Range Burner Doesn't Light

CassandraMarch 15, 2010

Can anyone help pinpoint the problem? I've scoured the internet but surprisingly can't find advice as to whether I can attempt to fix this myself or not. Its a Frigidaire range, a few years' old, with sealed burners. Three work just fine. The fourth clicks and sparks, but doesn't light. There's also a gas smell. If it sparks and there is gas coming out, what can be wrong? Thanks for any responses!

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Most ranges use only one or two igniter circuits.

Look very carefully at the electrode for the burner that is not lighting while the clicking is occurring.

You should clearly see the spark.
You may hear one or more of the other burners also sparking.
It can be easier to see the spark in subdued light.

If the non-igniting burner is sparking, check the burner cap near the electrode to see if any of the holes are clogged. Carefukl use if a straightened paper clip often works to clear the jets.
Do not use a toothpick unless you can easily remove the burner. There is a chance of breaking the point off inside the burner.

If the burner is not sparking you will probably need to call the repair man.
The missing spark could be due to a broken high voltage wire in the stove, and you must use the correct wire for these connections.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 8:36PM
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brickeyee, many thanks for your help. I clearly see a spark from the electrode, and I smell a whiff of gas, but it still will not light. I did take the burner off and cleaned it: in fact, the stove is only about two years old and I'm not sure I ever used this burner at all so far (it is the "simmer" burner). So there's not any build up of gunk or grease on it at all. I will attempt to clean it again today just in case. If not a cleaning issue, is there anything else I can do short of calling the $$$ repair man?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 11:32AM
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When the burner is off look in the holder to make sure there is nothing in there.

It is pretty rare for the gas not to light if the spark is active on the burner.

The usual problem is no spark even though it is present on other burners.

You can try and look carefully and see if the spark at the working burners is the same size and color.
The sparks should have a blue core to them.
If the spark is yellow it may be weak.

Aluminum burners form aluminum oxide that is not a good conductor.

Leftover residue from cleaning agents can also add resistance to the ground path from the burner and weaken the spark.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 9:46PM
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I have seen the hole where the gas comes out get plugged up. Look at the others for hole location then verify an open passage. Clean out if necessary.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 12:56AM
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Do you have the booket that came with the stove? I think mine on the simmer burner had different directions than other 3 burners. I think you had to turn it way on for it to start & then back up after I got a flame. I never use it as I'm very sensitive to gas. Booklet might give you the answer.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 1:41AM
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marita40, you said you took the burner off.

Have you tried to swap it with another burner that lights and see if it works there? Also put one you know works in its place and see if it lights.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 4:21PM
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Thanks for your responses (everyone but the SPAM Sears guy, that is!) After much trial and error, the issue seems to be the fit of the burner. For some reason the burner has just a bit of play to it when its on: it can be turned just a hair this way or that. So I think I've learned to turn it just right to light. At least it is now working some of the time. . . Anyway, it is definitely not a cleaning problem or anything else--just the slight angle of the burner.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 7:37PM
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