How To Repair A Gas Range That Will Not Light

About this repair:
  • Rated as EASY
  • 358 repair stories
  • 4 step by step videos

Hot Surface Igniter

On a newer gas oven, the burners release and set fire to the gas via an igniter called the hot surface igniter. The ignitor is a very fragile thing, whether it’s the round or the flat type. It works like a chain reaction: turning on the oven sends electricity to the igniter, causing it to heat red-hot. This makes the two metals in the oven safety valve contort enough to open the valve and set the gas aflame. This chain reaction takes about 60 seconds in a working oven. And a persistently cold oven could be the result of any break along the chain. A burner that won’t light could be connected to an igniter with no power coming into its circuit. Have a repairperson check the circuit for electricity, since this is a live voltage check. If there is indeed power coming to the igniter, and it is open circuit, a multi-meter can be used to run a continuity check. It may be that, while the igniter is glowing, it’s still insufficiently hot to open the valve: this can be checked by your repairperson with an amp meter. A defective igniter can’t be repaired: replacement is the only option.

Oven Safety Valve

One possibility when your oven won’t heat up is a failure of the oven safety valve, otherwise known as the gas valve. This part, which doesn’t often break, ensures that gas only comes to the oven when the igniter is hot enough to light up the gas. The igniter that controls the oven safety valve sits right by the burner, and if it does not glow hot enough when you turn the oven on, you’ll need to have a repairperson do a live voltage check to ensure there’s sufficient electricity flowing to that circuit. If there’s no electrical continuity at all in the terminals for the safety valve, use a multi-meter to see if the break in electrical flow is happening at the bi-metal in the valve.

Electronic Control Board

If you have a newer stove that’s not restaurant-style, it’s likely that the oven is controlled by an electronic control board. It functions like the brain of the stove, managing the broil and bake functions of an electric range as well as the oven safety valve of a gas one. If your igniter is not lighting, there may not be a power output to it at the electronic control board. When power’s not flowing to the circuits for the igniter or elements, the output relay needs to be checked at the control board – by a trained professional because of the risk of electric shock. That repairperson can help you determine whether the control needs replacement due to a lack of voltage output.

Temperature Sensor

It’s possible that the reason your oven is cold is a fault in the temperature sensor, which regulates oven temperature in modern ranges, like a thermostat. It’s located on the back wall of the inside of your oven, the top. On a newer oven, there may be a fault code displayed. Check your owner’s manual or the manufacturer website to find out the proper resistance of the temperature sensor, unplug the oven, and use a multi-meter to see if your sensor’s at the correct resistance.

More Repair Parts

Still not sure which part is broken? We can offer you custom troubleshooting help if you search with your model number.