Top Reasons Why Gas Smell Coming From The Oven When Preheating

There are obvious differences between gas and electric ovens. For starters, electric ovens are heated by electric heating elements, while gas ovens are heated with natural gas or propane.

While electric ovens have their own list of problems, one common issue with gas ovens is that you may notice a gas smell coming from the oven during preheating.

So, if it smells like gas coming from the oven during the preheating cycle, most likely it is caused by burnt odorant, which may smell like gas OR weak gas ignitor when it is not able to ignite gas burner in a certain time.

Burnt Odorant

It’s normal to get a “gas smell” from all appliances that run off gas at least sometimes. Essentially what you’re smelling is the odorant, which has a rotten egg smell.

The odorant is an additive that’s mixed with both natural gas and propane. It’s interesting to mention that these gases have no smell when not mixed with the odorant.

Anytime you smell gas it can vary from normal to strong. This will generally depend on how much odorant was added to the gas or propane tanks that supply your home.

You may notice when the smell is concentrated more that your tanks are starting to get low.

On the other hand, if you have piped natural gas, the smell can get strong more often.

This will depend on when and how your gas company is adding odorant to the main supply lines.

Most of the time it’s normal to smell gas when one of these appliances is first turned on. The smell can even be strong at times, but usually goes away after the gas ignites.

If your oven is lighting correctly, you have nothing to worry about.

Yet, keep in mind that if you are smelling unburned gas that resembles rotten eggs, this is not normal. If this occurs, you should immediately do the following things:

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  • Turn off the power to the oven
  • Open as many windows in your home as you can
  • If there is an open flame, extinguish it
  • Go outside your home and call your gas supplier

If the smell is gas rather than raw or burnt odorant, check the igniter.

Failing Oven Glowing Igniter

In many gas oven models, the igniter is hidden underneath the bottom covering. This is to protect it from direct exposure to food that has boiled over out of the pan and such.

Yet still, food particles and grease can still reach the igniter through ambient air. This, over time, can affect the function of the igniter.

Unfortunately, most gas oven igniters utilize hot-surface ignition, and this makes it hard to clean without breaking or damaging the igniter.

When the glowing ignitor getting weak, it doesn’t provide the right amount of current to the gas valve, and this causes the igniter to only open slowly, thus allowing gas to escape and no ignition to occur in the first seconds.

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To begin, you need to disconnect the power source for the oven and shut off the gas supply.

You will also want to remove the oven racks and remove the screws holding the base plate in place so you can remove it.

When changing this part, it’s imperative that you remember what position it is in before removing the old igniter.

The new igniter must be installed in the exact same position.

Once you’ve located the igniter, you’ll start the repair by removing the igniter mounts. Then pull up on the part so you see the two wires. Both of these need to be removed.

In some models, the igniter is secured using wire nuts that also need to be completely removed.

When handling the new igniter, you will want to be very gentle with it. If you accidentally drop it, this could render the part useless because they are very fragile.

When installing the new part, you’ll begin by mounting the igniter and then connecting the wires. This helps ensure the positioning is correct, so you don’t have to worry about where the wires rest.

If your model has a wire nut, and you don’t plan to reuse the old one, make sure you purchase a metal nut – not a plastic one because your oven’s ambient heat will melt plastic.

Once you’ve completed these steps, it’s time to replace the cover and the racks inside the oven. Reconnect the power and gas, and test the oven.

With a new igniter in place, the oven should ignite during the first 15-30 seconds, and there should be no gas smell.

You’ll more than likely hear the hiss of the gas, and possibly a few clicks.

Keep listening because you should hear a “whoosh” sound that tells you there is proper ignition.

If for some reason your oven still won’t ignite, you’ll need to check the gas ports.

If you’ve never cleaned them (or if it’s been awhile), they probably aren’t releasing enough gas to provide fast ignition.

