When using a Kenmore gas stove, remember that it still requires electrical power. The clicking you normally hear when using the stove is the igniter producing electrical sparks to ignite the gas so you can cook. The absence of that clicking means your spark electrode has an issue.
The igniter spark electrode won’t click if there is no incoming power to the stove. For example, the power cord is damaged, the wall socket is faulty, or the circuit breaker has tripped. Besides that, the ceramic insulation on the electrode could have broken off. A faulty spark module can also prevent sparks, as would a failed spark module switch.
Troubleshooting and solving this problem isn’t as challenging as it might seem initially. So, read through this guide to understand which parts to diagnose and how you can fix each of them.
Why Is My Kenmore Gas Stove Igniter Not Clicking?
A Kenmore gas stove should never take more than a second or two to ignite when you use it. However, that’s only possible if the igniter is working well and clicking normally.
When you turn the knob and hear the gas flowing, but the igniter doesn’t click, here are the most likely problems going on:
No Incoming Power
A gas stove igniter that doesn’t click is likely experiencing an issue with one or more spark electrodes. But before you begin investing time and effort into troubleshooting them, the first thing you must check is for incoming power to your stove.
Simply put, the lack of clicking and the absence of sparks at the electrode could simply happen because the electrodes aren’t receiving any power to begin with.
Remember: even though you have a gas stove, the electrodes are electrically powered. Therefore, they require a reliable electricity supply to function correctly.
So, here are the parts you’ll want to check:
- Power cord and plug: Firstly, check the power cord and the plug that you insert into the wall socket. The plug might not be pushed into the socket, causing a lack of power. Besides that, a cord with rips, tears, or holes could also prevent electrical current from flowing to the stove and powering the spark electrode.
- Wall socket: The wall socket that you’re using for your stove could also be faulty. This means the problem is with your household’s electrical system and requires a qualified electrician to troubleshoot.
- Circuit breaker: The breaker for your stove’s electrical circuit could have tripped recently. That will stop all power from flowing through the circuit and reaching your spark electrode.
The solution: Solving the incoming power problem could be all that’s needed to get your stove igniter clicking again. Replace any damaged cords or plugs, fix the wall socket, and turn on the tripped circuit breaker to power your stove and get sparks from the electrode.
Broken Insulation On Spark Electrode
The clicking you normally hear when you use your stove is the sound of the igniter’s electrode generating a spark. That spark ignites the gas to give you the flames you need to generate heat and cook your food.
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That spark electrode is insulated with ceramic, a material that protects the igniter from the strong heat coming from the flames.
Despite the benefits of that ceramic insulation, the material is unfortunately brittle and can break off easily. That will typically happen due to a hard impact, typically from the pots or pans that accidentally come into contact with the ceramic.
When the insulation is broken, the electrode can’t produce the spark necessary to ignite the gas being sent to the burner. As a result, you’re left without any fire to cook with.
The solution: Broken insulation will render a spark electrode useless, as you’ve already seen. You can’t replace or restore that ceramic insulation, so the only solution here is to replace the affected spark electrode.
The silver lining here is that you only need to replace the affected spark electrodes and not all of them simultaneously.
Failed Spark Module
In the previous section, you read that the electrode delivers the spark that ignites the gas burner on your stove. You also read that there are multiple electrodes on a stove, one for each burner that it has.
Behind the scenes, there’s another component called the spark module. When you turn the knob to use one of the burners, the spark module is the part that delivers electricity to the electrode for that burner.
So, another possible reason your igniter isn’t clicking is that the spark module has failed and not necessarily the spark electrode.
You’ll know that the spark module is to blame if you find that none of your electrodes is clicking.
Let’s be clear: if one electrode doesn’t click, but the others do, that means the electrode is to blame. But if none of them clicks, you’ll want to check the spark module instead.
The solution: Spark modules can fail without any apparent reason. Instead, old age and regular wear could be one reason why they fail. Alternatively, the module might have suffered an electrical fault, like a short circuit that damages its internal components.
Whatever the reason, a failed spark module will prevent any of your spark electrodes from clicking so you can get a flame to cook with.
Faulty Spark Module Switch
Suppose the spark electrode is in excellent condition, and so is the spark module. In that case, the lack of clicking at the burner is likely due to a faulty spark module switch instead.
The switch is what your stove knobs are connected to. Normally, turning the knob will trigger the spark module to send power to the electrodes, generating the sparks and clicking that you need to start cooking.
A failure in the switch will prevent that process from happening. The wiring that connects to it could also be to blame.
Typically, components like switches and wires fail due to electrical faults like voltage surges and short circuits. When that happens, it causes problems like overheating and burning wires that prevent the module switch from functioning correctly.
The solution: You’ll want to inspect the spark module switch and its wiring closely to determine whether or not it’s the root cause of the problem. Before doing that, be sure to disconnect the stove from its power source so you can work on it safely.
When inspecting the switch and its wiring, look for burn marks, burn smells, or other damage signs.
Once you’re sure the switch is to blame, you’ll want to replace it with a new one. First, check all the switches in your stove so you can simultaneously replace any other problematic ones.
That way, you won’t have to repeat this process in the future when you discover the other burners not clicking in the future.
Overall, remember that a gas stove still needs electricity to be useful. Electricity is necessary to produce sparks that ignite the gas so you can cook. Those sparks come from the spark electrode.
The electrode’s ceramic insulation could break off and prevent it from producing sparks. Besides that, a failed spark module or spark module switch could also cause the same issue. Of course, you must ensure the stove has electrical power, or else none of the above components will work as they should.