Mailbag: Gas Stove Burners Won’t Ignite Automatically

by Samurai Appliance Repair Man on May 18, 2004

in Haiku, Oven Repair, Stove Repair

ignitor problem wrote:

I read your information on how to assess a problem with ignitors on gas cooktops. I have a KitchenAid KGCT305EBL0. Power to plug is okay. Gas is okay and lights manually. When knob is turned to Lite position there is no clicking sound at any burner. It seems I need to replace the spark module. Correct? When I searched for parts I came up with a spark ignition switch and a spark module assembly. Aside from a bunch of bucks what is the difference in these and what do I need? Can I replace this or do I need to call in a pro? And lastly, if I require the part that is almost $100 would it be considered bad form to park a box of matches next to the cooktop, tell the wife to use the ole manual light method, and spend the $100 on beer?

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Message sent from IP:

You have described the classic symptoms of a burnt-out spark module. The spark ignition switches are the little switches attached to the knob of each surface burner. If the spark module won’t spark no matter which surface burner switch you turn on, then the spark module is the problem. The seminal reference on this subject, which you mentioned, is my illuminating Appliantology article, How to Troubleshoot a Gas Stove that Won’t Fire Up–this is recommended reading for anyone working on gas stove ignition problems.

spark module for a kitchenaid range--click for larger viewspark module for a kitchenaid range--click for larger viewYour range will use one of the two spark modules shown here. Just look at your existing module and match it to the one you need. Spark modules are easy to replace and usually rate only a single mug on the SUDS-o-meter scale of appliance repair difficulty.

You pose an interesting conundrum: spend money on the spark module to fix the stove or just light the burners with matches and use the money to buy beer. It’s a tough one, I know–I faced exactly the same dilemma at my house. My wife wrote a haiku about it:

the bamboo reveals all

My husband loves beer.
Too drunk to fix spark module.
Click click click click click.

I ran out of beer one morning and, in a rare, lucid moment, replaced the spark module. Then she wrote me this haiku:

the bamboo reveals all

My sweet honey pie,
my love for you knows no bounds
‘cept five seven five.

And she proved it by buying me a six-pack. Now that’s true love!

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