Gas stoves aren't magic and in most cases when something goes wrong with your gas stove, fixing it is a relatively simple adjustment or maintenance job a DIY'er can handle themselves. However, just because the fixes are simple doesn't mean you shouldn't take proper precautions. While these simple fixes can be done without turning of the gas at your stove, be sure you always unplug you stove and never leave a burner dial turned on while you're working on it. If at any time you smell gas turn off the main gas supply, open the windows, clear everyone out of your home and call your gas supplier. Now, here's how to fix some common gas stove problems .
Pilot light is on but the burner won't light
- Unplug your stove before starting your repair, then remove the burner grates and lift up the range top to get access to the burner assemblies. Check to see if the flash tubes are aligned with the burner ports as well as with the pilot or spark igniter. Adjust them if necessary.
- Food or grease blocking the burner assembly can also prevent the burner from lighting, (the burner assembly is the round part with small holes all around the outside and a thin pipe connected to the controls on the front of your stove).Use a thin piece of wire or a sewing needle to clean out the holes around the burner assembly so gas can flow easily again.
- Your pilot light may not be burning at the proper intensity. A properly adjusted pilot light should burn bright blue as well as burn without flickering. If your pilot light is yellow and white besides the blue, it needs to be adjusted. Do this by using a small screwdriver to turn the screw located behind the control knobs until your pilot light is bright blue and burning steadily.
No pilot light, but an automatic starter
- Newer stoves have an automatic starter (an electrode) that's activated when a control knob is turned to “light”. The electrode is located on the supply lines running to each burner.
- Look for loose wires running from the control knob to the igniter and from the igniter to the burner assembly. If the wires are firmly connected, you can test the igniter by plugging your stove in and turning the control know to 'light'. If the igniter is working, you'll see a spark. However, similar to a spark plug, if the electrode is dirty the spark might not be 'hot' enough to ignite the gas and it will need to be cleaned with an old tooth brush.
- If there is no spark at all, you will need to replace the igniter. To do this, you first need to shut off the gas supply to your stove then disconnect the wires leading to the igniter and finally remove the small bolts holding it position.
Getting replacement parts
- Be sure you always write down the brand, model number and serial number of your gas stove before trying to find a replacement part . This information may be located under the cook top, in the pots and pans drawer or on the back of the stove itself.
- Save yourself some time, gas and aggravation by calling ahead to verify the supplier has your specific part in stock by ordering over the internet.
Murray Anderson is a veteran freelancer whose work has been appeared in books, newspapers and newsletters as well as on numerous web sites in both the United States and Canada. He writes on a wide range of topics including home, consumer, and personal subjects as well as general business and Marketing specific topics.