HELP - Stove igniters out of control!


Old 01-08-00, 11:01 AM
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I have a Maytag gas cooktop with igniters on each burner. For the last few months I've had a problem with getting 3 of them to ignite on their own. It seems the bottom-left burner has taken control of all the rest - in other words I turn on the top-right burner and the bottom-left igniter starts popping while the top-right just blows gas. But if I turn on the bottom-left burner first, then the others will ignite just fine. So if I want to heat more than one pot, I have to always use the bottom-left, just so the others will work. Now that's just half of it - yesterday I turn off the bottom-left after cooking and it starts throwing out a spark about every 30 seconds - and all 4 burners are completely off! I finally had to unplug the darn thing and resort to using matches so I can continue to eat!
I would appreciate if someone could tell me whats going on and if I need to replace the "bad" burner or just the igniters or what!!?

Thank you,
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Old 01-08-00, 07:00 PM
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Hello Baddog:

What you discribed in your first paragraph is exactly how the stoves top burners are suppose to work. One knob is always the main switch to lite the others in case of some other parts failure.

What's most likely the cause of the spark ignitors failing to spark is debris on or around the electrode.

Second cause may be a loose or unconnected wire to either one or more of the ignitors or switches.

The switches are setted directly on the gas valve directly beneath the cover. Carefully remove all the knobs to access those swicthes.

Another cause of either spark failure, continous or intermittent sparking for no apparent reason is moisture on the switches caused from cleaning or an overspill.

<Liquid, {{{like water, which is an excellent conductor of electricity}}} between those tiny switches.>

Most rare causes can be a crossed electrical wires in the wall recepticle, <which will cause reversed polarity and is sure death on the spark module> no ground or a bad ground.

Possible correction measures would be to unplug the wall plug, remove the knobs, raise the lid, remove any thin clear plastic circular covers <if there are some and if not, they should be installed> and use a common hair dryer to dry out the switches.

While under there, check for loose or disconnected wires and clean any debris on the burner heads and the area around the spark ignitors. <A pipe cleaner works best on the sparkers.> CAUTION: Do not bend those sparker wires. The gap between them and the burner head is critical.

Once you have done all this and they still fail to work correctly, you still have 2 choices left.

Turn on that main burner to ignite it and also another one you want to use, then close the main burner. <Use the main to lite another one, then close it.> Or continue to use a match as you have done.

Give it up and call your local natural gas utility for service or a stove repair company.

You may have a defective electronic spark module, one or more defective spark ignitors and or switches.

Good Luck

TomBartco Enterprises.
Trade:Natural Gas Energy Consultant & Technician.
Appliance Service & Repairs Rep.
Vocation:Saw & Tool Sharpening and Small Engine Repairs.
Accurate Power Equipment Company.
E-Mail:[email protected]

Personal Quote: "Drive Safely. The Life You Save,
May Be Your Own."

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