At this point, go ahead and clean the ports to see if it makes a difference. If you still smell gas during the preheating cycle, you may want to check for gas leaks.

As we mentioned smelling gas when first starting your appliance is normal up to a certain point.

However, if you know there is an issue it’s best to stop using the stove and oven until a repair has been made.

Though these appliances have built-in safety features, it can cause more harm than good to continue using them.

Do you currently have a gas oven that you’ve smelled gas coming from during preheat? If so, what was the problem and how did you fix it? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so comment below and let’s talk about it!

Reader Comments (30)

  1. Whirlpool double gas. Top works, ignitor glows, followed by an almost simultaneous sound of flowing gas and then almost immediate ignition. The lower exhibits completely different events. The oven’s ignitor glows for maybe 20 seconds maximum, no sound of gas flowing, and obviously no flame ignites. A worn out ignitor that never reaches peak temperature or a bad gas flow valve?

    • the normal sequence of events when you turn on a gas oven : you use the control pad to select bake or broil and set the temperature… the glow ignitor turns on and gets hot enough.. the gas safety valve opens once the ignitor is hot enough to light the gas.. the oven lights and the ignitor turns off. The ignitor can glow and still not get hot enough to trigger the gas safety valve to open.

  2. We have a Frigidaire Gallery gas oven. Recently when we use the oven there is an awful smell. It is not gas but I can’t figure out what it is. The smell will stay around even after the oven is off. There is no problem with a smell when we use the stove top. I ran the self cleaning thinking maybe that would help, it didn’t. Any suggestions on how we can get rid of this smell?

  3. We have a Samsung gas stove and just today there was a strong gas smell when using the stovetop burner. Gas company checked for leaks. His reader showed all 4 top burners had a slow leak, even when not in use. Called appliance repair guy and he said he couldn’t find anything wrong. Not sure what to do. Do we need to buy a whole new stove?

  4. If you are using a removable oven mat for spills on the bottom of your oven, remove it! I figured out it restricted airflow by covering the vents on the bottom which caused the gas smell!

  5. My oven suddenly stopped igniting. I researched online and they said to change the oven Ignitor. I ordered a new one and after changing it, no show. I returned the component as defective and ordered another but it did not work. So I removed the controller board and took it apart to see if I could find anything wrong. I noticed some loose connectors but did not know if they were the problem. I gave up, left the board on my desk, and went to sleep. While I was sleeping, a spirit was telling me to work on the loose connectors. So when I got up in the morning, I prayed first as always and then went back to work on the board. I got my soldering tools and fixed the loose connectors and reconnected the controller back and attached all the wires. I turned the oven on and it ignited immediately. The issue all along was the controller. I was happy and thanked God who instructed me to work on the connectors. The oven worked fine the first day and the next day, I was smelling gas while the oven was on. Some explosive combustion each time the gas ignites. This was quite unusual. The whole house was saturated with the gas smell that I opened my doors. I had my old Ignitor and decided to try it on. I removed the new one, put back my old one that came with the unit back in 2004. I turned the oven on, and quietly, it came on without any gas smell or explosive noise..
    Thank you guys and pray always!

  6. So we bought a frigidaire propane oven/range and put it outside in our garage. It was used and we got it for a really low price. When we use the oven, it smells very strong all the time of burnt gas exhaust. I always try to vent my garage but last time I used it even the food tasted like propane exhaust. My husband keeps telling me it’s normal, but I’m nervous that the exhaust in not safe to breath and I am trying to find out what I need to do. I’m actually running it now and the smell never really stops. I’m sitting outside the garage and smelling it and it’s been running for 20 minutes so far. My husband says these are made for kitchens and that is normal and safe. I disagree a lot and today I only vented it a little by lifting the garage door about 6 inches and when I walked out my eyes started burning. I opened the garage door more now, but I just really want to know if this is normal or if this is more unsafe that we both realize.

