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Friday, September 17, 2004

Appliance Repair Revelation: Troubleshooting Gas Stove Burner Ignition Problems

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.

picture of a typical gas range spark module--click for larger viewHere'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.

typical gas stove electric ignition wiring diagramNow, 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:

  • You hear clicking but there's no ignition.
  • You hear clicking but it's erratic.
  • You don't have ignition and you don't even hear clicking.

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.

  1. Check the spark color. A healthy ignition system will produce crisp blue sparks. A weak ignition system, on the other hand, will produce light blue, almost white sparks. The following two checks can be made by switching the suspected burner with a known operating burner:
    • Ignite the burner with a match to verify proper gas supply and air shutter adjustment. Make sure the flame is a clean blue flame, not yellow and sooty.
    • The gap between the ignitor and the burner base is too large. It should be about the thickness of two dimes.
    • Gookus is caked on the ignitor or burner base. Clean the burner caps, heads, flame spreaders, ignitors...that whole area. HINT: do not use stuff like Comet because you'll gunk everything up big time. Warm water and Basic-H are a good choice.

    These following two checks are done by physical inspection "under the hood":

    • Loose wiring connections at the ignitor, the grounding strap, or spark module.
    • Broken or pinched ignitor wire between the burner and module.
  2. Check the spark frequency. Say what? A healthy spark system will crank out three to five sparks per second. If yours is a lot slower than this, then the prime suspect is reverse polarity at the 120vac outlet the range is plugged into. The picture below shows a 120vac outlet with the proper polarity.
You hear clicking but it's erratic.

Gas Stove Spark Ignition Troubleshooting Flowchart--click for larger viewThis 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.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 02:03 ET.  [permalink]
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73 Comments:

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.

What are your thoughts?

By Blogger Kate, at September 26, 2004 8:57 PM  

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.

By Blogger Samurai Appliance Repair Man, at September 26, 2004 11:30 PM  

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?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 25, 2005 9:48 AM  

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.

To correct this problem, buy and install the OEM burner designed and manufacturered for your range.

And another tip: screwing around with gas appliances when you don't know what you're doing is a great way to get yourself killed.

By Blogger Samurai Appliance Repair Man, at March 26, 2005 5:58 AM  

My burner ignites fine. But the flame goes out as soon as I let go of the igniter button. What can I do?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 10, 2005 8:55 AM  

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.

By Anonymous phil, at May 16, 2005 10:51 PM  

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.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 26, 2005 12:49 PM  

Gas burner doesn't spark, yet it causes the burner behind it to spark instead?!?

It will ignite with a match.

By Anonymous Trent, at May 27, 2005 12:12 PM  

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.

By Blogger Samurai Appliance Repair Man, at May 28, 2005 8:12 AM  

When I light my burner, it only lights on half of the way around. How can I get the burner back to full function?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2005 7:00 PM  

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?

Thanks

Bob
rpress@hotmail.com

By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 24, 2005 9:27 PM  

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?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 25, 2005 4:03 PM  

Master--help!!
My landlord switched us from propane to natural gas and now our old Jenn-air can barely boil water- over an hour for pasta water- lanlord says its a funky stove- a plumber friend says drill out the orifices--but to what size??

what to do
signed

tired of simmered food

By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 11, 2005 11:21 PM  

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...
tired of crickets

By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 14, 2005 8:49 AM  

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.

As for the other comments, it's hard to to direct replies when everyone is named "Anonymous."

By Blogger Samurai Appliance Repair Man, at July 14, 2005 8:56 AM  

Master, I am just a humble servant with a cricket problem that does not stop and goes on and on day and night.

My rice cooks fine, water for tea boils, chocolate molten cakes come out of the oven perfect.

Oh, Master, is it the spark module ($60), is it the igniter ($20), or is it my conscience hearing noises where they don't exist?

Please illuminate my path and guide my soul to a proper gas cooktop repair, otherwise my wife will turn me into a cockroach!!


Your humble servant,


Beetle Bee

By Anonymous Jorge Torres, at July 18, 2005 7:08 PM  

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.

What is short circuiting? The knobs were off so should we feel 90% confident that the switch harness is now ruined and needs to be replaced? How difficult is that for a handy person?

Need your guidance and wisdom ... thanks.

By Anonymous jack-san, at July 26, 2005 1:40 AM  

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:

www.applianceguru.com.

Samurai

By Blogger Samurai Appliance Repair Man, at July 26, 2005 7:59 AM  

Ah, Master, my rigid desire to stop those sparks has led me to your door.
Who knows what happened while the babysitter was alone? Now, the stove ignition won't stop sparking. All the burners work fine; but looking up at the spark module from beneath will show arcing from the pins to the chassis! Eek! I know somehting got boiled over on one of the burners, but it seems dry, now. Can there be something other than the module?

