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Weak Spark on Thermador Cooktop

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Oven Repair (including Ranges and Cooktops)

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Our cooktop has some igniters that produce an intermittent spark and a couple that don't spark at all (without help).

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Old 06-05-2012, 12:53 PM
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Default Weak Spark on Thermador Cooktop
Model Number: SGCS456RS   Brand: Thermador   Age: More than 10 years   

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Our cooktop has some igniters that produce an intermittent spark and a couple that don't spark at all (without help).

I had the unit apart to clean it, fix a spark switch that wasn't staying engaged with the valve and getting out of index (continuous sparking), etc. The o-rings were shot, the pads were dirty and there was corrosion between the pads and the lid. All that is now resolved and I believe the grounds are all good now. None of this has resolved the spark issues.

All the igniters will spark if I hold a screwdriver close while touching the pad or the lid (makes no difference) but some of the sparks are weak even with that help. The center burners seem to have the strongest spark. The spark wires look good as do the igniter "plugs". The spark is triggered equally well with any of the six burner controls so I think the switches are OK. I believe this has been an issue for some time.

I could swap some of the igniter plugs around and see if the problem follows them. Or I could get a spark controller if that's the likely cause. Or I could get new wires if I had a part number (I haven't found that number yet) and they're still available.

What's the most likely culprit here?

Thanks..........


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2012, 11:52 AM
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I found that the caps are important to the igniter performance as they sit closer to the igniter than do the pads. With the caps in place all the burners spark consistently and light well now. The original problem was most likely poor grounds.

Thanks.....
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:02 PM
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Hi.

That is precisely the most common reason for weak sparks - bad ground. So many spark modules were replaced for no reason and all because miss diagnostic.


Congratulations on this success.

Simon.
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:41 PM
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Thanks,

I think the problem started with the o-rings failing. Four were completely missing, the other two were hard and crumbled easily with some sections missing. Because the die cast pads are in direct contact with the stainless top there is a galvanic condition ready for a little moisture. That moisture was supplied during the cleaning of the top, spills, etc. There was visible light-colored powder between the two parts on several of the burners. I bead blasted the bottoms of the pads and scraped the area around the venturi tube holes to bright metal on both sides and the top was completely polished to remove minor scratches, discoloration, etc. As long as it stays dry under the pads the corrosion shouldn't be a big problem.
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:55 PM
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The work you've done should be a perfect sample of solving this problem.
Thank you for shearing the information.

Simon.
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