Stove Ignition Problem

Old 04-01-03, 07:38 AM
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Question Our stove is possessed!

Help! Our Whirlpool Supercapacity 465 gas stove/oven has taken on a life of its own. All of a sudden when we're in another room or doing nothing near it, the auto ignition will start clicking on its own! (You hear the "click click" of ignition that you normally hear when you turn the knob to start a burner.)

What can cause this? Ballpark cost of repair? Thanks!

Old 04-01-03, 03:06 PM
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Hey, I'm no pro like Jeff, but I will give you my $.02 here. I have seen some stove like yours that the micro switches behind the front cover go bad. These switches are mounted around the shaft(s) of the burner controls. What has happened in the past is either to much water, oven cleaner is used behind the front panel and under the stove top. Or not enough is used and grease builds up in the switch and starts to short it out.

Prior to touching any wires behind the front panel....UNPLUG THE STOVE.....these wires are hot even when the stove is off!!!!

Sometimes you will be able to find the offending switch by wiggling the knob on the front of the stove, without turning it. If the switch is dirty or broken it will start your clicking sound. Clean or replace that switch.

If you decide to replace the switch. Take it with you to the parts house as there are quite a few differant types and they all start to look the same.
Old 04-01-03, 07:54 PM
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Several Possibilities

Hello Bekka and Welcome to my Gas Appliances topic.

There could be several possibilites for the problem you described. Below is the most common of possible problem areas.

Starting with the simple possibilities, test the electric switches located on the gas valves for continuity. There should not be any when the valves are off.

Be sure to unplug the stove prior to testing. It's possible one of the switches is closed completing the circuit.

Sparkers do go bad, so it could also be a defective one. Each sparker has a wire that pulls off the sparker element body. You can disconnect one at a time and test to see if the sparking stops.

If the sparking continues, then reconnect that one and disconnect another. Continuing with each sparker one at a time until you locate the one that may be causing the problem. The one that stops the sparking is the culprit.

The sparking modual may be defective. In this case, you can remove it and have it tested. If it tests bad, replace it.

If ALL the sparkers are sparking, the most likely cause is a defective capacitor in the spark modual. Spark moduals are not repairable. The entire part must be replaced. Replacements are available at the local appliance retail parts store listed in the phone book.

Another possibility is moisture during the cleaning process found it's way onto one or more of the switches. Excessively wet sponges or cleaning cloths allow water to get onto the switches, which will cause this problem, if applicable.

If this happens to be the case, then remove everything on the stove top and lift the lid, if applicable, since not all stoves have liftable top lids.

Remove any clear plastic covers on the valve stems, if applicable and pass warm air over the switches using a common hair blow dryer. The idea here is to dry out the moisture, if there is any. Don't laugh....this hair dryer trick often works!...

Another cause could be reversed electrical polarity. The plug end will have 3 prongs. It must be directly connected into a properly wired and grounded wall recepticle. Reversed electrical polarity over a long duration of time will destroy the spark module.

DO NOT use 2 prong extension cords to lenghten the existing appliances electrical wire. DO NOT bypass the grounding pin on the end of the appliances electrical cord. Doing either of these will also damage the spark module.

If you attempt to do any repairs, be sure the electrical power is turned off or the stove is unplugged. If you choose not to do the repairs yourself, contact the dealer's local service agency. Until then...unplug the appliance and light the burners with a match.

The only positive proof any part like a spark modual is functioning correctly, is to carefully remove the part or parts you suspect to be the potential culprits and have the local appliance parts store person do the required tests to determine which part or parts are defective.

Retail parts dealers can also help determine what the possible problem may be. Bring the make, model and serial numbers. Appliance parts dealers carry replacement parts for all appliances and are listed in the phone book under appliances.

An excellent source for orginal replacement parts is your local retail appliance parts store. Appliance parts dealers test and carry replacement parts for all appliances.

Regards & Good Luck.
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