How to fix gas stove igniter that Fails to Light

How to fix gas stove igniter that Fails to Light

It’s the moment every home cook dreads – you turn the knob to fire up your gas burner and instead of it lighting up, nothing happens. The igniter isn’t working! 

As a fellow gas range owner, I’ve been down this frustrating road myself more than once. But the good news is that getting that igniter working again is totally doable with some basic troubleshooting and maintenance. 

In this guide, we’ll walk through the likely causes when your gas stove won’t ignite, along with the steps to fix it, so you can get back to your cooking business.

Fixing a Gas Stove Igniter – Simple Steps

Modern gas ranges use electric ignition systems to light the burners, rather than standing pilot lights.

While reliable, these electronic igniters do wear out over the 5-10 year lifespan of a typical range. Food drips, cleaning chemicals and wear eventually take a toll. When the igniter fails, burners won’t light even when gas is flowing properly.

Thankfully, repairing a faulty gas stove igniter is usually pretty straightforward. A basic cleaning and test is the first step. If ignition problems persist, replacing the igniter or investigating wiring issues will typically get your burners lighting smoothly once more.

If your gas burners aren’t firing up, start troubleshooting an igniter issue with these simple steps:How to fix gas stove igniter that Fails to Light

How to Fix Gas Stove Igniter that Fails to Light Infographic

Step 1: Clean the Igniter

Buildup from food or cleaning products can prevent spark ignition. Turn off the gas and gently wipe the ceramic tip of the igniter with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Remove any debris blocking the electrode.

Step 2: Check the Electrical Connection

Be sure the electrical connector leading from the igniter to the stove is securely plugged in. Loose-fitting can cause a huge problem. Wiggle and reconnect firmly if needed.

Step 3:Test Ignition

Turn the burner knob to light. If the igniter clicks but doesn’t spark, the issue is electrical. No click means the igniter itself is likely faulty.

Step 4: Replace Igniter

If cleaning doesn’t help, replace the faulty igniter, just the way you’d replace your burners. They cost around $30-50 and are easily swapped in minutes. Consult your owner’s manual to be sure about the replacement part number.

Step 5: Inspect Wires

Still not lighting after a new igniter? Issues like loose or damaged wires could be preventing electrical contact. Inspect wires and repair connections as needed.

Reasons Why Gas Stove Igniter Not Sparking After Cleaning?

Reasons Why Gas Stove Igniter Not Sparking After Cleaning

Frustration strikes when you’ve carefully cleaned the gas stove igniter, but it still refuses to spark. While gunked-up electrodes are a common cause of ignition failure, if cleaning doesn’t restore the sparking, something else is going on. 

Here are the most likely issues preventing successful ignition even after a thorough cleaning:

  1. Faulty Igniter – The ceramic heating element inside the igniter electrode eventually burns out after 5–10 years of use. If your stove is older, the igniter itself could be worn out and in need of replacement no matter how well you clean it.
  2. Poor Terminal Contact – Corrosion or loose, bent connections at the igniter wire terminals can disrupt the flow of electricity needed to create a spark. Check that the igniter spade connectors are plugged firmly and securely into the proper terminals on the valve or ignition module.
  3. Damaged Wires – Igniter wires that are cracked, worn out, or poorly connected can have gaps that prevent the voltage from successfully reaching the igniter electrode. Carefully inspect wires for fraying and repair or replace any defective wiring.
  4. Bad Control Valve – The gas control valves on your stove manage both gas flow and ignition voltage to the burners. An improperly operating valve may send weak or intermittent voltage to the igniter, preventing reliable sparking. Valves may need professional troubleshooting and eventual replacement if defective
  5. Insufficient Voltage – Weak sparks can mean the igniter isn’t getting enough electrical current and voltage to heat up properly. This often indicates a larger wiring issue that requires professional repair. 
  6. Wet Igniter – If cleaning leaves any moisture behind on the ceramic igniter tip or electrodes, ignition will fail. Be certain all parts are completely dry before reconnecting power and testing.

Tips to Prevent Damaging the Igniter During Cleaning

Take your time and be gentle. To avoid making problems worse when cleaning your gas stove igniter, make sure you keep the following in mind:

  • Disconnect power before you disable the part for your own safety.
  • Review the owner’s manual to ensure you follow the correct, guidance
  • Handle ceramic igniter gently – they’re quite fragile.
  • Clean with a soft cotton swab. Do not use hard tools or bristles. 
  • Use only isopropyl alcohol as a cleaner. Avoid chemical cleaners as much as possible..
  • Dry the igniter and connections fully before you go ahead and reconnect the power.
  • Ensure the igniter is aligned correctly with the burner after replacement. 

Key Takeaways  

While frustrating when they act up, gas stove igniters are repairable in most cases. With some troubleshooting and some, you can get your cooktop firing up in less than an hour.

Common Questions

Why won’t my gas stove igniter spark?

Common reasons include clogged/worn igniter, moisture, poor electrical connections, damaged wires, bad valves, or insufficient voltage. Cleaning and replacing defective parts fixes most issues.

How do I clean my stove’s igniter?

Turn off power and gas. Gently wipe the igniter tip with a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol to remove debris. Fully dry before reconnecting. Avoid bending the fragile electrode.

What do I do if my stove clicks but won’t light? 

If the igniter clicks but doesn’t spark, the issue is electrical. Check connections and wiring. No click means the igniter itself is likely bad and needs replacement.

Why does my new igniter still not work?

If a new igniter doesn’t fix ignition issues, suspect problems with wiring connections, voltage supply, or valves preventing proper sparking. A technician can diagnose.

How much does it cost to replace a stove igniter?

Expect to pay $30-50 for a new gas stove igniter, which is an easy DIY fix. Replacing wires or valves costs more in labor.

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