Gas cooktops are one of the most favored by professional chefs and for good reason. With a gas cooktop you find that the heat is evenly distributed. These are also preferred by many people due to the longevity of the units.
Design concept and flaws
Due to the simplistic nature of these cooktops many issues can be resolved through homeowner preventative maintenance. 9 out of 10 times the reason for failure to ignite is due to debris buildup underneath the burner cap. Before calling in for appliance repair make sure to take a look underneath the burner cap and look for any small pilot holes that are designed to wick gas to the ignition source. If this pilot hole is clogged with debris, push a pin or needle through to allow the gas to escape to the ignition source. If the unit is still not igniting after cleaning underneath the burner cap, look to see if you are getting a good spark coming from the ceramic igniter. If this spark is not present on the burner in question there may be a problem with the wire or the spark module. If you notice that all the other burners are sparking then one of these two failures would be the problem.
Gas cooktops are one of the most simplistic devices for cooking; many only consist of three electronic pieces. You have the switch harness which controls whether or not the unit is receiving a signal to start igniting. You have the spark module which receives the signal and transforms the 120 volts into DC current which allows the next component to create a spark. The final component in many gas cooktops is the ignitor. In rare circumstances you will find units of the higher grade variety that have individual spark modules and individual wire harnesses for each switch (these are normally found on units such as Thermador, Bosch and other luxury brands).
Simple check before calling
If you notice that the gas cooktop is sparking sporadically and without proper activation there may be a problem with one of your plastic control knobs. We recommend removing the plastic control knob and inspecting the back half Crescent key to see if there is a crack to the knob. Lowe’s and Home Depot sell cheap alternatives when you notice a broken Crescent key control knob.
GAS LEAK! What to do?
If you have concern that your gas cooktop is leaking gas at any point stop using the unit and check underneath to find the gas shut off. We also recommend opening a window to circulate fresh air into the affected zone. More likely than explosion would be health symptoms ranging from headache, decreased vision, fatigue, shortness of breath and loss of consciousness. We can help pinpoint the exact location of the leak at the time of the diagnosis and recommend replacement of a singular part of the gas supply system.