    • Hard to say.. But these ovens are designed to use with hood fans, if needed to ventilate. In your case, all burnt gas going inside the garage. I wouldn’t use it in the garage

  7. My fridgeair oven always has a propane smell when I turn it on to preheat, I was told the smell would go away but it hasn’t. I called my gas company for assistance and they told me it would be $99.99 to check it’d there is a leak. I’m getting tired of the strong smell of propane every-time I want to bake something. Any thoughts?

  8. I recently replaced my lower oven (bake) ignitor on my 2006 Jenn-Air oven because the old one wasn’t coming on at all. Since I replaced the lower ignitor, the house smells like gas when the oven is used. If you’re in the house, you almost don’t notice it. If you are outside and walk back in, the smell is very noticeable. I’ll have yet to check if it happens on Broil, but I don’t think so. Is it possible the new ignitor witch is in the proper position is still causing it? There was no smell with old ignitor. Burner is clear and both burners light at about 50 seconds. If it isn’t the new ignitor, is the next step to check the regulator valve assembly?

    • Did you replace ignitor with OEM or substitute part? It should ignite in less then 30 sec

    • I have this same issue with my Jenn Air. Replaced the igniter, but the smell continue s. Had the plumber check, no leaks.

      Did you ever figure this out?

  9. I have an LG stove, When I turn the gas burner on I can sometimes smell gas even though the flame is burning. I also sometimes smell gas when the oven is on, as well as a loud puffing sound whenever the oven reignites during the baking process. I’ve had this stove for about 5 yrs

    • I recommend you to call a technician to replace oven ignitor or if you handy, you can do it by yourself

  10. Hi Gene, we replaced a weak igniter and a gas valve but when we use the oven, no smell with preheating, but when oven triea to maintain heat after it reaches tempurature, it smells of gas. Any idea what else could be wrong?

    • Just wondering who replaced gas valve? You or somebody else? Did you follow all precautions procedures?

  11. Eugene seems to blame everything on a weak ignitor. I just replaced my ignitor and still having the same intense gas smell when preheating the oven. Calling the gas company to come check for a leak.

  12. We have a gas Viking Range that has two over a, a large normal sized oven, and then a smaller oven next to it. When starting the large oven, there is no smell of gas. However, when starting the smaller oven, there is a very strong smell of gas during the first 1-2 minutes of preheating. If there are no windows open/ venting, it fills the kitchen. If I have the overhead vent running, it extinguishes the smell adequately. It’s a nuisance though to have to turn the overhead fan on every time we use that oven. We’ve had a service technician come out (free one provided by Viking) but it was two young kids who kept repeating “That’s normal”. Thoughts?

  13. Thanks Eugene, but it isn’t when it pre-heats but rather once it is trying to maintain temperature and the igniter re-engages.

  14. I have an oven that would preheat in to 350 in 7-8 minutes so I changed the ignitor, then it lit the gas in 30 seconds and preheated great, but then wouldn’t light gas to maintain temperature and smelled of gas we had a service person tell us it was a bad gas valve so we changed that and now it preheats great and maintains heat, but every so often during the maintaing heat process or baking process, we smell gas and it can get strong. Any idea why this is happening? We paid twice for service people. One completely ripped us off and didn’t do a thing for the $90.00 we paid and the other told us it was a faulty gas valve and yet something is still not right.

    • From my experience i can tell, that number one issue when you smell gas every time when oven preheating, it’s a weak ignitor. Weak ignitor open gas valve very slow, allowing gas to leak, but not enough to ignite

      • On my range, I see the glowbar going red, then I can hear the gas hissing then lighting up. No gas smell, yet.
        Next I let it running, then I can smell the gas, although the flame seems to burn correctly.
        Same thing on the other stove (dual stove), even though they have separate valves (as far as I could see).
        Is it possible that a weak glowbar, although it burns, does not ignite completely?

      • Without diving deep into the process of how these ignitors work, i think You need a new ignitor. And yes, it seems like ignitor is weak

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