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How to replace surface burner igniters

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The ceramic sleeve around two of the surface spark igniters on a client's gas range are broken and do not

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Old 06-10-2014, 09:46 AM
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Default How to replace surface burner igniters, corroded in place.
Model Number: SF315PEEQ   Brand: Whirlpool   Age: More than 10 years   

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The ceramic sleeve around two of the surface spark igniters on a client's gas range are broken and do not spark, so I'm going to replace all four igniters. This is a 22 year old Whirlpool Super Capacity 465 freestanding range. The igniters look like they are corroded in place. I have not yet looked under the cooktop to see what holds them from underneath. I have the repair manual and the parts drawing, which are also not clear as to how the igniters are held in place. And your generic video shows how to replace the igniters in a brand new stove, which does not address the real world issues of dealing with parts rusted in place.

The last time I fixed a stove this old, I ended up grinding out and drilling out the old corroded fastening hardware in order to get inside the cooktop. No amount of corrosion busting chemicals were able to loosen up the old hardware.

So I have several questions: One, what holds the igniters in place on this model range, and is it likely to be something that's rusted into permanent non-movement? Is there any kind of spring clip or mounting bracket, not shown on the parts diagram that I should assume will need replacement?

More generally, what do the experts use for breaking loose old, rusted-in-place hardware?



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Last edited by seekmocha : 06-10-2014 at 10:21 PM. Reason: Added a picture
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:23 PM
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Sounds like a real pain if they are corroded in place!

I looked at the parts diagram and saw where the ignitor fits in and you're right, it doesn't really show much as to how it is held in.

I'm guessing this is what you are replacing, the top burner ignitors?
Whirlpool 8053717 Top Burner Igniter - AppliancePartsPros.com

I own an older freestanding gas range that has parts that look very similar to this one and when I was having problems with it starting, mine wasn't those ceramic ignitors that actually create the spark on top of the range, it was the square ignitor control switches.
Whirlpool 3196690 Igniter Switch - AppliancePartsPros.com

In mine, they were behind what your model calls the manifold, Section 03, and I discovered 2 were cracked and due to having my elderly mom here part of the year and not wanting her to worry about it not lighting, I replaced all 4.

If those are all working, and hopefully they are because they are showing $40 for each one, without having to do any drilling of the corrosion, have you tried vinegar to remove the corrosion to get the busted ceramic tip out??

It is cheap and simple.

Remove the burner top that holds the ignitor and remove the wire.

Find something that will hold the part that is just a bit bigger around and deep enough where the stuck ignitor will be covered.

Put the burner top in and pour straight apple cider vinegar on it till it covers the corroded part.

Check it daily.

After 36-48 hours, check it and see if the part pops out. Maybe tap on it with something about the size of a punch?

I had a pair of linesmen pliers I found outside in a vacant lot, no idea how long they had been out there but they were rusted shut and solid. Nothing would penetrate to free them up. I tried putting them in a vise and driving a wedge of wood between the handles after hitting with penetrating oil a few times, nothing.

Stuck them into an old narrow Tupperware container and filled to just above the hinge point.

After 3 days they opened up and I hit them with a bit of WD-40 and they've been fine since.

Unless you are in a hurry to get them out, I'd try this trick once on one of them and see how long it takes for the vinegar to cut into the corrosion. It did not hurt any of the other metal, just cut into the rust.

Hope this helps and good luck.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:11 PM
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I was hoping that I would not have to unscrew the burner tops, the mounting screws for the two burners that are not working are totally rusted. Looks like that is a vain hope. I'm guessing the spark igniter is sandwiched between the cooktop and the burner, but I sure wish somebody would confirm or deny that for me.

Would like to know in advance what the screw sizes are so I can get some stainless steel replacements.

I like the idea of using vinegar to dissolve the rust, although I will probably use a stronger CLR (Calcium/Lime/Rust remover) hoping for faster action, since the client may not appreciate being without the stove for a day or so while the rust is soaking. In the past I've tried Liquid Wrench and PB Blaster with no success, even after waiting an hour for soak time.

Last edited by seekmocha : 06-10-2014 at 10:28 PM. Reason: Additional information
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:38 PM
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FYI, I ended up using a Dremel tool to grind off the tops of the burner screws so I could get it all apart. The square recess on 6 of the eight screws was rusted to uselessness. Grinding took a long time - later I discovered that it was possible to grab the the other end of the screws with vice grips and turn them enough to break them loose from the rust. I replaced them all with 8-32 x 1/2 stainless steel button head hex recess screws.

PB Blaster corrosion dissolver and vinegar had no effect on breaking the screws loose.
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