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I have a gas cooktop that takes a really long time to ignite. You have to hold down the ignitor and it clicks for an absurd amount of time (30+ seconds) before the burner ignites. Everything after that works fine. After you have been cooking for a while, if you turn the burner off then back on within a few minutes, it will light quicker (<5 seconds). All the burners are like this.

Using a stick lighter or a match has the same problem with lighting.

What do I need to check? Could the ignitor be bad? Not enough gas coming through to the burners? Clogged burners?

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If you turn on the gas and use a match or butane lighter (instead of the electronic igniter), does the burner immediately light and work okay? –  wallyk Oct 22 '13 at 17:14
    
using a match has the same delay in lighting. –  Nathan DeWitt Oct 22 '13 at 18:18
    
If you blow on the burner while it's trying to light does it light immediately? –  longneck Oct 22 '13 at 19:10
    
blowing on the burner did not change anything. –  Nathan DeWitt Oct 22 '13 at 20:18
    
Is the gas valve on the supply line all the way open? Are the burner orifices clean? Is this a newer problem, or has this been a problem since the appliance was installed? Have you done any other work on gas lines/appliances within the house? –  Tester101 Oct 23 '13 at 12:23
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2 Answers

The problem is clearly with the gas feed. If other portions (like other burners) work okay, the plumbing in common to those and further upstream is all fine. The problem would be the last portions to the burners.

I would start by removing the grate, lifting off the burner caps, and lift up the burner assemblies. Any foreign matter in there? If there is goo, run them through the dishwasher, toothpaste and an old toothbrush, or a steel wool cleaning pad and water to get it off.

Have a look at the igniter tips: are they clean and shiny? Do the heavily used tips look similar to the lightly used tips? 200–400 grit sandpaper is the easy fix for these. Place the burners back into position carefully, making sure each seats securely and aligns with the igniter. Place the caps back on paying attention to the alignment of the nub-like posts underneath (which keeps them from sliding off) so they don't cause a gap by making the cap sit up on a post.

If that doesn't renew performance, it is either a valve or plumbing problem. I would call an appliance repairman at that point for his/her knowledge of the exact problems with that model as well as the range of solutions and prices.

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I wonder if there is air getting into the gas lines. Do you smell gas during the 30 seconds of ignitor clicks before the burner finally lights? (On my stove if I turn the gas on but don't light the burner I smell gas almost right away.)

Air in the lines would explain the same behavior with another ignition source, and also the shorter delay in relighting a burner. But I have no idea how air would get into a gas line or what the ramifications of that would be.

Presumably if air is getting in then gas is getting out. Have you noticed higher than normal gas bills? If your gas meter is accessible you might be able to compare readings before and after you're away, although you would need to make sure that any other gas-consuming appliances are off (hot water heater, furnace, etc.).

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