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I have a gas range that keeps on clicking but does not ignite most of the times. I have tried to check whether the caps are aligned and they are. I have removed any debris from the burner pipe that I was able to take out. It was mostly some pieces of aluminum foils (I use aluminum foil on top of range so that I don't have to clean spills. I pole holes on the foil where the burner is).

Is there anything I can do besides call a professional? I have resorted to using a matchstick most of the times.

Also, this problem affects only the burners that are most used.

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    When you hear the click do you see an actual spark? Commented Dec 6, 2021 at 21:07
  • So I see the spark sometime but not totally sure if it always happens Commented Dec 6, 2021 at 21:16
  • Also after removing the debris it did help initially with number of times the burner was lightning up Commented Dec 6, 2021 at 21:16
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    The entire burner area should be clear of foil, not just "holes". If you mean "one giant hole the size of each burner", that's fine. But foil under the cap, around the ignitor, etc. is a no-go. Commented Dec 6, 2021 at 23:36
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    My high-end range(Thermador) has an igniter that is consumable, so I keep a spare on hand. What's the make and model of your range?
    – bsd
    Commented Dec 7, 2021 at 11:15

4 Answers 4

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There may be multiple special holes for gas to get to the spark. Yours may be different but here are two holes, A and B, shown from the inside and outside. Both must be clean and dry. And note that hole B is inside a little channel C that also must be clean.

This is in addition to all the things noted in the answer from @r13. These holes must be aligned with the ignitor, this part must be seated properly and its cover must also be seated properly.

Maybe if you have holes like these, your foil is interfering with hole B or similar. Or maybe your foil is interfering with the spark or changing the spark pattern. Do all your troubleshooting with no foil until you solve this.

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You may have to periodically clean the inside of the burner with a wire brush.
I have one of quite old fashioned design but still in perfect working order. Periodically, however, the spark fails to ignite the gas.

Burner with cap in situ

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Cap removed & flipped to show the state they can get in

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Close up of spark mechanism

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When they get this type of build-up, it's probably time to get a small steel wire brush & a vacuum cleaner in there. You don't need to aim for pristine, just get the majority of the movable dirt & rust off it. The actual burner ring [the crenellated cast iron section round the edge] may be removable for easier scrubbing. It should be keyed so it will only go back in the correct orientation.
Also clean the underside of the cap.

With the cap off, [and without turning on the gas] check that the spark jumps nicely round the ignition area. It won't always jump to the same place, but should show a reasonably even spread around that area. When the cap goes back on, the majority of the sparks should jump to the cap itself, but that's hard to see.

Test the burner's function with the cap back on.
If it's still a bit hit & miss… turn it off again, make sure it's not hot, then grab the cap firmly & 'screw' it back & forth half an inch, pressing firmly towards the burner. Try again.
I often find this last action to be the cure. It scrapes just enough against the metal components to enable a better electrical connection & the burner is good to go for another 6 months.
Repeat this 'twisty scrubbing' action every time it starts to get intermittent & you won't need to fully clean the burner for another year. (Out of sight, out of mind;)

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First, there is a single high-voltage supply for all burners; shorting it out in one spot with e.g. a piece of foil may interfere with all burners.

Most commonly, water or spills may get into the various openings and gas passages and block the low-pressure fuel/air gas mixture. For water, shake and/or blow the burner pieces to clear the passages. For other substances, wash the pieces. If it won't work right after cleaning but will work after igniting the burner with a match and heating it up, this suggests that water was the problem.

Make sure the pieces and caps are laying flat in their intended positions, so that gas is channeled where it should be and the spark gaps are the right size. Excessive gaps will interfere with the spark.

High voltage igniters can fail, though I think most are good for decades.

Potentially there could be an issue with your gas supply, don't know how often this happens. Rust from rusting pipes, galvanizing if someone used galvanized (not allowed for propane, I gather there used to be a problem with the zinc flaking and plugging orifices?).

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    That is a really good thought, that the foil is shorting the igniter at some other part of the cook top. OP should completely remove the foil and see if that fixes things.
    – Z4-tier
    Commented Dec 7, 2021 at 23:27
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A potential problem not mentioned in the other answers is a cracked or broken insulator on the igniter (white ceramic cylinder around the wire which may be blackened from use). The igniter will still spark but it won't happen in a location where it can ignite the gas. If this is the case then the igniter needs to be replaced (the insulation can't be reliably patched). If you feel comfortable doing so this repair is easy to do (the igniters are typically screwed in place with a single machine screw).

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  • Interesting. So only the burners that get used a lot are the ones that are problematic. I'll add this detail to the question Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 2:39
  • So the burner does spark in my case and not ignite. Ill check whether they have a replacement igniter for this model Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 3:00
  • This has definitely happened to me. The 15 yr old wires has cracked plastic and was creating the spark under the entire range. I just had to wrap it in electrical tape.
    – Nelson
    Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 3:14
  • In my case the ceramic insulator got cracked while cleaning it. Simple fix once I tracked down a replacement. Degraded/cracked wiring insulation could also cause the problem but that's a more serious issue. Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 7:09
  • @Captain Jack sparrow Start by checking for plugged gas passages (temporarily by water), I see that frequently after cleaning. Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 22:48

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