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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
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    Natural gas or propane? – Kris Dec 28 '17 at 19:29
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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.

  • Gas flows downhill. If your stove is not level, or tilted the wrong way, the gas will not flow past the igniter. Then you'll need a match or cigarette lighter to get it going. Re-levelling your stove will fix this problem. Some stoves come with metal tubes that lead from the burner to the igniter. The tubes sometimes get filled with gunk. Clean them out so the gas can flow again, and you will have joy. – Wayfaring Stranger Jan 25 at 23:09
  • @WayfaringStranger: That is true of propane (which is denser than air), but not natural gas which is less dense than air, so it floats toward the ceiling. – wallyk Jan 26 at 5:11
  • Natural must come out cold then, I've tested the channels on my nat. gas stove, and they definitely need a small negative tilt to work. – Wayfaring Stranger Jan 26 at 5:35
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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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30 seconds or more for burner to light:

My GE gas cooktop was taking 30 to 60 To light the burner. There was no gas flow during that time. The problem is caused by sticky gas pressure regulator. The pressure regulator is mounted on the incoming pipe below the unit. I change the regulator and the problem went away.

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Sometimes when you clean your stove you can push crumbs into the holes which blocks the gas. Just fixed one at the apartment complex I work at. Good luck!

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Sorry I'm late.. but it may help others.

I asked my cousin the same question and he mentioned it's because a fan comes on and clears the oven of any gas... before it ignites. to clear the oven of any gas which would explode. The top burners connect right away since there's no enclosed place for gas to accumulate. klsdad

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    Op is asking about burners – Kris Dec 28 '17 at 19:31
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It’s a safety mechanism for kids and of the lead under the job wears out, it will take longer to ingitr, but it is an auto shot off valve so that the gas switches off in case the flame is blown out by wind so you don’t get gassed

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    Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. This sounds interesting, but it isn't clear what you're trying to say. Would you edit it with a few more details? – Daniel Griscom Nov 20 '18 at 22:20

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