Your Gas Stove Won’t Light? Follow These Simple Troubleshooting Tips

Dirty gas burner

How to Fix a Gas Stove Burner

Let’s set the scene.

You’ve planned a romantic evening of candlelight, wine, patchouli oil, and maybe a little throwback Kenny G.

You’re preparing that special dish for that special someone. Not just any dish, but your specialty, the dish that never fails to amaze.

You’ve chopped the scallops and drizzled limited edition olive oil on the skillet. You turn the knob of the left front gas burner (your good luck burner), eyes aglow with anticipation and… nada. Nichts. Nothing but disappointment.

Maybe you turned the wrong knob after one glass of wine too many, so you try it again. Still nothing.

The gas stove won’t light! An evening ruined. The best-laid plans laid waste. $15-worth of limited edition olive oil lying in a useless pan puddle.

It’s one of the most common problems with gas ranges, a situation nearly as aggravating as the long-winded and somewhat pointless intro to this DIY troubleshooting guide for gas stoves.

DIY Repair to the Rescue, Maybe

The most basic DIY “repair” is to turn the burner to a low setting and put a lit match to it. Ta-da! Assuming there’s nothing wrong with the burner itself or the gas flow to your range, this usually sets the burner ablaze.

After all, it’s the way we used to light gas stoves back in the dark ages, and it’s still the method of choice in some parts of the world. Don’t turn the gas control dial too high, or you may blow up your dinner, your stove, and yourself along with them.

Long term, you’ll be in the market for a more elegant solution.

Check for Clogs & Dirt

  1. Dirty burner caps are familiar culprits when a gas stove doesn’t light.
  2. Make sure burners are turned off and cool to the touch.
  3. Remove the heads and caps from all burners. Wash them with mild detergent and water.
  4. Use a soft brush (like a toothbrush) to clean the small holes in the burner heads.
  5. Dry all components you’ve cleaned, either with a towel or allow them to air dry. They must be bone dry for the burners to light.
  6. Reassemble the burners and try lighting your stove again.

Check the Electrodes

Sometimes, the problem comes down to wiring or a faulty electrode.

What are electrodes?

In the wonderful world of gas stoves, electrodes are the small white nubs that provide the electrical spark to light your burners.

You can find them under the burner caps and heads — you know, the burner caps you just removed, cleaned, and put back on the stove? Remove them again to check the electrodes, or do the smart thing and check the electrodes while you’re cleaning the caps and heads.

Unplug the stove before you do. You’ll be working with electrical components.

  1. Inspect the electrodes. Are they out of position? Are any wires protruding?
  2. Gently adjust any electrode that isn’t sitting evenly, aligned with the cooktop.
  3. If the electrodes pass muster, remove the sealed burner caps to look for loose wires.
  4. Here, unless you’re handy with electrical components and confident in your abilities, it might be best to call a professional to finish the job. Call us. We’re professionals.
  5. Sometimes electrodes wear out. To test, plug in your range and turn out the lights. Try to ignite the burner.
  6. The electrode should produce a bluish-white spark. If it doesn’t produce a spark, or if the spark is a color other than bluish-white, you have to replace the electrode or igniter.
  7. Again, unless you’re handy with things electrical, you might want to call us at West Coast Chief to handle this very gray area of “DIY repair.”



Check the Position of Burner Components

You may have positioned caps and heads incorrectly when you reassembled the burners. Verify that they’re in the correct position and not completely covering the igniters.

When the DIY Stove Repair Fails to Ignite, Call West Coast Chief

If you’ve gone through all the steps in this guide and failed to correct the problem with your stove, or if you’ve reached a point in the process where you’re no longer comfortable with a DIY repair, call us.

There’s a reason why appliance repair technicians exist. They know far more about appliances than the average DIY enthusiast and can handle problems faster and much more safely.

Call us before noon, and we may be able to do a same-day repair — too late for your big date, perhaps, but just in time for your next date.



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