Magic Chef Range Ignition Problem

Old 07-30-09, 05:22 PM
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Magic Chef Range Ignition Problem

I got a Magic Chef gas range with a house purchase and it seems to be in excelllent condition although it was installed in 1992. It is in a summer use only house so I don't expect it ever got much use.

My problem is this: It has a pilotless ignition and of the 4 top burners, 2 work very well: turn on the knob and click-click-click, 3 or 4 spark cycles and those 2 light right up. I guess its the way the range is set up: all 4 ignitors spark with any one knob on ?

Of the other 2: one is sort of intermittent even though there is a pretty good spark across the electrodes but the 4th burner has what I would describe as an intermittent/sometimes spark and I won't leave it on long enough to see if it will light.

I have a couple of questions: It seems that with a pan on the grate, the burners light more quickly ? (except for number 4) Am I crazy ? I seem to think when the stove is warmed up, ie has run for a while, the burners light more easily ?

With the symptoms described and the range's age, is there something I ought to just replace ? In contrast to what I recall from the old days, the top does not hinge up so taking a look under the top will require some disassembly.

The sparkers (I guess electrodes and their insulators would be a better name) all appear to be in good condition.

Any ideas where to start will be appreciated. There is seemingly good gas flow and the flow seems to be well controlled with each individual knob.

This is a model # 34JA-3TKXW (on )
Old 07-31-09, 06:05 AM
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Hello: bobfoley1276

Yes. All 4 sparkers are suppose to spark when only one burner knob is activated. Regardless of which knob is turned on. All four sparkers will spark. That's the way the system is set up.

Burners will light more quickly and easily when a pan or pot is on top of the grate. Reason is, the gas is forced sideways toward the sparker and not directly upward away from the burner.

Primary reason why some burners may light more easily and/or quickly is the air to fuel ratio. Those burners that light more quickly have a slightly richer fuel to air ratio. Those that light more slowly have less fuel and more air.

What you can due is richen the fuel mixture to those burners that light more slowly. But only a tiny bit and only if the burner tube has an air shutter. Which will be located on the end of the burner tube.

Be aware, not all newer cooking stoves and/or cooking ranges have air shutters. Many now have fixed air openings and fixed fuel orifices. Orifices are the brass or bronze hex nuts the burner tubes or burners sit on.

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Old 07-31-09, 06:09 AM
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Look closely at the spot where the spark contacts the metal. The usual culprit is corrosion, dirt, or food spil residue preventing the spark from completing the circuit. If that's ok, look underneath the top- check the connections at both ends of the wires for corrosion and see if maybe "visitors" have feasted on the insulation which would cause the spark to ground out upstream of an ignitor. Let us know how you make out. Thanks.
Old 08-17-09, 05:03 AM
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Magic Chef range ignition

I finally got back to looking at the replies

All the comments are consistent to what I observe. With regards to the ignitors: All but one seem to spark pretty well. I will check the 'non sparker' to see if there is some crud on the tips.

Otherwise I am guessing there is an acceptable wire connection. The three others all spark pretty well.

I am not sure there are any adjustments on this model. I will take a closer look at the top-gas tubes but the top does not open, it requires taking out some unseen screws to get under the top cover.

From the manual its seems there are not many, if any adjustments available.

Used the oven for the first time the other day. Interesting controller. You just set the temp, and pooff..... up and running. Took a minute or two to figure that out.

I will let you know what I find


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