This advice is for GAS ovens with glow bar type
igniters. This is a fairly simple repair
that MOST do-it-yourselfers can accomplish with just a little guidance. But, first, here’s a little gas oven theory
to help you better understand how to determine if an igniter is bad:
The way the ignition system in most of today’s ovens work is
the oven or broiler temperature.
igniter begins to glow.
the igniter reaches a certain current potential, the gas safety valve
- Gas is
introduced into the manifold and you have ignition.
- NOTE: It can
take roughly 30 – 90 seconds from the time you set your oven temp to the
time it takes for the gas to ignite.
: This is a designed safety feature of the oven to
prevent free flowing gas from accumulating in your home without ignition.
That’s why you typically don’t hear any gas
flowing when you have an igniter problem.
You might think you have a gas problem when actually you have an
TWO BASIC IGNITER TYPES
Carborundum (Cylindrical in shape) – needs to produce 2.5 to
3.0 amps for the gas safety valve to work.
Norton (Rectangular in shape) – needs to produce 3.2 to 3.7
amps for the gas safety valve to work.
NOTE: There is a UNIVERSAL FLAT BAR igniter on the market as
well, that can be used as a substitute if the igniter type that came with your
range is not available.
An easy way to determine if you may have an igniter problem
is to check BOTH your oven features.
the oven doesn’t light, check the broiler and vice versa.
Since both the BROIL manifold and BAKE
manifold are fed from the same
gas source, but have separate
igniters, it’s an easy assumption to make that the igniter may be bad, if one or
the other doesn’t light.
The igniter typically goes bad in one of two ways, the
igniter either stops glowing completely, or becomes weak over time and doesn’t
produce enough current to open the gas safety valve (in this case the
igniter will still glow but the oven still won’t light
Longer ignition times can be another symptom of an igniter possibly going bad.
For this solution, however, we’re going to assume you have a
bad igniter and need to replace it.
Follows these steps:
NOTE: The same method applies to both the broiler and bake
the range and turn the gas off if you have a local gas cut-out valve (it
is recommended that you do).
oven door and remove (if possible).
Refer to your owner’s manual to see if there are instructions on
how to remove the oven door. Some
have spring-loaded locking hinges, while others just lift out. If you cannot figure out how to remove
the oven door, use care not to lean on the door or put too much weight on
it. A common complaint following
any kind of oven maintenance is that the oven door doesn’t shut correctly
any longer. This is usually caused
by bending the hinges or springs coming loose.
the oven racks, and remove the oven pan. (There are usually two screws either
in the back or front of the oven holding the pan in place).
the Flame Spreader. This is a metal
plate on top of the manifold.
igniter will be mounted directly to the gas manifold. Follow the wires that lead to
igniter. It will either be plugged
into a connector, or be connected together with ceramic wire lugs. Your replacement igniter should come
with extra ceramic wire lugs. In
the event the plug does not match the one on your range, cut the wires and
connect using the ceramic wire lugs.
DO NOT use standard wire lugs, they are not heat resistant and will
the old igniter and remove the mounting screw holding it to the gas
new igniter on gas manifold using care not to handle the element on the
igniter with your hands. The oil
from your hands can cause damage and/or premature failure. The igniter is also considered FRAGILE.
the wires using the recommendations mentioned in Step 5.
in the range, turn the gas valve back on and do a visual test by setting
the oven temperature to the desired range.
Allow 30 – 90 seconds for the igniter to light the gas. Turn oven
off and allow sufficient time to cool.
If the oven has only been lit for a minute or so, the cool down
period will be brief.
the flame spreader, oven pan, and racks.
Reinstall door if necessary.
Most igniters cost around $50.
Prices will vary with models.
I hope this information is helpful.