How to Fix Gas Stove Igniter in 5 Steps

How to Fix Gas Stove Igniter

Is your gas stove no longer lighting properly? Do you hear clicking, but no flames appear? Or is the fire too low or only light on some of the burners? These are all common signs that your gas stove igniter needs repair or replacement.

Don’t worry – fixing or replacing a broken stove igniter is an easy DIY project that you can tackle yourself in about 10-15 minutes without needing to call for expensive professional repair service.

In this detailed guide, you’ll learn:

  • Exactly how a gas stove igniter works
  • The step-by-step process for diagnosing igniter issues
  • How to fully remove and replace a faulty or broken igniter
  • Maintenance tips to prevent future igniter failure

By the end of this guide, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to get your gas stove lighting properly again with a simple igniter repair or replacement. Let’s get started!

What Does the Igniter Do in a Gas Stove?

The igniter is a crucial component that creates the spark needed to light the gas burners on your stove safely.

When you turn the control knob to light a burner, a switch allows gas to flow to that burner while also sending an electrical signal to the igniter, telling it to produce a spark. The igniter uses a resistor to build up heat and discharge an arc of electricity that serves as the ignition source for the burner.

This spark ignites the gas flowing from the burner, allowing your stove’s flame to turn on. This process happens each time you turn on a burner.

If the igniter is broken or malfunctioning, it won’t create a spark when you attempt to light the burner. Without this ignition source, the burners can’t turn on.

Fortunately, the igniter sits at the front of the stovetop and is easy to access and replace yourself. The specific location varies by model and brand.

Igniter Locations on Common Gas Stove Models

Knowing where to find the igniter on your particular stove model makes this repair project even simpler. Here are some of the most common configurations:

Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana – Front right corner of cooktop

Frigidaire, Kenmore – Behind the control panel near the right burners

GE – Front left below cooktop grate

LG – Front center below the grate

Samsung – Front left on the bracket

Consult your owner’s manual for the exact igniter location if needed. With the stove pulled out from the wall, take a minute to visually inspect the front and sides of the cooktop to find the small cylindrical or rectangular igniter secured in place along the edge.

How to Fix Gas Stove Igniter

Troubleshooting Your Stove Igniter:

Before replacing your igniter, it’s a good idea to diagnose the specific issue to confirm the igniter is, in fact, the problem.

Try troubleshooting with these simple steps:

Igniter Not Clicking?

If your burners completely fail to light and you hear no clicking sound when turning the control knob, the igniter likely isn’t sparking at all. This could mean:

  • Faulty igniter that needs replacement
  • The loose wire connection to the igniter
  • Broken wire preventing power from reaching igniter

First, try gently wiggling the igniter and wires while attempting to light a burner to rule out a loose connection.

Are you still waiting for a click? Proceed to fully remove and inspect the igniter following the steps later in this guide.

Igniter Clicks But Won’t Light?

In some cases, you’ll hear the distinctive rapid clicking sound when trying to light a burner, but no flame appears.

This indicates the igniter is working to create a spark, but the gas isn’t igniting. Potential causes include:

  • Weak igniter spark unable to light gas
  • Clogged gas ports on burner preventing gas flow
  • Broken control valve not releasing gas

Try cleaning the gas ports thoroughly with a straightened paperclip. If cleaning doesn’t help, replace the faulty igniter.

Weak Small Flame?

Does your stove still light but produce only a low, weak flame? This suggests the igniter is still working somewhat but needs replacing.

A high resistance in a damaged igniter prevents it from sparking at full strength. This results in a lower gas ignition and weaker flame. Replace the igniter to restore proper burner flames.

If only some of your burners have low flames, the issue could also be clogged gas ports only affecting those burners. Try cleaning the ports first before replacing the igniter.

Now that you’ve diagnosed the problem, fixing the issue is straightforward.

How to Remove and Replace Gas Stove Igniter:

Follow these simple step-by-step instructions to remove and install a new igniter:

Materials Needed:

  • Replacement igniter (match model # to your stove)
  • Small flathead screwdriver
  • Gloves for handling hot burner grates
  • Cloth to lay grates on
Step 1: Turn Off Gas Supply

For safety, always turn off the gas supply to the stove before starting any repairs. The shut-off valve is typically behind the stove or on the gas line leading into the furnace. Turn the handle clockwise to shut off the gas flow completely.

Step 2: Remove Burner Grates

Carefully lift out the top grates and centre grate on your stove if equipped. Be sure grates have fully cooled first to prevent burns. Place grates on a towel or cloth to avoid scratches.

Step 3: Remove the Igniter Retaining Clip

Locate the small metal clip securing the igniter. It will be along the front or side edge of the cooktop. Use a flathead screwdriver to pry the hookup and off the existing igniter gently. Set aside to reuse.

Step 4: Detach Igniter and Wires

Grasp the body of the igniter and carefully twist it counterclockwise to detach it from the burner base. The wires will still be connected, so be cautious not to bend them too much.

Step 5: Disconnect Wires and Remove

There will be two color-coded wires connected to the back of the igniter. Take note of which wire goes on which terminal. Gently detach the cables and fully remove the old igniter.

Step 6: Install New Igniter

Align the new replacement igniter into the opening and sit flush with the burner base. Reattach the two wires to the same terminals they were originally connected to.

Step 7: Secure Igniter

Double-check that the igniter is seated firmly against the base. Slide the metal retaining clip back over the new igniter and press down to lock it in place.

Step 8: Replace Grates

Set the burner grates back into their original positions on the cooktop.

Step 9: Restore Gas and Test

Turn the gas supply back on. Light each burner to ensure the new igniter sparks and ignites the flame properly.

And that’s it! With the new igniter installed, your gas stove burners should light quickly and reliably with a strong, even flame.

Igniter Replacement Parts and Cost

You’ll need to purchase a replacement igniter designed specifically for your make and model stove. The most popular gas stove brands and sample igniter part numbers and prices are:

  • Whirlpool WP9818414 – $15-25
  • GE WB18X5134 – $15-30
  • Frigidaire 316489400 – $20-40
  • Samsung DG32-00003D – $25-50

Genuine OEM igniters can be ordered through appliance parts stores online or purchased at your local hardware store. Off-brand generics are also available for less cost but may be lower quality. Plan to spend about $15-50, depending on your model.

5 Maintenance Tips to Prevent Future Igniter Failure

While igniters will degrade over time, you can maximize the lifespan through proper maintenance:

  • Clean stove top regularly – Prevent igniter corrosion by cleaning surface spills promptly.
  • Cover grates – Cover grates when not in use to protect igniter from spills and debris.
  • Check connections – Verify igniter wiring connections are tight. Replace loose or frayed wires.
  • Keep the igniter dry – Avoid water contact with the igniter, which can damage the sensitive electrical components.
  • Inspect often – Periodically inspect the igniter for damage or wear and replace it at the first sign of an issue.

Conclusion

Fixing a problematic gas stove igniter is one of the most common appliance repairs homeowners encounter. But as you’ve learned, it’s an easy and inexpensive DIY project. Follow the troubleshooting tips to accurately diagnose the issue and determine if a replacement is needed. Then, switch out the old igniter for a compatible new one using the step-by-step instructions. Your stove will be lighting smoothly again in no time.

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