Gas range top (C) Daniel Friedman Gas Cooktop Igniter Diagnosis & Repair
How to fix clicking igniters on a gas cooktop

InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

Gas cook top igniter repairs: this article explains the cause, diagnosis, and cure of cooktop or gas range igniter problems that cause continuous clicking, or failure to ignite gas burners or a gas oven properly.

Some of these conditions are dangerous. The gas igniter troubles discussed here apply to some models of gas appliances including gas stoves, gas ovens, and gas cooktops where an automatic or pilot less gas ignition system is used.

Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2015, All Rights Reserved.

Gas Range Top Igniter Repair

Window Air Conditioner that fell (C) Daniel  FriedmanFrom room air conditioners to washing machines and water heaters, here we list InspectApedia articles that can assist in the diagnosis and repair of most home appliances.

These articles focus on basic procedures that help spot trouble with an appliance first by simple visual inspection.

[Click to enlarge any image]

Photo at left: the igniter module for a Jenn-Air countertop gas cooktop. We replaced this item as well as the wiring and individual igniters to cure chronic gas burner ignition problems: endless clicking. Details of that repair are found in the article below.

First steps in gas igniter troubleshooting for gas stoves & cooktops: burner won't ignite

When a gas-fired heating appliance stops working the problem may be with the igniter, not other gas valve components.

Our photo (below) shows an LP gas stove top burner igniter sparking away.

Photograph of a natural gas regulator on a furnace

Watch out: we disassembled the stove top burner to make this photo. But don't turn on your gas stove with burner parts missing - the flame won't ignite properly and you could cause a dangerous gas explosion.

Start by checking the wire connected to the igniter itself. If the connection is loose or damaged that could be the problem.

If the ceramic igniter is cracked or damaged it may be shorting to ground and unable to ignite the gas flame.

We have seen recurrent problems with some stove-top gas igniters whose wires ran across the interior pan of the stovetop where they rested in water or cleaners used to clean that appliance.

The result was a shorted igniter wire and constant clicking that drove the homeowners crazy.

Case History of LP Gas Stove Chronic Igniter Troubles, Diagnosis, & Repair

Gas range top (C) Daniel FriedmanThe igniters on the LP gas in-counter stovetop described here have been annoying since shortly after this appliance was installed.

Turning on the gas burner is supposed to cause it to ignite automagically. But instead the burner blows, blasts, or never ignites, and the igniter clicks continuously. Or the burner will ignite, but the igniter won't stop clicking.

There are plenty of explanations around about how these gas flame igniters work and how they are smart enough to turn off after the flame ignites.

Below we focus on how to repair igniters that are just maddeningly bad behavers.

Problems & Fixes for Automatic Gas Flame Igniters

We are using a gas range top for this example but these defects or some of them can occur on other automatic or electronic ignition gas fired appliances.

Uneven or yellow gas flame: check for gas burner top that is not properly in place. This is not an igniter problem but a flame problem. Similarly if the burner ignites the flame should be mostly blue with a yellow tip. If the flame is mostly yellow the air mixture or fuel adjustment or regulator adjustment is improper. This is also not an igniter problem.

The gas burner top is askew as we show in our photographs below, perhaps after it has been removed (say for cleaning) and has not been properly and squarely replaced. Look closely to be sure your stovetop parts are properly seated, especially if they were removed for cleaning.

Notice those two pins sticking up on the burner base in our photo at below-right? Notice those two half-round indentations in the burner cap (shown upside down in the lower portion of the same photo ?) Those tell you how to align the burner top properly. Even a small misalignment can prevent proper gas burner operation, and like many gas appliance defects, may be unsafe too.

Gas range ignition trouble (C) Daniel Friedman Gas range ignition trouble (C) Daniel Friedman

The gas flame igniter becomes soiled with food spillage, dirt, grease - and can be gently cleaned with a toothbrush and perhaps scouring powder.

Gas range ignition trouble (C) Daniel FriedmanThis is not a product defect, it's a housekeeping problem.

The gas flame igniter becomes cracked and short-circuits or fails intermittently - the repair solution is to replace the igniter element with a new one.

Cooks who often allow pots to boil over and spill water on the hot igniter may contribute to this failure - we're not sure, but in our opinion it's a poor product design that cannot tolerate typical events that occur in the home.

The gas flame igniter wiring becomes wet by using too much liquid when cleaning the stove top. In this case the igniter may fail to stop clicking, or may fail to ignite the burner until the wiring has dried. Use less liquid and don't spill liquids into the stove top interior. We have seen these wires short and melt inside the stovetop.

The gas igniter wire is loose, broken, shorted, damaged: If there is no spark at all and if the appliance has power, the problem may be a loose or disconnected wire between the control module and the igniter, or a wire that has shorted.

