How to Light an Oven With a Faulty Ignitor

The heat generation element in many gas-powered ovens consists of two components: a long metal burner through which natural gas or propane is released and an electric ignitor to provide the spark for the flame.
A faulty oven ignitor can cause your oven to fail to light.A faulty oven ignitor can cause your oven to fail to light.
With a malfunctioning electric ignitor, the supply of gas may be cut off by a safety feature designed to prevent leaks and explosions. To light your oven burner and ensure that gas will continue to be released, you will have to replace the faulty ignitor.

Step 1

Unplug your oven from the wall socket so there is no current running to the electric ignitors when you make your repairs.

Step 2

Open the front door to your oven. Remove the burner from your oven. Many burners are fastened in place in the oven by a few mounting screws at the front end, and a slotted tab at the back. Use your screwdriver to remove the screws and lift the burner out of the oven.

Step 3

Remove the metal plate that protects your oven ignitor and natural gas supply lines. Locate the mounting screws that hold the protective plate in place, then use your screwdriver to loosen and remove them. Lift the plate out of the oven so that you have unimpeded access to the ignitor.

Step 4

Locate the ignitor and the mounting screws holding it in place. Use your screwdriver to loosen and remove the screws. Disconnect the power wires that run to the ignitor. Apply pressure to the clips until they separate. Use your pliers to apply additional pressure if the clips prove too difficult to manage by hand. Lift the ignitor out of the oven and note the model number and make. Purchase an identical replacement ignitor.

Step 5

Insert the new ignitor into position in the oven and reattach the mounting screws. Connect the electrical wire clips, then reinstall the protective plate. Place the burner back into position and tighten it in place. Plug the oven back into the electrical socket. Test the oven and new ignitor.

Things You Will Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • New ignitor
  • Matches
  • Work gloves


  • Some older gas-powered ovens may have gas-fueled pilot lights instead of electric ignitors. These lights burn all the time, providing a flame to ignite the oven. If your oven pilot light goes out, open the oven door and allow the excess gas to escape. Then use a match to light the pilot light.
  • Wear work gloves when installing a new glowbar ignitor to prevent the oils in your skin from damaging the heat-generating element.


  • A gas oven that will not light can be a health hazard. Natural gas is still released even if the flame does not light. Natural gas can cause injury or death if inhaled or concentrated in a poorly ventilated space.
  • Never attempt maintenance or repair work on an appliance that is plugged into a wall socket. Electric current can cause serious injury or death.

About the Author

Robert Morello has an extensive travel, marketing and business background. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in 2002 and has worked in travel as a guide, corporate senior marketing and product manager and travel consultant/expert. Morello is a professional writer and adjunct professor of travel and tourism.