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Monday, December 20, 2004

Mailbag: Bad Ignitor or Valve on a Gas Oven?

GregF wrote:

As you describe my glow plug glows on my gas range but gas valve does not open up unless I tap on the valve. Ignitor or valve?


Message sent from IP:

Despite my enlightening opus on how to diagnose gas oven ignition problems, I still get lots of questions like this. Presumably, grasshoppers have seen the ignitor current draw specifications contained in that gas oven troubleshooting guide. They may have even read my equally enlightening tome on how to make basic electrical measurements, which includes instructions on how to measure current draw.

So why do I keep getting these questions? Do these grasshoppers have a reading impairment? Or are they simply lazy and just want someone to tell them the answer so they don't have to do any work themselves?

Even the Samurai, in all his awesome omniscience, measures the ignitor current draw in these situations. In fact, the secret to the Samurai's total appliance awareness isn't anything mystical or arcane; no, his secret lies in knowing which electrical measurements to make and what they mean. And, since the Samurai makes this knowledge available to all, it's really not much of a secret, is it?

The fact is that without measuring the current draw through the ignitor, there's no way of being absolutely certain whether the ignitor or the valve is bad. But, the Samurai is merciful and compassionate, and recognizes that many grasshoppers just want to be spoon-fed the answer. So, if you have a problem with your gas oven not firing up, such as GregF's above, and you don't want to be bothered measuring the ignitor current draw, here's whatcha do:

  • universal gas oven ignitor made by Maytag--click for larger viewPurchase a universal ignitor kit, such as the one shown here to the right. This one is made by Maytag but fits almost all gas ranges. Click the picture for a larger view or to purchase it.
  • Install the ignitor.
  • If the oven fires up, great, problem solved.
  • If not, return the ignitor for a refund--even after it's been installed! This return policy is only available if you order the ignitor here.

Oh, I know what you're asking, "But, most wise and merciful Samurai, how is it that you can offer such a generous return policy? Won't you go broke?"

If I go broke, grasshopper, it'll be from the other myriad costs associated with running this website but not this particular parts replacement advice. Why? Because a bad ignitor is the problem in about 88.7656% of the gas oven ignition complaints. So, the odds are in our favor.

"Well now, Mr. Samurai-Geek, why the hell didn't you just tell me to change the ignitor in the beginning instead of making me wade through all this crap?"

Thanks for reminding me of our Lord's admonition against casting pearls before swine. What's your next question?

"I don't have time for this nonsense! Now that I know what's wrong with the damn oven, I just want some broke-dick appliance servant to come replace the ignitor for me but I don't want to get ripped off. How much will it cost to have a parts-changer come to my house and replace the ignitor in my oven?"

You'll be pleased to know that there's a new economy appliance service which just opened in your area and it specializes in parts-changing. Give 'em a call!

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 02:44 ET.  [permalink]
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