The gas flame igniter control module has failed: the igniter control module on modern gas appliances including stovetops is a solid-state device inside the appliance (usually inside the stovetop for cookstoves and ranges) that creates the high-voltage electrical pulse sent to the ceramic-and-metal igniter that you see at the edge of the gas burner. You should see a strong white spark between the igniter pin and the metal edge of the gas burner.

If you see a weak yellow spark or no spark at all AND if you have already checked the igniter wire and its connections, I suspect that the module has failed and needs replacement.

More gas burner igniter troubleshooting details are at GAS IGNITER CLICKING DIAGNOSIS in this article and in more detail at GAS IGNITER DEFECTS & REPAIRS - separate article.

Watch out: as our photos below illustrate, water or other liquids spilling onto electrical wiring inside of a range top can cause a short circuit.

Gas range ignition trouble (C) Daniel Friedman Gas range ignition trouble (C) Daniel Friedman

At above left we show the interior of this gas range top. The blue box at top center is the control module. At above right you can see that one of the stovetop's internal connectors was shorting to the metal body of the range enclosure.

Gas range ignition trouble (C) Daniel Friedman Gas range ignition trouble (C) Daniel Friedman

Our photo at above left shows the shorted stove wiring connector, and at above right, the arc-burn into the steel of the stove top interior, confirming that the connector was shorting to the grounded stove body. Water leaking into the range top interior caused this failure. We re-wired the appliance (using the proper high-temperature-rated electrical wiring materials) and we made sure that the wiring was supported off of the metal range top interior surfaces to prevent a recurrence of this problem.

Watch out: when disassembling appliance parts - some stove gas burner parts are made of soft case metal. If in disassembly or reassembly you strip the threads on these parts you may not be able to reassemble the gas burners safely and those larger part assemblies will need replacement.

The gas igniter control module may itself fail and need replacement. This is a more costly part, and in our experience is less often the problem than the items above.

Check These Things First when Troubleshooting an Appliance

Before tossing out your air conditioner or coffee maker and even before calling an appliance repairman for your washing machine, refrigerator, or clothes dryer, here are some things to check:

Electrical power: Is the appliance plugged-in?

    Is there electrical power where the appliance is connected and is the receptacle itself properly wired?

Appliance instruction manuals often contain a troubleshooting guide: have we found and read the installation and troubleshooting procedures given by the manufacturer for this appliance? Often there are trivial problems that are easy to correct but that are not obvious before reading the instructions.

Controls & switches: Are the appliance controls and switches properly set? Is a control or switch acting funny: loose, makes a sparking noise, used to "click" but no longer does?

    Hidden reset buttons: Is there a reset switch or button on an electric motor or elsewhere on the appliance

Noises or smells: something is burning? Is the appliance making a funny noise or smell.

Watch out: Unplug the appliance immediately to avoid a fire.

Appliance inspection for electrical problems: do we see something that looks burned when inspecting an appliance circuit board, wire, or switch?

Watch out: as we cite
at DISHWASHER SNAFUS, poking around inside or beneath an appliance may risk electrical shock.

Appliance inspection for leaks:

    for dishwashers (DISHWASHER SNAFUS),

    garbage grinders (GARBAGE DISPOSAL vs SEPTICS),

    water heaters (WATER HEATERS),

    washing machines (WASHING MACHINE OIL LEAKS),

    do we see or smell oil or do we see water leaking?

Appliance repair parts for sale at the Tuesday Market, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico (C) Daniel Friedman Antique Rainbow gas stove (C) InspectApedia

Above left: gas range and other cookstove repair parts on display at the Tuesday Market, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. At above right: an antique Rainbow Gas Stove (photo courtesy of anonymous reader).

Reader question on stray currents and gas igniter problems on a Maytag Range

8/24/14 Sue Deaunym said:

So, my Maytag gas range was installed about 6 years ago. Its never been exactly "right," and from time to time, the igniter would begin clicking every 10 seconds or so, even when the burners were fully off. (Unplugging the range for a few minutes usually remedied the problem.) The gas range replaced an electric one.

But we've always had some funky electrical problems in the kitchen that we've never before associated with the range. An outlet strip wired into the outlet box into which the range was plugged would occasionally shock people who touched it. I inspected the outlet box and the strip, and could find nothing wrong with it. Checked with a volt meter, it seems OK.

I installed an underground gas line to a propane tank last week, and the guy hooking it up aid he was shocked on several occasions. So I went under the house and measured 120VAC on the copper pie leaving the house. Disconnecting the range the stray current disappeared.

Looking at the starter devices at each burner, I see no problem.

Reply: gas appliance or heater flame igniter shock hazards


Thanks for this excellent tip about gas flame igniters - it's not one I'd considered and it makes perfect sense. Some igniters depend on proper electrical grounding for proper operation including the sensing of when gas or an actual flame is present. I'll add your notes to the article above.

