Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When trying to ignite a single burner on a 2012 model gas stove, all 5 of the piezoelectric plugs start to spark. Once the chosen burner lights and I adjust the flame all the plugs stop sparking.


Is this something awry or is this typical behavior of a gas stove?

What are some probable explanations for such behavior?

share|improve this question
No problem, I was just wondering why. My stove top is sealed shut so I can't inspect the burners to examine. – zundarz Aug 24 '13 at 1:39
As the answers stated it comes down to simplicity. My stove works the same way and has not had a problem in eight years. – Snowman Feb 22 '14 at 6:11
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Yes, it is a typical for the gas stovetops to light all of the burners even when only one is needed. Note that this applies to stovetops that do not have a standing pilot light. The oven often will have its own ignitor that operates independently of the stopetop.

The reason for this may be in order to reduce the complexity of the stovetop design. With all of the sparkers running in parallel, only one set of electronics is needed for all of the burners, instead of each one having its own electronics (or requiring additional relays). Stoves will often come with schematics showing their wiring, and you could consult these to see how your particular stove is designed.

Note that it is perfectly fine to spark already lit burners (though this will slightly reduce the lifespan of the electrode as it'll erode more quickly at high temperatures), and burners that are turned off (since there's no gas available, it'll have no effect).

There's also a bit of a a safety factor involved. If you have a failed ignitor (blocked with crud or broken), the plume of gas will be ignited by the other burner before it fills up more of the room, thereby creating a smaller fireball than it would have otherwise.

share|improve this answer
The sparking at the non-selected burners has no effect because the only gas valve opened is at the selected burner. – bib Aug 22 '13 at 20:00
It also has a safety/redundancy factor.. If a given ignitor fails or is blocked (by burnt food), the others will prevent a dangerous build-up of gas. – HerrBag Aug 22 '13 at 22:06
Thanks, I've edited the answer based on your comments. – Pigrew Aug 22 '13 at 22:16

It is far simpler to build a single ignition system which is activated by every burner control knob (which are trivially wired in parallel) and has only one output which is routed to all sparkers.

An already lit burner receiving sparks is no problem. But having 4+ ignition systems—or switching logic and electronics to accomplish the same thing—is unnecessary complexity.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.