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Gas stove sparks slowly and intermittently

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I just bought a new house, and it came with this gas freestanding range (Whirlpool 465 something, model number SF385PEGN).

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Old 07-23-2014, 07:01 AM
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Default Gas stove sparks slowly and intermittently
Model Number: SF385PEGN   Brand: Whirlpool   Age: More than 10 years   

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I just bought a new house, and it came with this gas freestanding range (Whirlpool 465 something, model number SF385PEGN). The oven lights up fine, but the burners only sometimes work. Based on the model number and a repair manual I looked up, it seems like the stove is from 1998.

When the spark works, it is slow, about once per second. Ignition takes 10-20 seconds for all burners.

I removed the spark module, and used a test cord to plug it into a wall outlet. When it was connected to all 4 ignitors, they didn't spark. Then I removed all 4 ignitor leads, re-powered the spark module, and then it created sparks between its own terminals at about 1Hz. After reconnecting all the ignitor leads, the ignitors all sparked! Weird.

So I reassembled it. Put the spark module back into the rear panel, testing after each step to confirm it was all still working. After screwing the spark module back in, the ignitors wouldn't spark anymore. I removed one lead at a time, no luck. Then I removed two leads at a time, which caused the spark module to spark between its own terminals again, and THEN it worked fine once I reconnected the leads. By "fine", I mean it was back to sparking at ~1Hz and taking a long time to light the burners.

The ignitors are in rough shape. All of them look fairly rusty, and the ceramic ring around the electrode is broken on a few of them.

I still need to test the polarity of the outlet the stove is plugged into (I read somewhere that reversed polarity can cause slow sparking).

Does anyone have any ideas? Should I replace the module and/or the ignitors, or could something else be wrong?


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