledge about the eigenvector. In this paper, we show that the principal eigenvalue of an irreducible non-negative operator can be determined by using an equal superposition initial state in the PEA. This removes the necessity of the existence of an initial good approximate eigenvector. Moreover, we show that the success probability of the algorithm is related to the closeness of the operator to a stochastic matrix. Therefore, we draw an estimate for the success probability by using the variance of the column sums of the operator. This provides a priori information which can be used to know the success probability of the algorithm beforehand for the non-negative matrices and apply the algorithm only in cases when the estimated probability is reasonably high. Finally, we discuss the possible applications and show the results for random symmetric matrices and 3-local Hamiltonians with non-negative off-diagonal elements.