By Blogger Jeff Danforth, at July 28, 2005 3:23 PM  

Jeff Danforth - strange coincidence, or do we have the same babysitter?

Actually, my suspect is my housecleaner. I left her alone at home (my faithful pooch guarded the jewelry, but we don't get to cooktop security until week 11 of our guard dog class) and lo my cooktop clicks furiously (passionately? with yearning?) since she departed.

I hope the master deigns to drop some pearls of wisdom in our direction!

greyhound

By Anonymous greyhound, at July 28, 2005 5:57 PM  

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.

By Blogger Jeff Danforth, at July 28, 2005 7:37 PM  

MASTER,
OUR SPARK IGNITON MODULE ON A JENN AIR 5 BURNER WAS INSTALLED OVER 12 YEARS AGO. WE ORDERED A NEW ONE AND INSTALLED IT ACCORDING TO THE MANUEL. THE PACKAGE SAID UPGRADE ON THE NEW MODULE. AFTER INSTALLING IT AND PLUGGING IT IN ALL THE SPARKS FIRE AT THE SAME TIME AND DO NOT STOP. THE BURNERS ALL WORK, BUT I CAN'T STOP THE ALL THE SPARKS FROM FIRING UP, EVEN WHEN THE KNOBS ARE TURNED OFF. CAN YOU HELP?
JEREMIAH

By Anonymous JEREMIAH, at August 03, 2005 10:32 AM  

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)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 06, 2005 4:56 PM  

Hi, have a 24" Brown Gas range in an apartment unit.
Both pilot are lit, the range burners ignite, however the oven will not, though it's pilot is lit. Any suggestions?

By Blogger Geoff Hatcher, at August 09, 2005 1:36 PM  

Geoff, see this page for more information about that.

By Blogger Samurai Appliance Repair Man, at August 10, 2005 5:05 PM  

Master,
You so ably described what makes the igniter spark but not what makes it stop once the burner fires up. The burner igniters on my DCS RGS-366SS gas range work fine unless the gas oven is heating. If the oven is heating the igniters keep sparking even after the burner ignites. And sparking, and sparking, and sparking. This sound makes me, um, agitated.
Yours in humble desperation,
Belden

By Blogger Belden Fox, at August 21, 2005 2:36 PM  

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?

Thanks,
Tim W

By Anonymous Tim W, at February 06, 2006 9:08 PM  

Hi,
I forgot to include some more info. The stove is a Whirlpool SF315PEE0.

Tim W

By Anonymous Tim W, at February 06, 2006 9:13 PM  

Master,
We need the same advice, please come back! As above, you so ably described what makes the igniter spark. Our problem; The burner igniters work fine, sparking in "light" and then off in other positions, but turn the OVEN on (same range) and the whole time it is on & the oven is running, (the burner lights up after a preheat of the thermocouple as it should) the igniters keep sparking even after the oven burner has ignited..and sparking, and sparking, and sparking. NO amount of beer will make this stop! Help us both! Again, yours in humble desperation,
EG

By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 09, 2006 9:38 PM  

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?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 20, 2006 4:50 PM  

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.

Of course, you could always replace the element. Easy to do. Use your model number to look it up and purchase it here.

Remember to kill power to the range before even thinking about removing the old element.

By Blogger Samurai Appliance Repair Man, at March 20, 2006 7:50 PM  

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...

By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 21, 2006 5:49 AM  

I have a GE range and continuous sparking problem on one burner. No matter which burner I use the left front keeps sparking.

So, it sounds like the burner valve switch is staying in the closed position. Does this sound right? I don't want to spend money on the part and have it not be the problem. At the same time, I dont' want to through a whole lot of money at it at we are selling the house and it wasn't doing this when we put it on the market.

Any ideas?

Thanks,

Reid

By Blogger Reid, at April 10, 2006 1:31 PM  

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.)

By Blogger Samurai Appliance Repair Man, at April 10, 2006 10:23 PM  

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

By Anonymous Patrick, at April 18, 2006 11:55 AM  

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.

By Blogger Samurai Appliance Repair Man, at April 18, 2006 8:42 PM  

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

By Anonymous Patrick, at April 19, 2006 5:56 PM  

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?

By Blogger seattlebuoy, at April 25, 2006 12:53 PM  

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.

By Anonymous Jateran, at May 01, 2006 8:22 PM  

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

By Blogger Jan Borge, at May 20, 2006 4:25 PM  

Oh Master of endless wisdom.

I have a Jennair/Maytag gas cooktop (model ccg456w).
The secret that I seek is how does the igniter know when to turn off the spark?

