The first house that I ever purchased came with a very old gas range that would malfunction from time to time. The most frequent problem that I would encounter was a burner that wouldn’t light. Over the years, I learned that there are typically five reasons why a gas stove’s burner won’t light. Here’s a quick rundown on each one:
Extinguished Pilot Light
If your gas stove’s burners are on the fritz, one of the first things that you should look for is an extinguished pilot light. There are several reasons why a pilot light goes out. One of the reasons is that the pilot hole becomes clogged. When my gas stove’s pilot hole would become clogged, I’d shut off the burners and insert a thin needle into the pilot hole. Sometimes I’d have to wiggle the needle around in order to get rid of the entire obstruction. Afterward, I’d relight the pilot light with a long-handled match.
Dirty Igniter Electrodes
The second thing that you should look for when your gas stove’s burners won’t light are dirty igniter electrodes. A gas stove’s igniter electrodes are located near the burner. It sort of looks like a ceramic, white spark plug. I would occasionally clean the igniter electrodes on my old gas stove with an old toothbrush. It seemed to work pretty well.
The third thing that you should look for when your gas stove’s burners won’t light are clogged portholes. The portholes are located near the flash tube. The best way to access them is to lift up the top of the stove. Of course you’ll want to remove the burner grates first. When the portholes on my old gas stove would get clogged, I’d use a sewing needle and an old toothbrush to clean them.
Misaligned Flash Tube
The fourth thing that you should look at when your gas stove’s burners won’t light is the alignment between the burner’s flash tube and the pilot flame. Sometimes they fall out of alignment. The flash tubes are little tubes that extend out of each burner and face the pilot flame. You can generally push them back into alignment by hand.
Poor Air Shutter Setting
The fifth area that you should look at when your gas stove’s burners won’t light is the air shutter. The air shutter is connected to the burner tube and is located towards the front of the stove. As the name suggests, it is what regulates how much air goes to the burner. You can adjust the air shutter by hand using the shutter screw. In my experience, the shutter screw will move fairly easily. If yours won’t, you may need to help it along with the aid of a screwdriver. Keep in mind that you may have to adjust the shutter several times before you are happy with the air flow.
Source: Personal Experience
Killeen Gonzalez has a history of completing DIY home improvement projects with her family.
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