Safety question, gas cooktop

myrtle_59October 5, 2012

We have a dual fuel, double oven ge profile freestanding range. We have had it about 5 years.

The gas cooktop has no pilot but electric igniters. If you turn the knob quickly it does not ignite but does let gas flow. There doesnt appear to be any kind of safety mechanism. Today we found the back burner hissing but not lit. We have no idea how long this had been going on, if the dog jumped on the stove or we somehow turned it on unknowingly.

A man who came to the house recentlynto repair a dishwasher checked with 'the engineer' who said, its working correctly, that is just an on/off switch on the cooktop on that model.

Is this working correctly, ie nomsafety mechanism to make sure burner is lit. Do the newer gas cooktops work the same way, ie no safety mechanism?


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something is wrong - if there's no flame the ignitors are supposed to start clicking until the burner lights - this has been the case for at least 10 years and probably more.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:08PM
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They click when you are at the point on the dial where the igniter goes on but it younturn it halfway quickly you go right past the clicky section and just get the gas.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:26PM
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Also, on today's models, is the clicky sound the only safety feature? I dont think the dog or a small child would know how to interpret and deal with that. I cannot believe with all the safety concerns we have that we have gne backwards with gas ranges.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:33PM
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Not true - on my range, if the flame goes out at any position on the dial, the ignitors will start clicking to relight it - happens with boilovers and if I blow the flame out - may not be true on all ranges.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:59PM
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Ours doesnt do that. May i ask what brand and year yours is?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 11:33PM
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My grandmother has a Whirlpool gas range bought less than two months ago. It functions as per myrtle_59's reference ... the burner ignitors spark ONLY at the designated position on the dial. Turn past it too quick, the gas stays on, no sparking. Truthfully, I haven't tried lighting a burner then trying to blow the flame out to see if it re-ignites. I have turned the control too quickly past the spark point and there was a strong gas odor with no sparking, although I didn't leave it that way for more than a couple seconds so I also can't honestly say if it would have eventually started sparking.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 12:10AM
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I have a DCS range purchased in 2002.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 12:14AM
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A second, less common safety mechanism turns the gas off entirely if a thermocouple senses it's become too cool even though the controls are set for the gas flame to be on, and thus the flame must have gone out. This is safer since if the clicking spark plug fails to reignite the flame, it will still pour unburned gas into your home. But if you hear hissing but no flame, something is wrong.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 9:50AM
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Myrtle's stove is functioning as designed. I recently replaced a decade-old GE dual-fuel stove (J2B900 series). It operated exactly as Myrtle described.

Some gas ranges come with a re-ignitor but many do not.

Re-ignitors tend to be features of more expensive stoves like DCS (which Weissman has), NXR (which I have), Wolf, etc.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 1:10PM
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Thanks, everyone. We may go electric just for the safety issue. What a shame. I just don't get it. What about people with young children? How can they risk such a stove.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 1:36PM
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Generally on stoves such as yours (and mine as well) you can't just turn the knob, you have to first depress it in order to turn it. I think that's considered the safety mechanism with young children. Also, presumably you're somewhere nearby if a young child is near the stove - it's actually more dangerous to the child in the short term if the burner actually lights than if it just spews out gas.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 1:58PM
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