As soon as the burner ignites the igniter stops the firing immediatiatly, what is the secret, how does the igniter know oh wise one? How can it detect a flame? This is the secret that I seek.


My problem that I am trouble shooting is that the stove ignites perfectly every time, but sometimes the igniter fails to detect that the burner has ignited, and keeps firing. This might happen right away after turning on the burner, or start igniting after the burner has been on for a while. Seems to be erratic and at least two burners have the problem. The type of igniter is a IGR 4 point, and all 4 burners spark at the same time.

Thank you sharing your winsdom with a common peasant like myself.

By Blogger Jan Borge, at May 20, 2006 4:27 PM  

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?

By Blogger Butternut, at May 27, 2006 10:47 PM  

Jan Borge said...

> The secret that I seek is how
> does the igniter know when to
> turn off the spark?

I suggest a flame or heat sensor (photoelectric or thermoelectric method) that would open the igniter primary circuit on that knob when the flame is struck.

---

Butternut said...

> Over the last couple weeks, I
> began hearing an ocassional
> spark from the ignitors
> (happening all on its own).

This could happen because one or more of the ingniter switches short out occasionally.

1) Check that the ignitor switch wires aren't abraded or scorched and occasionally grounding into the stove frame. Check that there is no gunk that may allow power to arc from the switch wires to the frame. Try and swap polarity on the outlet. Also try a false ground current protector (later FGCP): If it trips, you're most probably dealing with an insulation fault.

2) Are the ignitor switch contacts by any chance wet, dirty, or both? May be hard to diagnose depending on the assembly, but can cause arc in the switch. Try to heat them up with a hair dryer, or try pressurized air.

3) does one of the burner knobs seem extremely touchy compared to others? Does knocking the stove frame cause sparking? This could come from a switch getting loose and mis-aligned. Knock test may also cause abraded or scorched wiring to ground into the frame. This will come back to having the FGCP handy.

4) Do you experience unexpected noise from the radio/tv, computer hangups, lights flickering (or even decreased light bulb life) or other kinds of abnormal electric appliance activity? This could be power surges arcing over the switch gaps. Try a cheap power surge suppressor. Unfortunately these can also trip FGCP and make you confuse it with insulation problems.

By Blogger Johnny5, at May 30, 2006 8:35 PM  

Very erudite comments, Johnny5. Thanks for pitching in. :)

By Blogger Samurai Appliance Repair Man, at June 02, 2006 9:09 AM  

Samurai Appliance Repair Man said...
> Very erudite comments, Johnny5.

Sorry for going OT here.

wiktionary.org describes erudite as...

learned, scholarly, with emphasis on knowledge gained from books.

I live in a country where we have to read our books... B) otoh, we have 240V power and are more likely to kill ourselves on our customer's service. B(

Well I read my books, became an electrician and automation mechanic, and was planning to go into repairing appliances and entertainment electronics... well, didn't get too submerged into the industry afterall, now I'm employed in a cinema. So, I just get to repair some odds and ends (when I have the time and will), and take care of the cinema equipment. Well, there too I get to change belts and troubleshoot some 50 year old relay logic.

By Blogger Johnny5, at June 03, 2006 7:51 PM  

New stove--Whirlpool dsi type.
+Old house--over 100 years old with history as a slum rental
=Stove worked for a few months and started intermittent lighting, now only two burners light with electronic ignition. Stove lights, but doesn't seem to recognize that it's lit and cuts the gas right after clicking stops.

My theory=wiring difficulties may have fried the circuit board. Not sure if there actually is a ground or if the polarity is correct. In which case we can replace the wiring to the outlet and the outlet itself, make sure it is properly installed and replace the circuit board all for under $150.

Husband's theory=this will cost at least $300 to fix and isn't worth the effort. Mice may have chewed on something inside range.

I took the thing apart, found one wire that was slightly damaged due to the sharp edge against which it is installed and covered the damage with electrical tape--it did not appear more than surface damage.

Is there any chance I'm right?

By Blogger Bonnie, at July 02, 2006 1:30 AM  

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.

g.d.

By Blogger g.d., at August 19, 2006 5:15 PM  

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

By Blogger repitition19, at September 23, 2006 1:42 PM  

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.

By Blogger repitition19, at September 23, 2006 1:58 PM  

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.

Thanks!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 05, 2007 9:34 PM  

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?

Thanks

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 18, 2007 3:01 PM  

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.

1) The two larger burners (it has 2 small, 2 medium, and 2 large) take some time to light. Sometimes the sparker clicks and clicks, the smell of gas becomes too strong, and I shut it off and let the air clear. Ideas?

