Gas Oven Won't Fully Heat Up

pacificanMay 8, 2010

I've had an all-gas Viking stove top/oven for about 8 years . . . recently, oven won't heat up beyond about 350 degrees (though broiler still works). Eg., if I turn the oven to 475, it will heat to 350 and heating light will remain on, but it won't go past 350.

What do you think is the problem here and how can I fix it?

Thanks a ton,

No More Luke Warm Pizza

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Your oven burner is apparently dead. Other Viking owners have reported similar problems like this in the past.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 10:15AM
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Weissman, what do you mean "oven burner"? Do you mean the ignitor? If so, ignitor's go eventually on any older oven, not just Viking.

Pacifican - it's a good chance it's your oven's ignitor. These do age after a while, and it is normal wear and tear for them to fail after a period like 8 years. And that would be for EVERY brand oven, not just Viking. If it is the ignitor, it is a simple fix. If you are handy, you can do it yourself. If you want a repair person to replace it, you should at least buy the ignitor yourself online, which will be much cheaper than buying it through your repairperson.

I am linking a thread which discusses my oven's ignitor replacement.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread about Oven Ignitor Replacement

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 11:08AM
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No, I'm not talking about the ignitor - I talking about the actual burner - the tube(?) with holes in it that the gas comes through and ignites. People with Vikings have reported that they had to have them replaced and were told that it was normal to have them replaced every 5 years or so - these owners were not pleased. You're correct that it could just be the ignitors but the OPs description made it sound like the other problem. I suspect those thread have rolled off by now.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 11:17AM
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I think akchicago is probably right.....
I believe your problems is that the ignitor has failed and does not put out enough amperage to keep the valves turned on for the burner to use as fuel. (it is most likely that only one of the ignitors has failed and the other is still working) So essentially, the burner comes on for a minute or so then it goes out because the valve shuts off. This happens on and off continuously, and the oven just cannot get hot enough. Watch the oven and see what happens. If the burner comes on and then shuts off after a short period even though the oven is not at the right temperature, then this is your problem. You can see the flame come on below the metal plate at the bottom of the oven cavity.

If this has gone on (on/off ignitor cycle) for a long time, then ignitor can actually completely fail and does not glow at all. Which means that only 1 of two burners will show coming on. Either way, I would try replacing the ignitors first.

If both burners come on (even for short periods of time), that means that the burner is working fine. All gas burners more or less work on venturi principle (the tube with holes) and it is extremely hard to make them fail because there is no moving parts or electrical parts. Most burners fail due to metal breakdown, ie heat or rust. I doubt that this is the problem.

I just replaced my Viking ignitors for about $60.00. You can replace them with any ignitor that is shaped the same. Do the search on line for how to replace these ignitors.

I have multiple apliances with gas burners and I have never had a burner fail. I have had many ignitors give me trouble, however. This is the nature of these appliance. If someone tells you that it is the burner, then they have to show you failed burner, ie rusted/broken down metal tube. Otherwise, they have just swindled you.

Ceramic ignitors are used in nearly all pilotless gas burners, ie gas furnaces, ovens, gas fireplaces etc, and they go out after certain number of cycles. Most BBQs do not (cannot without electricity) have these since they use spark type of ignition.

Viking part was about $100 to $150 each and you need two of them since there are two burners in the oven. If you or your spouse is handy, this is a very easy job. We chose to use after market part for less than 1/2 the price. (We bought them on e-bay. Try Viking oven ignitor search) We decided that even if it failed after couple years, we know how to replace them quickly and cheaply. It's still going strong after countless pizza bakes.

BTW, by the time the repairman comes and replaces the ignitors with Viking parts, you are out minimum $500. This is one of the reasons a cheap gas range would not get ignitors replaced but tossed!

Good luck. I am a very happy camper to have my oven back for $60 total so we can make our weekly homemade pizzas.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 7:43PM
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These do age after a while, and it is normal wear and tear for them to fail after a period like 8 years.

REALLY? Is that the case nowadays?

I did not have an ignitor fail in my 1981 Kenmore Range for the first 22 years.

I have read of ignitors cracking on Bluestar ranges if you move them with say a rag and slam it against the cook-top or slam it with a pan.

But "normal wear and tear" after only 8 years?

This is the first I have heard of this.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 8:45PM
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Deeageaux, look, I'm just trying to help the OP. I'm not sure what you are getting at with your post.

Do you have an electronic ignitor on your 1981 Kenmore? Or is it a spark ignitor? Is it a Hot Surface Ignitor? Hot Surface Ignitors (HSI's) are what are installed in almost all ranges today, including the Viking, Whirlpool, GE, Dacor, Wolf, Capital, Kitchenaid, and all the other commonly known brands. HSI's do not last 21 years.

Besides just aging, HSI's can decline due to subtle variations in voltage that the homeowner may not even be aware, with exposure to cleaners, and even from a light grease coating.

And, even when an HSI does not fail, it becomes weak over time. The oven may seem to be working, but actually takes a very long time to reach temperature, or clicks on and off too frequently, or cannot maintain the oven temperature, or allows a smell of gas (when gas is released into the oven but is not igniting). All these things are a result of an HSI aging and signal that it needs to be replaced.

Deeageaux, 5-8 years is more typical of HSI's. Do a search on the 'net and you will read that. It's good news for the OP. I am glad that the OP will have an easy inexpensive repair to get her oven back to working order.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 10:01PM
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Seems strange that folks will spend thousands on gas kitchen appliances and not be bothered buying the most obvious spares for failure prone components before they need them.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 1:51PM
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Based on the above comments and my own research, I have decided to go with a switchout on the igniters (the symptoms and remedy appear to be rather common in my model).

Incidentally, I contacted Viking on line and have yet to receive a response.

Anyway, I went ahead and ordered 2 new igniters for baking oven. Going with "generic" ignitors (almost a 50% savings over OEM). Again, based upon what I've read on line these generics appear to work as well OEMs.

Should have parts shortly, will let y'all know the results. Thanks for the quick and, at times, spirited response . . . .

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 1:57PM
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Deeageaux, look, I'm just trying to help the OP. I'm not sure what you are getting at with your post.

My point is ignitors should last alot longer,particularly on such an expensive oven.

But if it performs fantastically then I guess it could be considered part of the price. Like high performance cars that require more maintenence than a typical Honda or Toyota.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 4:25PM
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I have a gas Viking stove and recently one of the burners would come on and not the other but the flame is weak, the ignitors are glowing hot on both sides, when I bang on the bottom of the stove both burners come on at full power then they go down and turn off. I cleaned the burners, the ignitors
look ok, I'm thinking, could it be a flame sensor or something else?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 9:11AM
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