How Does One Troubleshoot an Old Gas Cooking Stove?

To troubleshoot a gas cooking stove that won't light, check that the stove is plugged in and getting power; the igniter, burner holes and connections are clean; and the gas is running smoothly. If the stove still doesn't work, an appliance technician may be needed.

If the gas range is plugged in and the power source works, the problem may be built-up grime or dirty or loose connections. Always unplug the range and make sure the grates are completely cool before working on it. Lift off the burner, clean out the small holes in the side where the gas comes out and clean the igniter, usually located on the range under the burner. Replace the burner, plug in the range and try igniting it again.

If it still doesn't light and the igniter doesn't make a clicking sound when turning the burner knob, check that the wires between the igniter and control module are connected. If any are disconnected, push the metal connector back in place, and try the igniter again. If the wires are connected and the igniter still does not click, it is likely that the igniter needs to be replaced.

If the igniter works properly but the burner doesn't light, hold a barbeque lighter to the gas, and turn the burner knob to light it. If the gas doesn't light, the problem is most likely with the gas line, which requires a specialist to check it. If the burner lights, the igniter needs to be adjusted closer to the burner, about 1/4 inch away. If none of these steps work, call a technician to check the voltage output in the control module.