If your gas cooktop has manifest one or multiple burners that simply won’t light no matter how long you try, it can be a major problem. While we all have our favorite burner to use, but there will be times when you want every burner to be in working order so you can efficiently cook those big amazing meals. However, while some homeowners may be wary of repairing their gas-powered appliances on their own, fixing burners that won’t light may not always be the involved repair that you expect it to be depending on the issue that is causing it.
What Causes Gas Burners Not to Light?
In most cases, there are three common causes that prevent a gas burner from working on your cooktop. By knowing these three common problems, you will know what to look for when making a repair. Some are more likely than others and some are also more difficult than others. It is best to know what is in your comfort zone to fix yourself and what you would rather leave to a professional.
Dirty Burner Heads
Many homeowners use their cooktop daily, and this leaves a lot of room for food particles and grease to get on the burner heads, no matter how neat of a cook you are. Even the act of cleaning your stove can push food particles into the small holes of the burner head that prevent gas flow and leads to slow or no ignition.
Luckily, this is the easiest issue to fix as it requires virtually no disassembly of your cooktop. The only thing you need to remove is the burner cap on top of the burner head that is not working. Once done, you may be able to visually see the build up in the small slots on the exterior of the burner head. If you are suffering from slow ignition, only a few holes may be blocked, but if the burner is not igniting at all, then the majority of the holes are likely blocked.
Fixing this issue is simple, you need a paper clip or any other small bit of wire, then you merely go around the burner head clearing the obstruction away. Make sure to remove any particles in a way that won’t simply push them back in the holes. You will also want to clean the ignition port as well. This is a small hole on the side of the burner head that will be aligned with the surface igniter.
Once clean and dry, placing the burner cap on in the right position should allow this burner to light in a few clicks. If it does not, it is time to consider other potential issues.
Faulty Spark Igniter
Sometimes the cause of a burner not working is because it is not getting a powerful enough spark to ignite the gas. To test the spark igniter, you will want to wait until you can get your kitchen reasonably dim. Once done, turn the knob to light your stove and observe the spark that your burner creates. Obviously, if you see no spark or attempt to ignite the burner at all, then your igniter simply is not working any longer. However, a healthy spark igniter should produce blue sparks that are powerful enough to ignite the gas. If it is instead producing orange sparks, it is faulty and will need to be replaced.
To access the spark igniter in order to replace it, you will need to disassemble your cooktop. As with any repair that requires you to disassemble your appliance, you need to be sure to cut the power to the appliance. In the case of gas appliances, you will also need to shut off the gas valve connected to your cooktop.
To access the spark igniter on your gas cooktop, you will need to start by removing the knobs, which should easily pull off. You will then need to remove the burner heads from each burner. There should be a nut in the center of the burner head that allows its removal. Once these two steps are completed, you will be able to remove the main top that reveals the wiring below.
With a replacement spark ignition on hand, remove the wiring from the spark igniter, after which it should simply pull out. You merely need to place the new igniter in position and reconnect the wires. If your igniter is not sparking at all, you may also want to consider replacing the igniter switch if replacing the electrode does not work.
Once done, reassemble your cooktop and test the igniter in the same way you did to test it for faults. You should see a blue spark and, hopefully, quick ignition after replacing it.
Loose Control Board Connector
Sometimes, a burner not igniting can be caused by a loose wire connection between the burner and the brain of you cooktop – the control board. However, checking this issue requires some disassembly. To access the connection wires, you need to start by disconnecting the power and shutting off the gas valve to your cooktop for safety. Once done, pull off the knob controls on the cooktop and remove the bolts from the burner heads so you can remove them as well. This will allow you to lift the main top off and reveal the wiring below.
Now that you have access, check the wiring that runs to the burner that does not ignite. Check each connection to make sure the wires are firmly seated and connected. You will also want to inspect the wiring itself for any nicks or breaks that could cause a short that will not allow the burner to light. With luck, you will find a loose wire connection and simply plugging it back in will fix your issue.
You can now reassemble your cooktop to test to see if this fixed the issue. However, if you found no sign of loose wires, you may want to consider that any of the issues above are contributing to this problem.