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Burnt igniter wiring on old GE gas oven - why?

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My gas oven (GE JGRS14GEP2BG, probably 20 years old) wonít heat past 370F. The bake burner always stays on trying

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Old 01-04-2013, 03:20 PM
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Default Burnt igniter wiring on old GE gas oven - why?
Model Number: JGRS14GEP2BG   Brand: GE   Age: More than 10 years   

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My gas oven (GE JGRS14GEP2BG, probably 20 years old) wonít heat past 370F. The bake burner always stays on trying to raise the temp.

Today I removed the igniter and it Ohmed out at 100 Ohms, so I think that itís still good (ignition occurs within 60 seconds). However, I noticed some of the igniter wiring was burnt and the plastic insulation cracked off, exposing bare wire on both ignitor orange wires. I suspect the bare wire is shorting to the chassis, causing the gas safety valve to not open fully, resulting in low max oven temperature. The thing I canít figure out is why did the wiring melt? Specifically, it is not the white fabric-wrapped six inch igniter wires that melted, it is the next six inches of orange wire from the igniter ceramic wire nuts running back into the oven that were affected. Although replacing an igniter seems idiot-proof, hereís what I suspect: I replaced this igniter six years ago. Once installed, the igniter wires enter thru a hole in the burner chamber sheet metal and go into an inner chamber about one inch deep, and then continue thru a second small hole in another sheet metal panel toward the rear of the oven. There is no way to control how the wires bunch up once the igniter is bolted in place. I suspect the wires bunched up in that inner cavity and got too hot in there. Maybe the two igniter wires are supposed to run straight thru both sheet metal holes without any slack? If so, how do you get them routed properly? I cannot guarantee such routing of wires from the front side. The wires are not stiff enough and the ceramic nuts get in the way, and access thru the first hole is too small.

Is the solution to remove the oven from the wall and make sure the wires are routed absolutely straight thru both sets of sheet metal holes to prevent overheating? If so, Iím surprised this never gets discussed in these forums, and that the ovens are designed such that the DIYer cannot ensure safe wire routing without removing the whole oven and working from the back side. Any ideas? Thanks!


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 02-05-2013, 10:02 AM
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ANSWER to my own question:

The wires were burnt because I did not properly install the last igniter six years ago. To do the job properly you must have access to the rear of the oven and remove the rear cover sheet metal! The 6 inch long high temperature white wires that are part of the igniter MUST go all the way straight through both openings in the sheet metal (two panels separated by an insulation zone). Then you can make the ceramic wire nut connections to the low temperature orange wires at the rear of the oven. Without access to the rear of the oven there is no way to guarantee that the low temp wires won't get stuck inside that hot insulation zone and melt. Removing the oven to access the rear was not too difficult, just awkward.
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