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Friday, September 17, 2004
Did you know that 90% of the spark modules in gas ranges and cooktops that are replaced are perfectly good? A statistic like that tells me that this topic is screaming for a revelation from the master. So, my incredulous grasshopper, remove your thumb from your dorsal orifice and come with me now on a journey through gas stove spark ignition systems and how to fix 'em.
Here's a typical spark module. The N terminal on the input side must be wired directly to line neutral. The L terminal is the 120v supply which is supplied to the module through any one of surface switches. The output terminals each connect to two burner ignitors; so the module shown here is designed to handle four surface burners--the most common configuration. Modules came in all different sizes and configurations, depending on the range.
Now, here's what's supposed to happen--refer to the wiring diagram show here and sing along. You turn on one of the surface switches to fire up a burner. When you turn the switch to the "ignite" position, you complete the circuit, through the switch, to the module. This fires up the coils to produce a 15,000 VDC spark to the burners. The path this high voltage spark takes is through the ignitor wires to the ignitor (the ceramic electrode thingy up at the burner) where the spark jumps to the burner base. The voltage then passes through the burner to the grounding strap, through the chassis and then to the grounding strap of its partner burner (remember, each output from the module is tied to two burners), to its burner base and then jumps from the burner base to the ignitor (that's right from the base to the ignitor), passing back through the ignitor wire, to the coil, thus completing the spark circuit. The principle behind this is that the spark module must sense the electrical pulse. If it doesn't, well, your stove won't fire up right and that's why you're reading this illuminating and inspiring repair revelation.
When you're having trouble getting your stove burners to ignite, usually it takes the form of one of the three types of problems:
Let's take 'em one at a time and list the things you need to look at.You hear clicking but there's no ignition.
First thing to do in this case are the following observation checks which do not require any tools, instruments, or taking anything apart.
These following two checks are done by physical inspection "under the hood":
This is usually a bad spark module. But first, verify that the outlet polarity is correct before you change the module. This flow chart gives you further guidance on troubleshooting erratic spark problems.You don't have ignition and you don't even hear clicking.
First, verify that the spark module is getting the 120v on terminal L when you turn on any one of the surface switches. If it is, and still no spark, that module is DOA--replace it.
Well, there it is, the web's most definitive gas stove electric ignition troubleshooting guide. If this was helpful to you, your donations to The United Samurai Beer Fundģ are much appreciated. Cheers!
To learn more about your range/stove/oven, or to order parts, click here.
I have almost reached the mountaintop, Master, but there is one more obstacle in my path. In regards to burner ignition, what if the burner lights, but the igniter stays on? The burner can be turned up and down, and all the while the igniter clicks on ...and on...and...you get the idea.
Ah, Grasshopper, you have raised a good case not covered in my repair revelation. Do the burners spark continuously no matter which burner is turned on? If so, replace the spark module. Does the continuous sparking occur only when one particular burner is turned on? If so, then that burner switch is bad. You can purchase the appropriate part(s) here.
What is a particular burner base and cap pair do not work, if I use a different set on the same site it lights up. I tries cleaning that base and cap but it still does not light up. WHat could be wrong with it?
Burners are designed to work with specific valves to regulate the gas flow and provide an ideal flame. If you install a different burner only, you have changed the design of the range, sometimes with dangerous results, as in the case where a flame becomes yellow and produces soot and carbon monoxide, a silent killer. In a sense, you got lucky: you don't get any flame at all.
My burner ignites fine. But the flame goes out as soon as I let go of the igniter button. What can I do?
My burner won't ignite in the morning. After I light it with a match once, it's OK the rest of the day. Polarity is correct. I looked at the spark. It's blue, but slow compared to a new range I put in my apartment. This cooktop has never sparked more than twice per second. It's 10 years old.
When I turn on my front burner, I hear clicking and I see my rear burner ignitor spark. My front burner works fine using a match.
Gas burner doesn't spark, yet it causes the burner behind it to spark instead?!?
Look at the wiring diagram above. You'll see that the spark module has a single output point labelled, "2." When any one of the burner switches are closed, the spark module switches are closed, the module sends a spark to all the electrodes. If one of the electrodes isn't sparking, it's usually a cracked or gooked up electrode or a worn ignition wire.
