Back Button

The Igniter Is Not Working on My Kenmore Gas Cook Top

Pamela Gardapee

When you turn the burner control knob on a Kenmore gas cook top, you should hear a ticking noise, which is the ignitor sparking. When the ignitor sparks, the circuit broad is sending a message to the gas flow line to open up and let gas flow. The sparking ignitor will ignite the gas and produce a flame on the burner. Ignitors that don’t spark could have one or more problems preventing the cook top from igniting.


As you turn the burner control knob, you should hear the spark or a ticking sound. If you don’t hear a spark, you need to check the power to the cook top. Check the circuit breaker to make sure that power is running to the cook top. If your cook top isn’t hard-wired but plugged into a wall outlet, check that the plug is plugged into the outlet.

During a power outage, the electronic ignition will not work because there will be no power to the cook top. You can start the burner flame by using a match. Turn the burner control knob to ‘Lite” while holding a lit match near the center of the burner by the gas orifice port.

Burner Control

If you turn the Kenmore gas cook top burner control knob past the spot on the knob that controls the spark, the ignitor will not spark or light the gas. Turn on the ignitor by turning the control knob to “Lite” on the faceplate covering the control knob. You will hear a spark and see the gas ignite. As soon as the flame is visible, turn the control knob to your desired heat setting.

Ignitor Clogged

Clogged ignitors might not make a ticking sound. But if the ignitor port is clogged, the spark or ticking noise will not make a direct contact with the gas orifice port. If you are trying to turn the burner control to the “Lite” position and don’t have a spark, you need to clean the ignitor, which could be clogged with grease buildup or burnt-on food. The ignitor port is a tiny hole just inside the slots on the burner. Use a thin piece of wire to clean out the port hole by pushing the wire in and out. This will open the ignitor port.

Faulty Ignitor

If after verifying that the power is working on the Kenmore gas cook top and the igniter port is clear of debris you still don’t have a tick or spark, you may have a bad igniter. Although Kenmore cook tops are made in various styles, you should be able to purchase a new ignitor and install it yourself, or you can place a call to a service technician.