GE Monogram range igniters malfunctioning


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Old 03-21-24, 01:36 PM
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GE Monogram range igniters malfunctioning

I have a GE Monogram 30" range, I believe it is model ZGU384NSMSS. We are having two separate intermittent problems with both of the left side burners:
  • Often (but not always), the igniter fails to spark when we turn the gas on to the left burners. We have to either light them with a match, or by turning the malfunctioning burner's gas on and then turning on one of the functioning right-side burners which causes all of the igniters to spark.
  • Occasionally (but not always), the igniters on the left burners continue to click continuously after the burners are lit. Usually this lasts 20 minutes or so and then eventually slows down and becomes intermittent before finally stopping.
 
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Old 03-21-24, 04:09 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Just confirming while I check out the manual....that is a five burner drop-in cooktop ..... correct ?
 
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Old 03-21-24, 04:41 PM
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It's a four-burner drop-in cooktop, as seen on this page: https://appliances.monogram.com/us/specs/ZGU384NSMSS
 
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Old 03-21-24, 05:37 PM
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Right.... sorry. I had the ZGU385 in mind.

That use a four port re-ignition spark module.
With some... when you turn the gas knob on only that burner sparks.
With this module any gas knob turned on will activate the spark on all four burners.
So if one or more gas valves don't start the spark process.... there may be be a bad switch on that burner.
When the gas valve for a burner is on... the module senses if the flame is present. The flame presents a "short" from the igniter to the burner. If the igniter doesn't spark during ignition it's probably cracked, wet or other wise damaged. Any foreign substance that creates a short to ground on the igniter will render it inoperative.

The igniter electrode naturally catches liquid.

I make sure the electrodes are clean first. This can be done without opening the appliance.
Page 13: electrode cleaning
In the manual below illustrates how to check the burner switches.

Downloadable service manual
 
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Old 03-21-24, 06:47 PM
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Thanks - I'll try cleaning the electrodes. The manual just says to clean it with a "soft cloth" - so I should just wipe it with a dry cloth, no liquids or cleaners needed?
 
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Old 03-21-24, 07:15 PM
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Clean the metal portion of the electrode with a soft cloth.
That's a misprint. The text doesn't match the picture.
Clean the ceramic portion with a clean cloth.
You can polish the metal electrode with an emery board or fine emery paper.
Do it gently.
 
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Old 03-22-24, 06:54 PM
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Needed to add more info.....

The burner head has holes and slots where the gas comes out.
It's very common for some of these openings to get plugged by a spill.
It very important that the openings near the electrode are open to support a flame there.
 
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Old 03-27-24, 03:06 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I cleaned the electrode with an emery board and the ceramic part with a soft cloth. The electrodes definitely changed from black to shiny after I used the emery board, seems like I took off a layer of carbonized material.

After cleaning, the issue of nonstop sparking after the burners are lit seems to have gone away, although it was always an intermittent issue so I will need to give it some time to make sure it's truly fixed.

However, the issue of the igniters on the two left-most burners not sparking when those burners are turned on is still persisting. I know the electrodes are functioning to some degree because when I turn on one of the other (normally functioning) burners, I can see all four electrodes sparking, including on the problematic burners. So I am able to light those burners by turning them on, then turning one of the OTHER burners on to trigger a spark. But when I just try to turn on either of the left burners by themselves, the igniters usually (but not always) fail to spark.

I checked the burner head openings near the igniters and they are open. When the burners are lit, I can clearly see a small sideways flame making contact with the electrodes.
 
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Old 03-27-24, 04:14 PM
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If turning a burner valve on fails to start the spark process anywhere.... the switch(es) are most likely bad. As I mentioned previously.... if the switch is bad the spark module may try to relight.

The switches can be checked with a voltmeter.
It could also be the spark module but rarely does the problem occur like you have.,

The four switches are replaced as an assembly. (WB18T10382)
I used to keep older good ones for swapping in when just one was needed.
The switches are discussed on page 19 of the manual.

Set of four switches.
 
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Old 03-30-24, 04:30 PM
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Thanks! Just to confirm, it likely a bad switch even if the problem is intermittent? In other words, sometimes the igniters work when lighting the burners and sometimes they don't? And same with the continuous sparking - sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't? If a bad switch could indeed cause intermittent problems like this, I'll go ahead and try replacing them.
 
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Old 03-30-24, 04:35 PM
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It's a likely problem but as a tech I would do further testing.
I'd use a voltmeter to check for 120v on switch ports 1-4 on the spark module as the burners are turned on.
 
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Old 04-01-24, 10:52 AM
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Thanks! A couple more questions. If I've never used a voltmeter before, will I be able to figure out what you're telling me to do by watching some youtube videos about how to use a voltmeter?

And when you say to check the ports with a voltmeter as the burners are turned on - is it safe to turn the burners on when the maintop is removed to access the spark module? Is that even possible?

Also, I found this YouTube video about a similar cooktop that says the spark module should be getting 240v, but maybe I'm misunderstanding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiaFirwafIE
 

Last edited by chileverde; 04-01-24 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 04-01-24, 09:10 PM
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The is a 120v >>> 240v transformer to supply the spark module with 240v.
So yes... you should measure 240vac.

You need to measure from SW1, SW2,SW3 and SW4 to N.
Each number represents a burner when turned on.
Measure quickly as the gas is on. You can turn the gas off during testing.
 
 

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