When I light my burner, it only lights on half of the way around. How can I get the burner back to full function?
Hi - I have a jenn-air 5 burner gas stovetop - tonight, I boiled some water, but after turning off the burner, the igniter starts sparking and will not stop unless I turn the gas back on - any advice?
My range top burners will not ignite IF the oven is on. They do ignite consistently if the oven is off. I can light them manually with a match when teh oven is on. What would cause this?
similar to kate my little 18" peerless premier gas range just starting clicking when i woke up this morning the only thing i can do to stop it is to unplug it but it just clicks away while flame is on. i think this has happened before but then it was caused by the burner to ignition parts being out of alignement or the burner being wet...would this be the spark module as well...? thank you...
Simmered: you're going to end up OWNING your all your landlord's property after you sue him for endangering your life by running an improperly adjusted gas range.
Master, I am just a humble servant with a cricket problem that does not stop and goes on and on day and night.
We have a GE gas cooktop. After somebody cleaned the cooktop or attempted to, the circuit breaker tripped. If we reset it, there is a muted poof noise at the cooktop and the circuit breaker trips again instantly.
Can't troubleshoot this one through the keyboard. You're gonna need to do some surgery and go in to find where the bare wire is touching the chassis. Eyeballs and fingernails, that's what this one is all about. If you need more detailed help, post this in the repair forum:
Ah, Master, my rigid desire to stop those sparks has led me to your door.
Jeff Danforth - strange coincidence, or do we have the same babysitter?
Got it! - Isolated what must have been a shorted switch. It even looked good on a circuit test. Took it out, cleaned it and blew as much air on it as I could to dry whatever was inside, if possible - whole shebang (oops, I mean) its spirit soars one more, master.
We have a Jenn Air gas stovetop and all of a sudden it was possessed. All four of the igniter switches started going off at the same time. The only way to stop this is to unplug it. Solve my problem, I'll buy you a six-pack. :) Cheri (from Potato land)
Hi, have a 24" Brown Gas range in an apartment unit.
Geoff, see this page for more information about that.
Hi, It seems my stove will not ignite in the morning (no spark), but after igniting it with a match and cooking for 30-45min, the sparker will work again (for a period of time). Then one morning the problem will reoccur. Any ideas?
I have a Jenn-Air dual fuel double oven. 5 top gas burners, and two electric ovens less than a year old. During a self-clean cycle I noticed that the lower oven coil element was glowing red in about 2/3 of its length. The other third was black. I called service. They said if the oven is getting hot, then there is nothing wrong. Do you think that the appearance of the coil partially glowing is normal?
It's not possible to draw any conclusions about the element based only on the appearance that you described. If the oven is getting hot, achieving set temperatures, cycling normally, and your stuff is getting cooked, then no biggie.
hi to all of you suffering from continuous sparking. on my gas stove the ignition sparks as you turn the gas knob on by slightly pushing it in. any way this mechanism works by springs and in mycase the little springs that switch the spark off were faulty or over used and were stretched. so i just put on a new spring cut it to size so that theknob turning was smooth rather than stiff. hope that helps people .... or makes sense. i also replaced the igniters which did nothing till i replaced the spring...
I have a GE range and continuous sparking problem on one burner. No matter which burner I use the left front keeps sparking.
Reid, this problem sounds like either the burner valve switch is stuck closed (verify with your meter) or it got wet (let it dry out, all good.)
Modern Maid Model #PHU201UWW. Range sparks continuously on RF, but stops when I turn on the RR. Local tech says spark module is not consistantly detecting ground. Need to replace spark module? Where is the spark module? Also, clock beeps every 30 secs and shows garbage in display (buttons do not function). Can I cut power to clock without harming stove/oven opeations? Thanx, Patrick
Have you checked the range outlet for proper polarity and ground? Spark modules are very sensitive to outlet polarity. That's where I'd start.
