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How to fix Capital Culinarian burner "starters"?

Posted by BillWA (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 31, 14 at 20:47

I'm hugely disappointed in having to post this, but I'm at the end of my own knowledge on this problem.

I bought a Culinarian 36" 6-burner rangetop for our new construction home mid-2012, and it was not actually in use until Oct. 2012 (it sat for 3-4 months waiting for the kitchen to be ready). In any case, fast forward to Oct. 2013, and 2 burners will not light up.

One "starter" will click 1-5 times before stopping, without lighting the burner, the other will not click at all. I've tried swapping the burners (unhooking the wire and moving the whole burner to another position), and the burners in the "bad" positions will light fine in one of the other four positions. So the burner/ignitor is not the issue.

I reached out to Eurostoves/Trevor, since I bought it from them and have parts warranty (labor is only 1 year). He forwarded my issue to Capital. Waited, and nothing from them. Finally had time to call during the day (we just had our daughter at the end of Oct. 2013), and talked to Ever. He asked that I check the switch behind the knob, and it looked fine. I even took time to take off the knobs, bezel, so I can remove the front "plate" to get better view/access to the switches that complete the circuit for the ignitor, everything seems fine, and electricity is present, checked with a multi-meter (don't do this if you're not confident, there is live wiring behind that plate).

I'm open to doing the work myself, only if I know how to further diagnose what part I need, since I can most likely do the work myself. My wife is peeved that we spent more (my decision) on the rangetop, and it was not 3x better (in her eyes) than the sealed burner GE unit in the old house. Yes, it boils water quicker, and has more BTUs, but I'm starting to lean towards her side in that it doesn't seem to be worth 3x the money at this point.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How to fix Capital Culinarian burner "starters"?

Have you put good burners in the "bad" positions and do they work? Also, have you tried lighting the bad burners manually with a match? These will help you isolate the issue a little more. It's possible you're not getting gas through to those burners. At some point you may need a service call.


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RE: How to fix Capital Culinarian burner "starters"?

Yes, I did swap the "known good" burners into the bad positions and they did not light, so the burner itself is not the issue. The gas is not a problem because I can hear and smell gas when I turn the knob to "light".

The issue is that one bad burner does not spark/click long enough, and the other bad one does not spark/click at all. The clicking is supposed to start as soon as you push in, before rotating the knob away from the off hash mark.

If I have time during "business hours" next week, I will try calling Capital again. Emailing them does not seem to get a response.


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RE: How to fix Capital Culinarian burner "starters"?

First of many caveats- I don't own a Culinarian. So, what I'm going to relate is based on the Bluestar. Second- if you're going to work on or test your stove, unplug the damn thing first.

Bluestar's service manual has a list of things to check when having igniter issues:

1) Power- if some work then you obviously have power
2) Broken igniter- if moving the burners that don't work (with igniters) to working positions is successful, then this isn't the case (also if moving previously working burners to bad positions doesn't get the position to work).
3) Pinched wire- you hadn't mentioned whether you looked for this; basically a wire grounding somewhere other than the igniter
4) Valve switch- it isn't clear from your earlier description, but what you want to check is for continuity across the switch. With the power off, check the resistance across the switch in normal and switched positions. In the normal position, resistance ought to be infinite (off), and in the switched position, it ought to be near zero (on).
5) Bad spark module- if you've eliminated the others successfully (including #6), then that's what you're left with. I have no idea whether your Culinarian has a single or multiple modules. My Bluestar had two modules that I replaced with a single one after one failed. Hopefully, Capital will provide it, because it can be a bit tricky to track one down otherwise. I ended up getting an updated one (thus, going from two modules to one) from a dealer that sells Viking parts (they all use the same Invensys or other components).
6) Too big a gap- this ought to be #2, but Bluestar put it last. Make sure the igniter-to-burner gap isn't too big to make a spark. I think you eliminated this possibility by moving the burners to other positions and having them work.

I'd focus on #3, #4, and #5. Also, if you do take off the front to look at the module, make sure that the wire connections there are solid. Good luck.


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RE: How to fix Capital Culinarian burner "starters"?

I notice that on my bluestar, when that issue happened, it was due to the wire that runs to the igniter was touching the metal drip tray underneath. Do I took the grates off and hung the wire up with twist ties, and the problem was resolved.


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RE: How to fix Capital Culinarian burner "starters"?

I would say its a intermittent module issue, Clicking issues can only be ignitor or module. When you speak to him tell him to send you a new module.


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RE: How to fix Capital Culinarian burner "starters"?

I can second gtadross's findings but on an American Range Performer. A wire was pinched and contacting the drip tray causing all sorts of weirdness on the left side burners. I taped it up with electrical tape and zip tied it out of the way and no issues since. Shorts cause very odd and, potentially dangerous issues.


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RE: How to fix Capital Culinarian burner "starters"?

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I was only able to check the orange wire going to the sparker on the burners, and they are secured to a rail/bar well above the drip tray. The wires appear to be fine and the insulation intact, so it does not appear to have any "raw" wire touching the bar it is secured to.

I swapped burners again just to be sure, and sure enough, the burner from the bad location works fine in a good location. As well as a burner from a good location, would no longer click/light when put into a bad location. I have two bad locations, front left and center back.

I also confirmed that there is faint clicking from a good "module" when I completely disconnect the burner sparker from the orange wire. There is no clicking noise from the bad ones, with or without being connected to the burner sparker. I didn't have time to take the front plate off again to check the switches. I think I have enough to get Capital to send me new modules. I just need enough time during the day to call, hopefully without a long wait.


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RE: How to fix Capital Culinarian burner "starters"?

So I finally managed to get some time during the day to call Capital. Cesar called me back and said that the cooktop only has a 1 year parts/labor warranty, and did not have a 5 year parts warranty. I said that is not correct, even in the manual it said there is a 1 year parts/labor, and a 5 year parts warranty. Then he said that, well, ummm, the spark module would not be covered anyway.

So I called Eurostoves again and hopefully Trevor can help here (I just left a message for him), as Capital is basically shrugging this off for them. I basically told Cesar before ending our call that I cannot and will not recommend their products, and he did not seem to care.


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RE: How to fix Capital Culinarian burner "starters"?

Trevor called back and he will have the parts sent out to me. My misunderstanding here was the *3* year parts warranty is through Trevor. I will update when the parts arrive and put in.

If you're going to buy a Capital range or cooktop, buy it from Trevor!

Still a little taken aback by Capitals customer service. I don't know if the problems in my cooktop with the spark module is common or not, but their (Capital's) response has been subpar to me. Perhaps they feel like with a purchase like these, repeat customers are going to be rare.


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RE: How to fix Capital Culinarian burner "starters"?

I agree about buying from trevor. If I lived in the US I would have bought my bluestar from him back when he was a bluestar guy. Luckily with my experience with my bs I wouldn't have needed him, but the peice of mind is worth it...and I think he deserves the business considering all the people he has helped out even when they didnt buy from him.


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