What we are going to be doing here in today’s appliance repair (courtesy of http://scottsdaleappliancemasters.com) is testing an igniter on a gas stove. The reason we’re testing this igniter is the oven doesn’t heat up and other symptom you might have is your food is taking too long to cook; your oven does not reaching proper temperature. This one is here is a GE range, you might have a different brand but the only difference with any of the glow bar style igniters is the airflow on the igniter, the location, how many you have, what they look like, but the testing procedure is going to be the same. And we’ll be using the clamp meter to do the testing and the reason we are not using an ohm meter is the ohm meter has only going to tell us if there is a break in it, it’s not going to actually tell us if it’s working properly.
And this is a clamp meter here, and it’s very important that you only clamp this on one of the igniter wires if you clamp it on more than one, two, you’re not going to get a reading at all. And this you can pick up at Sear’s or RadioShack, very inexpensive about 20 bucks. Come on down and we’ll take a look at this here and on ours the igniter, we’re actually we could get through to the oven door and pull on the bottom pin off but what we’re more interested in is getting the igniter wires.
They’ll going to be down here on this part and pull this off. And you may have a kick plate down here with the couple of screws that you need to remove to pull the cover up, your igniter maybe in a different spot, maybe in the front with sealed wires, coming down, we’ll talk about the wires in a minute here, and so it could be on a different location, so we’ll take a close.
Okay, this is our igniter here and it’s attached to the burner tube, this is where your gas comes out your flame and more importantly what we’re looking for is the igniter wires which are here. This can be identified by the flame retardant material that’s on it. it’s like a cloth and they are usually white also. Another thing is one of the wires is usually leading down to the gas valve.
The gas valve is going to be behind this cover and I know that because the gas flame coming in here leads to the gas valve. So remove that cover and I have already taken out the screw and this is the gas valve here also called the safety valve. And on the bottom of it, it has a reading and you can’t see it on the video but it says “3.3 to 3.6 amps.”
So the way this works is; the gas comes in, comes into the valve, you turn on your oven, power comes down, turns on this, when this reaches a certain amp draw, sends power down to the gas valve which starts to open up when it reaches that amp draw to let the gas come in, comes in to the burner tube, hits the glowing igniter, ignites, sending up flame., the igniter stays glowing which keeps the valve open. If this doesn’t quite reach the proper amp draw, it may open part way letting some gas come in a small flame, you may say or no light at all, like in this case here.
So what we’re going to do is clamp our clamp meter on there, I’m setting up the proper setting here, we’re putting at 20 amps on pretty high enough here and we’ll clamp it on one of the igniter wires and now we’ll be up, we’ll turn the oven on and we’ll watch that climb up and I know, since I’ve already tested this is going to get up to about 3 amps and stall, so we’ll shut it off the air for the now.
And you see its start to glow and It just sits here at about 3 amps and it starts to fall off after a few minutes. And there you can see it stalled out there and it had just started to glow so this here, since it sitting there we’re adding up to an hour and I know that it’s not going to open up that safety valve, we’re going to need to replace it. And a common misconception is people think that it’s the gas valve because is not letting the gas in but really it’s the igniter that signaling the gas valve to open up so we’re replacing it.