Thanx O Master Samurai! I will check the polarity/grounding of the receptacle as soon as I return home. There is a thin cable that runs from the P.C. Board Power Supply to the clock (ERC). My clock is malfunctioning and there is no replacement available, can I just disconnect this cable at the clock (will the oven still work)? (Modern Maid #PHU201UWW). Thanx! Patrick
Here is one I cannot quite figure out. I have a Jenn-Air slide in downdraft oven/range. One of the gas burner cartreidges will not light, but the other one does. When I swap the two cartridges, I have the same problem with the bad gas cartridge. I have taken the unit apart and everything seems OK with no shorts and continuity to ignitor. When I light the bad unit manually and it gets warm the ignitors will work. Any ideas here?
I replaced the module and the switches and the sparks do not stop while the burners are on. Since I replaced those parts the sparking stops only when I turn on two burners at the time.
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Oh Master of endless wisdom.
Master Samurai, I have a an older Magic Chef gas cooktop. Over the last couple weeks, I began hearing an ocassional spark from the ignitors (happening all on its own). All the burners light just fine when turned on. The sparks seem quick and strong. In the last couple days, the "unsolicited" sparking has begun happening every couple minutes, so I decided to unplug the unit until I get this fixed. Any pearls of wisdom to impart? New module time?
Jan Borge said...
Very erudite comments, Johnny5. Thanks for pitching in. :)
Samurai Appliance Repair Man said...
New stove--Whirlpool dsi type.
I too have a Jenn-Air gas cooktop. I determined that the spark module was bad (no spark)so I replaced it. Now it sparks to ignite all four burners fine but will not discontinue sparking unless all four burners are lit. This happens no matter which burner you choose to light. I have checked all the wiring. All seems fine. The spark module is brand new. I am not sure what avenue to travel. Help me oh wise one on my path to wisdom.
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I also had the problem with my burners sparking continously until I unplugged the stove. The knobs work by pushing them in, turning them counter-clockwise, and then releasing them after the gas ignites, allowing the knobs to pop back up. But after the knob popped up... CLICK CLICK CLICK!!! In my case, the solution was just to give knob a good pull. I removed the plastic dial (by pulling it straight out toward me) to expose the metal shaft, and after I pulled the shaft toward me, the clicking stopped. The mechanism was stuck, possibly because of a stretched spring, which someone else mentioned having a problem with. It hasn't gotten stuck again. So, before you replace anything, first try playing around with the knob that you were using when the problem started.
I have an ignition problem that seems to have not been addressed. The spark module "clicks" when the knob is in the "Light" position but there may only be one or two sparks. Clicking continues but no more sparks. Any ideas? GE Model XL44 - JGBS07EV3WW.
I have a Kenmore stove 665.75775890. One of the wonderful ceramic ignitors has cracked and now the spark is too low to ignite the gas (just for that one burner). So ... Can that be repaired with high temperature tape or some kind of ceramic bonding? For a three foot wire, the cost is $33.15 (plus tax and shipping)!!! Oh what to do?
I recently purchased my first natural gas cooktop (Jenn-Air JGCP636AP) and have a few questions about its operation that Jenn-Air deferred answering on.
My gas stove (electrical ignition) has two burners (front) that won't light. I bought new ingiters thinking they had gone bad, but the burners still won't light. I am able to light them by hand, and the new igniters work in the back two burners. I tried my back two igniters in the front burners and they miraculously lit, but only once then when turned them off they would not relight. ???? Is it a switch problem? Other? Any help would be appreciated.
If one or two most frequently used burners cannot be ignited but others can, you may have a problem with Cooktop/range spark ignition switch (For a GE switch, see http://www.repairclinic.com/0081.asp?RccPartID=274&SeqID=0&Chg=3&pop=1 for a picture). It seems to me Alan's problem is like this.
I have a 4 burner Jenn-Air CG206B cooktop and don't hear any clicking when I turn on the knob for one of the burners. Will a new Spark Ignition Valve Switch solve this? For what it's worth, the burner in question ignites fine when I turn on its gas and use the igniter for the other burner on that side of the cooktop.
The problem I have, I didn't see listed best I could tell... the ignitor on my stove top turned on when I went to light the stove top and now won't turn off. It's constantly clicking. How do I make it stop?