It sounds as if there is a wiring error or accidental short circuit in your range.

Start by turning off power to the range - that will turnoff power to any clock, control board, the igniter module, and the igniters and their wiring.

Next, remove the range top burner parts and top itself sufficiently to expose the wiring to the igniters.

It's certainly possible that the stray current was a factor in damaging those components.

Sometimes I also see these other problems that cause problems with clicking gas igniters or igniters that in fact don't ignite the gas flame:

Keep us posted.

Question: gas igniters just won't stop clicking

2016/08/02 LC said:
Hi, my stove top burners light perfectly BUT they wont stop clicking (and I have thoroughly cleaned everything!) help!

Reply: common causes of gas igniters that won't stop clicking

LC if a gas flame igniter won't stop clicking the problem is almost always going to be one of the defects we list in the checklist below. I list these checkpoints in order of ease, leaving the most difficult and most-costly (igniter control module replacement) until las>

If the gas flame does not ignite, start your diagnosis by reviewing our gas burner troubleshooting tips beginning at GAS COOKTOP IGNITER REPAIR

Gas range ignition trouble (C) Daniel FriedmanIf the gas burner ignites and looks normal but the igniter won't stop clicking then check the following:

  1. Confirm that the gas burner cap is in place, not askew; some igniters require sensing a proper flame and/or heat from it to stop clicking (generating a spark)
  2. Check for dirt, spilled food, water, around the burner igniter. These can cause a short circuit or they can prevent the igniter from properly sensing the presence of a good burner flame. There are photos of this problem earlier in this article.
  3. Check for water or liquid spillage inside the burner, beneath the burner cap.
  4. Check for a split, chipped, damaged igniter itself; inspect the ceramic for fine cracks. This damage can be subtle. Often we just order new igniters and plug them in for all of the burners.
  5. Check for an igniter wire that is wet or shorting between the igniter bottom connection and the connection of the wire to the control module. To do this you may need to lift the stove top or range top or even to partially disassemble the stove top. Don't try that before turning off both gas and electrical power to the appliance.

    Also check the igniter wire connectors: these small brass connectors clip the wire at one end to the spark igniter module and at the wire's other end a clip will connect the wire to a metal pin at the bottom of the ceramic-insulated igniter element. If the clips are dirty, wet, or loose the igniter may not work reliably. Clean the clips and using needle-nose pliers pinch the clip gently (don't squash it or you'll be sorry) to tighten its connector, then plug it back onto its connection point.

    Also check the wires for continuity - a wire itself, or its connector at either end could be cracked or damaged or broken. It's easy to swap in another wire from a working burner to try this test.

    In our photo (above/left) you can see that a wire connector (photo center) between the blue igniter control module (photo upper right) and the gas burner igniter was wet and shorting to the metal surface of the stovetop assembly.

    Watch out: don't simply use any handy electrical wire to replace a bad burner igniter wire; you'll notice, perhaps, that the burner wires are insulated with high-heat-resistant wire covering.
  6. Check for a defective switch within the burner on-off control knob or a loose wiring connection to it. An easy way to do this is to swap a burner control knob that is working (from a different burner on your stovetop) into the position of the one that just won't behave.
  7. Check for and replace a failed igniter spark control module. Same warning as for the step above. You'll need to order a matching gas burner igniter control module that matches your specific appliance. You can find the proper part numbers both in the installation manual for your gas appliance and on the igniter module itself. Check with the manufacturer for a replacement part but also check online vendors. But be sure that the replacement part you order is exactly the proper one for your appliance.

Watch out: make these checks with the gas off and surfaces cool enough that you can touch them without getting burned;

Watch out: if you smell gas and/or suspect there are gas leaks do not keep trying to ignite the burner(s) as you could risk a gas explosion. See GAS LEAK DETECTION, LP / NG


Continue reading at GAS IGNITER DEFECTS & REPAIRS where we discuss diagnosing and fixing gas ignition problems at LP or natural gas heaters, furnaces, water heaters and other appliances, or select a topic from the More Reading links or topic ARTICLE INDEX shown below.

Suggested citation for this web page

GAS COOKTOP IGNITER REPAIR at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

More Reading

Green link shows where you are in this article series.


OR use the Search Box found below at Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Click to Show or Hide FAQs

Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia

Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.

Search the InspectApedia website

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...

Technical Reviewers & References

Publisher's Google+ Page by Daniel Friedman

Click to Show or Hide Citations & References

Support & See Fewer Advertisements

From Google's Contributor website: Contribute a few dollars each month. See fewer ads. The money you contribute helps fund the sites you visit.

Google-Contributor supports websites while reducing advertisements. You can support InspectApedia with a contribution of any amount you wish. Or you can contribute nothing and we'll still keep our website free to all readers - supported by advertising. Either approach is OK.