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Why Your Gas Range Won't Light Your Fire

Why Your Gas Range Won’t Light Your Fire

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Gas ranges are kind of like cars: they sometimes suddenly develop problems that take you by surprise. Hopefully both won’t happen to you at the same time. Because when your gas range goes out, you’ll need your car to go get some takeout for dinner!

With cars, it’s frequently a dead battery that suddenly turns the car into a useless 1-ton hunk of metal. And with gas ranges, there’s a set of 4 quite common problems that will cause you to call the repairman (after you’ve fetched dinner):

#1: Spark Module

The spark module is the source of ignition for gas ranges. When you turn the control knob to light one of your burners, the spark module sends an electrical current to that burner’s spark electrode. If the spark module goes defective, the burner won’t light.

When a spark module is failing, quite often a symptom will be a weak or intermittent spark instead of a strong, continuous spark.

#2: Spark Igniter Electrode

The spark electrode provides the spark that lights the gas when you turn on a burner. The spark is created from a flow of electrical current sent to the spark igniter by the spark module.

The spark igniter electrode works kind of like (and somewhat resembles) spark plugs in a car. And just like spark plugs, spark igniter electrodes eventually wear out. The igniter might become worn to the point that the spark jumps erratically. Or it might just outright fail, so that it doesn’t generate a spark at all.

When you turn the knob to light your burner, if you hear sort of a clicking sound and the burner doesn’t light, that’s a strong indication of an igniter electrode problem.

#3: Spark Igniter Switch

The igniter switch is the electrical component that opens an electrical circuit between the spark module and the igniter electrode. Diagnosing a failed igniter switch can sometimes be difficult. That’s because it can be hard to distinguish between a failed igniter switch and a bad spark module.

But if your problem happens to be a spark igniter that sparks continuously, rather than one that won’t spark at all, that’s a sure sign of a bad igniter switch.

#4: Spark Harness Assembly

The harness assembly is essentially the wiring that controls the functioning of the spark module. And while it’s less common than the above problems, harness assemblies can sometimes fail.

On some ranges the harness and igniter switches are a single unit, requiring that both be replaced if either goes bad. On other models, the switches can be removed from the harness, permitting individual replacement of either the harness or a single switch.

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