Master, in all of your infinite wisdom, please lead me out of the darkness and into the light of gas range repair. When I turn my right, front eye on, I only get gas and no clicking (ignition). If I turn any of the other 4 eyes on, (all 5 of the eyes click (ignite) but no gas goes to the other 4 eyes except for the one that you are turningÖ as it should be). So if I wanted, I could turn on (ignite and clicking) any of the other good eyes and then simultaneously turn on the right, front bad eye in order to light it. Is my spark switch bad on the right, front eye, Master?
Great info on the ignition systems for these gas ranges. I have an older kitchen aid range (KGCT305X) in the house we just purchased. All 4 burners spark, but none will light. Occasionally one will light, but rarely.
I can easily light them with a match, I think the gas and mixture are fine.
I have a 4 burner Jenn-Air gas stove. When I place a dish on one of the burners, some of the other ignitors start flashing and keep clicking. Any help is appreciated.
My issue seems a bit like Mike's (Aug 12, 2007). I have an old gas range with non-clicking igniter system - four burners total. Three of four will not ignite when I turn their knobs. The fourth will light. Gas is flowing, though - I can light any of them with a match. ALSO, if I turn the knob for the fourth on "light" and then turn any of the other three on "light", both the fourth burner and the other burner will light! So the fourth burner leads the others. Unfortunately, I need to sell the house, and the new homeowners are asking for a working stove. This magic formula of turn multiple knobs to light the burners is not a workable solution for them. Any ideas on how to get ALL FOUR burners to ignite with their own knobs?
I have a Whirlpool gas range. The cook top burners ignite perfectly well. However, the oven and broiler ignitions are not working properly. When I light the broiler (easier to watch the behavior) I hear clicking. Then, I can see a nice blue flame start. The clicking continues for about 5 seconds. The broiler stays lit for the whole 5 seconds. Then, when the clicking stops, the broiler flame immediately goes out. Why doesn't the broiler remain lit?
I have Whirlpool gas range with one frozen (can not turn or rotate) gas burner knob/valve,otherwise, other 3 work fine. Can this faulty part be safely changed? Thanks
Sam U. Rye,
I realize that this isn't the correct place to post something like this and I apologize to all. If I could delete I would!
Trying to follow this discussion and I've gotten lost. If this has been answered, I apologize. I have a KitchenAid KGCT305X 4-burner gas cooktop. I spilled some water on it this morning and now the ignitors are always clicking. All of the burners works fine when I turn their control knobs, but the ignitors only stop when the right rear burner is lit. Its getting a little annoying. If I need to replace a part, which one and can I do it myself (being fairly handy)?
In case anyone else encounters the same problem, mine (described above) is resolved. I unplugged the cooktop to stop the noise. I plugged it back in this morning and the ignitors work normally. Classic case of 'reboot' I guess. Lesson: be skeptical of advice that suggests a module or ignitor is shorted and must be replaced.
I've got an issue with my GE stove. The front left burner will not ignite. I have spark and plenty of gas. I can light with a match and get a nice blue flame. If I switch the burner base and cap from the back to the front (Same Size) it lights fine. I move the one from the front to the back and it doesn't work. I have cleaned the base and it looks good. Any ideas?
I have an older model Kenmore 4-burner gas stove, probably late 80ís or early 90ís, that came with the house when I bought it. The right burners work fine, but the left ones click (or maybe itís just the right ones that Iím hearing), but wonít light without a match. After theyíre lit, they have a good full flame. I have read your page on spark modules, that may or may not need to be replaced, but Iím hoping that by isolating my specific problem, you could offer a more precise solution for my problem.
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I have a possessed jennair 6 burner gas stove, PRO 36", natural gas, model # PRG3610NP.
I'm writing to ask for help with a GE XL44 gas range (model JGBP35GEP4). The right front and left rear cooktop burners light with a match but not with the sparker, although the sparkers are sparking. Is there a way to fix this? Thanks.
My oven will start but half way through it will cut off and try to ignite to maintain the temperature, but, sometimes it will not light. I can hear it clicking and trying to light and every few minutes it tries but wont suceed. Sometimes when I use the oven it will do this and sometimes it won't. Please help!
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