Gas Burner Not Lighting

Photo of a typical gas range spark ignitor

If you are experiencing a gas burner or surface burner that is not lighting or igniting there could be a couple of things wrong. However the most common problem when a gas range burner does not ignite is actually very easy to fix.

In the past most gas ranges used a standing pilot light in between the two top burners on the left and right-hand side of the gas stove that would constantly burn gas.

When a burner was turned on the pilot light in the middle would immediately light the burner so you could cook. Most gas ranges today both natural gas and LP gas, use an igniter system instead of wasting the gas with free standing pilot lights.

When you turn the valve to ignite the burner two things happen. The valve that you are turning opens up and allows gas to flow to the burner. In addition to that a set of electrical contacts on the outside of the valve are closed to allow electricity to flow from the high-voltage spark module to the electrode on the side of the burner. The high voltage coming from the igniter module causes an electrical arc. This arc is kind of like a lightning strike between the burner cap and the electrode.

A solid contact between the burner cap and the burner is essential for the spark from the electrode to jump across. If there is any corrosion between the burner cap and the burner, the cap will be insulated from the burner and result in poor or no ignition.

All you need to do is use some emery cloth or sandpaper to remove the corrosion from the burner cap to restore your gas range burner ignition back to normal.