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I have a Kenmore Oven (gas, slide in) which has decided not to light - somewhat erratically.

Model # 362 73424200

When I turn the oven on, I can see the glow plug is getting hot, and I occasionally smell a little gas, but the gas never actually ignites and so the oven stays cold.

The gas does not keep running - it shuts itself off pretty quickly when it fails to light, or so it seems.

But this isn't happening all the time - one day it didn't work, the next it did, and then the next it didn't.

The gas flow seems ok - the burners all light - and as stated, the glow plug is getting hot - it's bright orange when I check it.

I'm thinking possibly a solenoid or a thermal coupler - any other possible causes? And how do I get at the possible bad parts in order to replace them?

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Have you opened up the stove (back panel, etc.)? When you do you should find a schematic either as a sticker on the panel, or folded in an envelope attached to the panel or just inside. This should tell you a bit more about the safety features of the ignition system, and will help you determine where the fault could be. The usual process would be... 1.) Ignitor ON (spark or glow). 2.) Pilot gas OPEN. 3.) Pilot Flame Ignition. 4.) Pilot Flame Detected. 5.) Main Burner OPEN. –  Tester101 Apr 29 '13 at 15:40
    
Make sure the pilot orifice is clean and clear of debris. A dirty orifice is never good. –  Tester101 Apr 29 '13 at 15:42
    
It has a glow plug, Tester - no pilot light. –  The Evil Greebo Apr 29 '13 at 15:54
    
Never mind I just read the first comment. DIdn't know they were supposed to launch a pilot light first... interesting. –  The Evil Greebo Apr 29 '13 at 15:55
    
It may not have a pilot, but that is usually how it works. Safer to release a bit of unburned gas, than a bunch of unburned gas. –  Tester101 Apr 29 '13 at 16:04
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2 Answers

This just happened to me in January with my awesome bottom of the line stove that came with my home.

  1. Glow burner (WB13K0021) - They degrade over time.
  2. Safety valve (WB19K10006) - Turns off too quickly before there is enough gas concentration to successfully ignite.
  3. Gas cut off valve is partially closed causing insufficient flow. Mine is inside a cabinet were I keep pots/pans and its possible, depending on the type of ball valve your builder used and its orientation, that shoving things in an area like this can move the valve.

The glow burner appeared to be what was bad on my oven.

Depending on the age of the unit you may want to consider an entire replacement like I did. First there is the cost of the parts. They are always overpriced and could cost you 1/3 of a new unit or more. Second if you replace the parts yourself to save money you run the risk of the parts not fixing the issue or making it worse compounded by a service fee to get a pro to really fix it which could easily cost the entire price of a new unit.

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I checked my glow burner with a lighter - started the gas flow and brought it close to the glow plug and the gas lit right away, so I don't think it's the plug. Also the oven does light sometimes, and doesn't others. It seems somewhat random. That to me lines up nicely with your #2. Coincidentally I ordered a replacement safety valve yesterday. It's due by end of the week, so we'll see how that goes. –  The Evil Greebo Apr 30 '13 at 11:43
    
I had a similar problem in my oven - the igniter glowed, but the gas almost never ignited, but did ignite occasionally. Replaced the igniter and all was well. I don't know if a butane lighter is a good test for natural gas ignition. –  Johnny Oct 24 '13 at 17:11
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Safety valves do not go bad very often. The ignitor has to pull specific amps to open the valve. The ignitor can glow and still be bad, so your ignitor is bad, not the safety valve.

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Is there a way to test this? –  The Evil Greebo Oct 24 '13 at 15:33
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