GE Oven Won't Stay Lit

Sugar PlumDecember 15, 2013

I have a GE slide-in gas range, 15+ years old. It has developed a problem with the oven ignition. When I try to operate the oven, I set the digital temp and press bake as usual. However, the digital display goes back to neutral without lighting the stove, and I have to go through the start process several times (up to 8 or 10 times) before it lights. And now, after it lights, the preheat will start counting up the degrees, and then the oven will cut off again. Last night, I had to go through the start process about 15 times to get to and stay at 400 degrees. Once the oven gets past 200 degrees, it seems to stay on. Is this the oven ignition or the digital controls acting up? Is it worth fixing or time to replace?

Thanks for any advice or insight!

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Are you saying you own a 15 year old stove that has had no repairs or regular service visits at all during that time?

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 9:53PM
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Sugar Plum

Pretty much. When we purchased our home 15 years ago, the stove was 1.5 years old. One of the burners was set too high, and a GE technician adjusted the burner prior to us closing on the house.

My husband replaced the door hinges about two years ago.

Other than that, the stove has been problem-free. The issue with the oven not staying lit is recent - the past two months. I know we have gotten a good long life from this appliance, but if the fix is something simple, I would repair rather than replace because it has been a reliable stove.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 2:15PM
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If you haven't done so already, you might reset the breaker. Even a 15 year old GE range has a control board and it's possible it's just out of wack from an electrical jolt. Leave the breaker off for about 30 seconds. That's where I'd start - always try the easy and free stuff first.

The oven igniter or the relay for the oven may need replacement. Get spouse to lift the oven floor, maybe also take off the drawer and take a look around. He should be able to watch the ignition sequence. It might help.

When our 7 year old profile died, we did that - found a bad igniter with burnt wiring and rusted out areas around it down there. That's when the repair started to be pretty expensive. If yours isn't burnt, the igniter is pretty inexpensive and an easy surgery.

It's just as likely that the control board is dying and you need a new one. I've never done that kind of surgery, at 15 years old, it's pretty much due though. I always laughed at a relative's jennaire. She spends about $500 every year to replace its board.

Just so you know, this is pretty much the entirety of what I know. I got through most of life cooking on old ranges with pilot lights - crap, but I never had a range repaired until this year.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 6:05PM
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You might try two simple things first if you are a bit handy:

Try replacing the oven ignitor with a new one.

If that doesn't help:

If you or someone you know is familiar with the term "extracting, cleaning, and reseating printed circuit boards in their sockets" without busting them, try that.

Here is a link that might be useful: You tube examples ignitor problem

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 1:21AM
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Sugar Plum

Thank you, bmorepanic and laat2, for your helpful replies!

I will work through your suggestions -- checking and replacing the ignitor should be in my range of capabilities.

If that isn't the issue, I will probably be in the market for a new stove, as I'm not sure we can handle circuit board cleaning or replacement.

Thank you for giving me some troubleshooting direction!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 7:00AM
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Having just done that problem, with a 17 yr old GE...try changing the igniter. For us (we had the repair guys do it), that wasn't it--the igniter was, indeed, bad, but changing it just led to it breaking again. Repair guys replaced it again (no charge) & said the doomed words of "we checked the wiring & stuff, if this doesn't fix it, it's the board--and they don't make replacement part for that anymore". Alas, we now have a new range... But do try the igniter, you might get lucky!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 7:02AM
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