Question about Whirlpool SF369 Gas Kitchen Range
The way the ignition system in most of today's ovens work is like this:
1. Set the oven or broiler temperature.
2. The igniter begins to glow.
3. Once the igniter reaches a certain current potential, the gas safety valve opens.
4. Gas is introduced into the manifold and you have ignition.
5. 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.
NOTE: 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 ignition problem.
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. If 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 manifold.
1. UNPLUG the range and turn the gas off if you have a local gas cut-out valve (it is recommended that you do).
2. Open 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.
3. Remove 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).
4. Remove the Flame Spreader. This is a metal plate on top of the manifold.
5. The 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 melt.
6. Unplug the old igniter and remove the mounting screw holding it to the gas manifold.
7. Install 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.
8. Reconnect the wires using the recommendations mentioned in Step 5.
9. Plug 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.
10. Reinstall the flame spreader, oven pan, and racks. Reinstall door if necessary.
Most igniters cost around $50. Prices will vary with models.
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Posted on Oct 01, 2010
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