It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well … it is if your oven is working. The holidays are fast approaching, and with Thanksgiving and then whatever holiday you celebrate in December, be it Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc., there’s going to be a lot of food. The worst possible thing would be for your oven to fail when you’re making all of those savory meals and sweet treats.
So what can you do to make sure your oven is up for the job of cooking this holiday season? Besides getting a home warranty to make sure your systems and appliances will be repaired and replaced if they fail from normal wear and tear, you can use this handy guide to troubleshoot your gas oven problems, and DIY some quick fixes before calling a repair technician.
(Don’t have a gas oven? Our Troubleshooting for electric ovens is located here.)
How Does a Gas Stovetop Work?
When you turn the dial on your gas stovetop, it opens a valve that lets gas through. This gas is released and mixes with air. It is ignited by a continuous spark which comes from the spark module, and a blue flame is created.
Troubleshooting your Gas Stovetop
When the sparking continues after the burner has already been lit, it usually is a sign of a short in the spark module. Liquid getting into the module from an overflowing pot can cause this problem. If this begins happening, unplug the appliance and let the spark module dry out.
If the module continues to spark after waiting for it to dry, call a service technician to come and replace the module, or call your home warranty company, who can send out a technician to repair or replace the spark module.
If your spark module sends out a spark every once in awhile instead of a continuous pulse, it has probably worn out and most likely needs to be replaced. You can call a service technician or your home warranty company to get this repaired.
If you turn on your burner and you don’t hear the telltale sign of the electrode sending out a spark, it may be because the electrode is damaged. You can check to see if there is any visible damage by removing the burner and seeing if there are cracks on the top of the electrode.
If you see any damage, call a registered technician or your home warranty company in order to get the electrode replaced.
If you don’t see any cracks on the actual electrode, you can also turn each burner dial to see if there’s one that doesn’t spark. If all of your burners spark but one, there’s probably a problem with the dial. There are times when the dials can become stripped and won’t turn on the electric current. It’s also possible that the dial has shorted out because food or water has spilled into the burner. You may need to replace what’s called the igniter wiring harness in this case, which will be covered by a home warranty company if you have a contract with them.
There’s a chance that food or grease has plugged up the tube that releases gas into the burner. Turn off your oven and remove the burner from the oven. Clean out the small tube inside of the burner with a toothpick or small brush.
How Does a Gas Oven Work?
There are three main parts of your gas oven:
- Oven Control
- Oven Safety Valve
When you turn on your oven to bake (or broil) the dial sends electricity to the igniter, which begins to warm up. As the igniter warms, the safety valve releases gas into the oven burner tube. Once the gas reaches the igniter (which can get up to 2,000 degrees F,) the gas is lit by the extremely hot metal of the igniter, and begins to warm the oven up. When the oven reaches the temperature you selected, the burner and igniter will shut off, but will turn on and off while you’re cooking to keep the right temperature in the oven.
Troubleshooting your Gas Oven
First, remove the shields so you can see the igniter. If the igniter is glowing, but there’s no flame after a minute, the igniter has probably grown too old and can’t open the safety valve to bring gas into the burner tube.
Igniter Isn't Glowing
If the igniter isn’t glowing, it probably has outright failed, and needs to be replaced. Call a technician or your home warranty company to repair or replace your igniter.
Of course, if you have a home warranty, these problems with your oven can be repaired, or the entire oven can be replaced for $60. For more information about home warranties and how they work, you can learn about Landmark’s home warranty coverage here, or compare our home warranty plans and prices here.