Igniter Problems: The Facts

Common Igniter Problems On Gas Ranges

Residential Igniter And Electrodes Facts:

Most residential-type modern Gas stoves use igniters or electrodes to light surface burners and oven burners.  There are still older type ranges that use standing pilot lights.  Most Rangetops and Cooktops use ceramic electrodes and they differ in size and configuration depending on your brand.  Check with a Parts Distributor for the correct igniters/ electrodes according to your appliance. 

Common Top Burner Electrode Facts:

  • A spark igniter electrode is made of metal and the base of the igniter is ceramic. This ceramic base can withstand the high temperatures put out by the burners.  The ceramic is fragile and over time may crack or may have other damages and it may be shorting to ground and unable to ignite the gas flame.  If it is cracked it should be replaced by an authorized service technician and buy only OEM parts at Guaranteed Parts 
  • Inspect and clean the igniter using a liquid cleaner and soft bristle toothbrush taking care not to damage it.  Pay attention that the igniter electrode has not been moved out of its position while cleaning.  It can happen if the burner cap or base is not in the correct positioned with the porthole facing the igniter electrode. This can cause the igniter electrode to not ignite the incoming gas and click continuously.

Hot surface igniters are most commonly used in ovens and some grills.  The hot surface igniter is used to open the gas valve and to ignite the gas in your oven.  The igniter draws an electric current and will heat to a high temperature and glow.  Oven igniters come in different configurations depending on your brand and are very fragile.  There are both Bake igniters (bottom oven plate) and Broil igniters (top oven plate) igniters for your oven.  They commonly operate with 120V current and work in conjunction with a control mechanism whether a thermostat or electronic control.  

Common Oven Igniter Facts: 

  • Igniters can still glow and even warm the oven slightly but not ignite the flame of the burners as it requires a certain current draw to open the gas valve.  
  • Check the igniter first If the burner does not light.  One of the main causes of your oven broiler/bake not working is a weak or broken broil/bake burner igniter.  
  • If the igniter is glowing, but the burner is not lighting, the igniter may be weak and may be faulty because it requires a certain amount of current draw to open the gas valve. Have a qualified person verify if the igniter is defective then have it replaced.  
  • With age/time igniters will generate less heat than normal.  In most cases they still send marginally connected current flow to open the gas valve but not get hot enough to ignite the gas at the burner immediately.  When this occurs gas is released into the oven and can result in a gas smell.  Sometimes the gas buildup can cause a small explosion inside the oven.   If this happens, shut off the oven right away and call a qualified technician for assistance.

The best prevention for igniter issues is to keep all parts of the igniter clean and replace them when needed.  Buy OEM igniters at Guaranteed Parts.  

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