How to Fix a Clicking Gas Stove That Won’t Light

Fleet Appliance
May 4, 2023
Oven Repair

It’s something that occasionally happens to everyone with a gas stove—you’re trying to cook up a delicious meal, only to be met with the persistent, frustrating clicking of a gas stove that simply won’t light. The good news is that it doesn’t always require a professional to fix. In this article, we’ll walk you through the most common causes of a clicking gas stove and offer some DIY solutions to help you get your stove back in working order. 

Check if the igniter is wet

A wet igniter is the number one cause of a gas stove that isn’t lighting. If the igniter is wet, it won’t be able to make the spark that ignites the flow of gas. An igniter can get wet from moisture dripping onto the stovetop as you’re cooking, such as from a pot boiling over, but it can also be caused by spills or cleaning spray. 

If your igniter appears wet, or if you suspect that this might be the issue because you recently spilled liquid on your stovetop, you have a couple of options. 

  1. Wait for the burner to dry out naturally. As long as your stove is in a reasonably warm and well-ventilated area, it should dry out by itself. If you see any pooling liquid, you should dry this up first. If you’re in a hurry to use the stove, however, air-drying might not be a good option.
  2. Help your igniter to dry out by using a hair dryer. Plug in a hairdryer and set it to a medium heat, then aim it at the burner for a few minutes to ensure all the moisture is dried up. If the issue was a wet igniter, your stove should light once again. 

Check the burners for clogs

Everyday use of your gas stove can cause the burners to get clogged with grease and grime. This can prevent gas from flowing out of them, meaning that it won’t be possible to light your stove. Here’s how to clean your burners:

  • Before you start, ensure the gas supply to the stove is turned off for safety reasons.
  • Remove the burner grates and caps and place them somewhere out of your way. If you notice these are especially dirty, you can soak them in soapy water while you’re cleaning the burners.
  • Check the burners for any visible debris, grease, or clogged holes. Use a soft, dry cloth to wipe away any loose dirt.
  • Use a small brush, toothpick, or paper clip to gently clear out any debris from the burner holes. Be careful not to damage the holes or push the debris further in.
  • Gently wipe the igniter with a soft, damp cloth to remove any dirt or grease that might be interfering with the spark. Be cautious not to damage the fragile igniter tip.
  • Make sure all components are completely dry before reassembling the burner.

You should now be able to ignite the stove successfully. If you are still having issues, move on to the next step in our guide. 

Check that the gas is flowing

If your stove won’t light and you’ve already ruled out a clogged burner,  something else could be preventing the gas from flowing. Make sure your home is quiet, then turn on one of the burners and listen carefully. If gas is flowing, you should hear a hissing sound and smell something like rotten eggs. If you can’t hear or smell anything, there may be an issue with your gas supply or with one of your gas lines, and you’ll need to contact your gas provider. 

Make sure the burner cap is positioned correctly

If the burner cap is not positioned correctly, it can interfere with the gas flow and ignition. Ensuring the cap is properly aligned can help fix the problem. It should fit neatly and firmly over the burner. If this is your issue, you’ll usually find that only one of your burners is not functioning, so in this case you just need to check the positioning of the functional ones and make sure the one you’re having issues with looks the same. 

See if the burner looks corroded or old

This is a similar issue to a clogged burner, but has a different solution. Sometimes your burner can get corroded or rusty with age, causing it to become blocked and preventing gas flow. If this is the case, you’ll need to replace the burner. You can order a replacement part from your oven manufacturer. 

Check the wiring

If none of the above steps have solved your issue, it might be a wiring problem. If you feel comfortable, you can follow the steps below to look into it. Otherwise, you can call a professional electrician to take a look at it. 

  • Disconnect the stove from the electrical outlet to ensure safety while inspecting the wiring.
  • Locate and remove the screws or clips holding the control panel in place, and carefully lift it off. Consult your stove’s manual for specific instructions.
  • Look for signs of damage, such as frayed wires, burnt insulation, or loose connections. Pay special attention to the wires connecting the igniter and spark module. You’ll be able to see which ones these are by looking at the wiring map in the manual.
  • Using a multimeter, test the wires for continuity. Set the multimeter to the lowest resistance setting and touch the probes to the wire ends. If the reading shows infinite resistance, there’s a break in the wire.
  • Ensure all connections between the spark module, igniter, and other electrical components are secure and properly seated.
  • If you find damaged wires, you can either repair them using electrical tape or wire connectors, or replace them entirely. If you’re unsure about how to do this, consult a professional.
  • Reassemble the stove and test to see if the problem is solved and it is lighting once again.

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