There can be many reasons why your gas oven ignitor is glowing, but there’s no flame. While some of the issues can be resolved quickly, you often have to call a repair service to get your oven to work again. We have compiled a list of possible causes of your gas oven ignitor glowing but not flaming up.
This article details why your gas oven isn’t lighting up and how you can fix it.
Reasons Why A Gas Oven ignitor Glows Without A Flame
From a failed gas ignitor to a faulty gas valve, there can be several reasons why you can’t see any flame even with a glowing hot surface gas ignitor. Read the four most causes below.
1. Failed Hot Surface ignitor
As the name suggests, the hot surface ignitor’s function is to ignite the gas burner, which results in the oven heating up. When you set the oven to bake or broil, a properly operating ignitor will turn on and start to glow bright orange. Once the ignitor gets hot enough, it will cause the gas valve to warp, which will open a pathway for the gas to the oven’s burner, flaming it up.
For an ignitor that is working correctly, this process takes about a minute.
A worn-out hot surface ignitor will fail to get hot enough, and the oven won’t light up. Usually, you can notice a potent gas smell when this happens. The gas valve turns the gas supply off for safety purposes if the ignitor isn’t working correctly or not getting hot enough.
Cause of Ignitor Failure
The most common reason why a gas ignitor fails is age. Worn-out ignitors cannot draw enough current to heat up to the required temperature, which causes the gas valve not to open up, and thus no flame is produced.
For an ignitor that glows but takes an extended amount of time to light up, it would be prudent to replace it. The delay in igniting the burner shows the ignitor has lost efficiency and will need replacement eventually.
How to Check for a Failed Hot Surface ignitor
1. Turn off the power at the circuit breaker to your oven. Always verify that the power is off by testing out different electrical components of the gas oven, like the user interface panel and light. If they are not working, you have verified that the power is off.
2. Remove the oven racks and the metal plating at the bottom to access the ignitor and the gas burner. Once you can see the ignitor, check if any parts look different. It would help if you looked for discoloration on the element or the coil. Most of the time, the discoloration is a solid indication of a failed gas ignitor.
3. Clean the pilot of any dirt or debris with a small needle to allow smooth gas flow. Disconnect the gas supply and press the ignition button. If you cannot see any sparks, then it means that the ignitor has failed and needs to be replaced.
If you cannot spot any visible problems in the ignitor, turn the power back on and try to heat the oven again. This time, keep an eye on the ignitor. You should soon see if the ignitor glows and turns bright orange. If that doesn’t happen and the ignition is delayed, then you should turn off the oven. The delay indicates a faulty ignitor in need of replacement. You can buy a new ignitor and call a repair service to replace your old one.
2. Faulty Gas Valve ( Also Known as the Oven Safety Valve)
The gas valve, also known as the oven safety valve, ensures safe gas flow to the bake burner once the ignitor has reached the set temperature. The gas valve only allows the flow of gas when the ignitor is drawing the required current and is getting hot enough.
Usually, it is not typical for the gas valve to fail. It is one of the last things to malfunction in a gas oven. Although uncommon, the oven safety valve or the gas valve can go bad because of voltage fluctuations.
Test if the oven safety valve is correctly functioning using a multimeter.
Turn the oven off by flipping the circuit breaker and ensuring the appliance has completely cooled down before you test the oven safety valve. To test the valve, you will have to take it out. You can access it by removing the back panel. The oven safety valve is usually located near the burner or ignitor. Take off the heat shields covering the ignitor inside the oven.
Use the multimeter on the R X 1 setting and place the probes on the safety valve terminals. It would be best if you get a resistance reading between 0 to 50 ohms. If the reading exceeds the range, then the oven safety valve will need replacement. Use the multimeter to test for a break in the electrical flow, which is done between the bi metal within the valve.
Note: In some oven models, there is a separate set of terminals to bake and a separate set of terminals for the broiler. If that is the case, then use the multimeter separately for each group.
3. Malfunctioning Electronic Control Board
In many recent gas oven models, an electronic control board is used to operate the oven safety valve and other oven functions. Your gas oven would not light up if the electronic control board is malfunctioning or has failed.
The first step is to disconnect the power source and turn off the gas supply to inspect the control board. Unscrew the back shield screws to remove the top panel at the back shield. Disconnect all the wires and remove the mounting screws and pull the electronic control board out.
Helpful Tip: Take a picture of all control board wire connections with your phone, so you can quickly put them back.
Check the electronic control board terminals, making sure they have not been shorted or burned. Ensure there are no signs of cracking or wear and tear. If you find any of the problems mentioned above with your appliance’s control board, it could be why your oven is not lighting. Call a repair service and replace the faulty part.
4. Failed Temperature Sensor
The internal temperature of a modern electronic control gas oven is regulated with the help of a temperature sensor.
When the gas oven is set for a specific temperature, the sensor checks the heat level, and once the temperature is maintained, it cuts off the gas. When the temperature goes down again, it initiates the heat cycle one more time to get the oven to the required temperature. A defective temperature sensor can cause the oven to overheat or not light up at all.
In most modern gas ovens, an error code will flash on the digital display if there is a problem with a temperature sensor.
Use a multimeter to identify if the sensor is defective. Disconnect the appliance from the power source and remove the sensor from inside the oven. Most ovens have sensors located on the rear wall, near the top of the appliance.
Set the multimeter on the Rx1 setting and place the probes on the terminal ends to test for continuity. The required resistance reading will depend upon the model number of the appliance. Refer to the manual to see if the reading falls in the mentioned range. Ensure the sensor is at room temperature when you test it for continuity. If the sensor fails the test, replace it.
Signs you should Invest in a New ignitor
Resolve any gas oven ignition issues promptly to avoid more complex problems down the line. Usually, replacing a faulty ignitor can resolve why a gas oven won’t light up. Keep looking for the signs mentioned below to replace a possibly failing ignitor in time.
Preheating the Oven Takes Time
Gas ovens usually take under 15 minutes to light up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If it takes longer, this could be due to a weak ignitor and cause excessive carbon dioxide emissions. Replace the ignitor after first testing it, as mentioned above.
Excessive Gas Smell When Preheating
To smell some gas when you use the oven is standard. However, excessive gas smell while the oven doesn’t preheat properly could indicate a failing ignitor. In such a case, have the ignitor checked immediately.
“Explosion” Sounds While Preheating
When you hear a mini-explosion or “woof” sound 2 to 5 minutes after turning on the oven, it could be due to improper gas buildup.
If there isn’t enough current to open the gas valve quickly enough, some of the gas can leak even without ignition. Replace the old hot surface ignitor with a new one to fix the problem.
Caution: Replacing gas oven parts can be dangerous, and it is advisable to have a licensed professional change them for you. A maintenance specialist can also determine the cost-effectiveness of repairing a part rather than replacing it.