2) Once lit the flames are not a solid nice blue, but have orange tips. The manual says to adjust the "air shutters" ??? Then the manual goes on to say this model doesn't have any. Hmmm. Ideas?

3) I think this website answered this question already with the electric spark wiring diagrams, but just to be sure: when I turn on one of the burners, I see sparking on at least 2 burners - is this correct behavior?

Any wisdom would be appreciated!!

By Blogger Mike, at February 08, 2007 4:18 PM  

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.

By Blogger Alan, at March 04, 2007 2:52 PM  

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.

The test is very simple. You simply take a working ignition switch. Unplug it (the switch should be easily detached from the cables/wires). And put it on the cables whose attached switch does not work. If your burner can be ignited, then it is for sure your ignition switch is bad. For heavily used burners (usually the front ones), the switches go bad sooner due to excess uses. The fix is also easy: buy a new one, or move a working switch from the back to the front.

By Blogger heng, at April 08, 2007 11:28 PM  

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.

By Blogger Captian Video, at June 11, 2007 4:29 PM  

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?

By Blogger J, at August 02, 2007 7:56 PM  

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?

By Blogger Mike Kegg, at August 12, 2007 8:48 AM  

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.

The pictures on this article aren't loading, so I can't see what the polarity picture looks like, or the other one.

My sparks all seem white, not blue, and definitely slower that what you suggest. Maybe it's just supposed to be this way on an older range?

By Blogger Groves, at October 01, 2007 3:29 PM  

I can easily light them with a match, I think the gas and mixture are fine.

By Blogger Groves, at October 01, 2007 3:31 PM  

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.

By Blogger Raghu, at October 01, 2007 7:10 PM  

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?

By Blogger Christy, at October 06, 2007 2:18 PM  

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?

By Blogger pcflyer, at October 07, 2007 1:12 PM  

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

By Blogger GT, at October 22, 2007 4:08 PM  

Sam U. Rye,

1) I appreciate you spending time showing the rest of the clueless hoarde (ie: Me) ways to improve our handiness.

2) I have a 2 yr old Kenmore gas range with two issues
a) The front Power burner will not light unless it's already red hot. I use a lighter to light it and I feel like it's the old days.
b) the simmer burner will "go out" (technical term) if it is turned to lowest setting.

Other notes: all other burners save front right Mondo Burner ignite fine. Spark appears to me to be more yellow than blue but seems similar in color to other burners. I live at altitude (5500 ft above sea level). For the simmer burner issue I tried to play with the "flow screw" inside the knob but it doesn't appear to turn without turning the knob? I am probably wrong there but don't want to damage something without asking advice first.

By Blogger Eric, at December 02, 2007 12:00 PM  

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!

By Blogger Eric, at December 02, 2007 3:01 PM  

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)?

By Blogger Barry, at February 06, 2008 7:27 PM  

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.

By Blogger Barry, at February 07, 2008 12:44 PM  

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?

By Blogger BrianHoj, at February 11, 2008 7:01 PM  

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.

By Blogger tbomber, at February 16, 2008 2:41 PM  

This post has been removed by the author.

By Blogger sybil, at February 18, 2008 9:37 AM  

I have a possessed jennair 6 burner gas stove, PRO 36", natural gas, model # PRG3610NP.
there have been numerous service calls, and they even replaced it once. both stoves have the same problem(s):

the oven seems to work fine, but the burners are erratic and the longer the oven and burners are on, the worse they get. the flame sounds like a jet engine (whooshing sound), fluctuates, then half the burner will go out, then after a few minutes it will be almost entirely out, the clicking starts, and during one test, after 8 minutes with the oven on at the same time as all six burners, all the the burners were out and clicking. the last idea was that the gas pressure coming into the house is too high. other ideas were that there is air in the line. no one thinks there is a leak. i've had this stove since oct. 07 and still can't bake and boil at the same time. even with only one burner on at the same time as the oven, it doesn't work right.

help, please. i'm afraid there is a hidden gas leak somewhere, but there's no smell. everyone who comes to "fix" it ends up shaking their head and leaving, with instructions to call someone else (the stove repair guy says call the plumber, the plumber says call the repair guy who now says call the gas. co.)

there is also a lot of moisture that condenses inside the oven when it is turned on. the racks are wet, the door is wet, and there is moisture on the outside as well as on the top near the back where the backsplash is attached. i was told this is normal, but i've never had a stove pee on itself when you turned it on before!

yours truly -
possessed in texas

By Blogger sybil, at February 18, 2008 9:49 AM  

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.

By Blogger David, at March 15, 2008 12:59 PM  

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!

By Blogger NatJones, at March 19, 2008 12:05 AM  

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