How to fix a gas oven that won’t light



The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where families share dinner, gather together and pass down recipes. One of the worst things that can happen when preparing to cook an amazing meal for your family is to find out that your gas oven won’t light. Do you call a repairman or resort to the microwave? 

A handy homeowner can troubleshoot the problem when a gas oven doesn’t light. A handful of common problems can plague gas ovens. Many are as simple as a loose connection, while others involve replacing important components. However, those simple repairs are less likely to cost you an arm and a leg. Before worrying about replacing your oven, see if one of these common issues is the cause of your oven problems.


Troubleshooting a gas oven that won’t light

You can check a handful of issues if your gas oven doesn’t light. From a simple power issue to a faulty gas igniter, here are a few common reasons your gas oven won’t work. 

Check the circuit breaker

If your oven won’t heat and your gas burners won’t light, the problem might be as simple as a tripped circuit breaker. Even though you have a gas oven, it still needs electricity to run. Electricity powers the control board, igniter and temperature sensor, among other parts. 

The oven should connect to a standard 15- or 20-amp switch inside your circuit breaker box. These are the single switches. Your oven may also have its own dedicated breaker switch. If not, you can check the power by testing the secondary outlet. The problem lies elsewhere if the outlet works but your gas oven does not.

Check the gas supply

While a rare occurrence, your gas oven may not heat because your gas supply is off — usually a result of maintenance repairs or replacements in the system. For example, if your oven or other gas-reliant appliance was recently repaired, the gas line is likely still turned off.

The easiest solution to this issue is to turn all the gas supply switches to the “on” position, including any branches. 

Check the temperature sensor

Like a thermostat, the temperature sensor regulates the oven temperature of your gas oven. It connects to the igniter switch. If the temperature sensor breaks, the oven will not light for safety reasons. 

Troubleshooting and replacing this sensor is a fairly easy fix for a homeowner who is comfortable working on a gas oven.

  1. Unplug the oven from the wall.
  2. Find the temperature sensor, usually connected to or near the back wall of the oven. 
  3. Use a screwdriver to remove the sensor and use a multimeter tool to test it.
  4. Before testing the sensor, check the manufacturer’s manual for the correct amount of resistance. The resistance will vary by model. 
  5. Set the multimeter to the RX1 setting and touch the sensor terminals with the tool to ensure the sensor resistance reading is within the correct parameters. 
  6. Replace the sensor if the reading is outside the correct range.

Check the oven safety valve

The igniter controls the oven safety valve, also known as the gas valve. This oven component ensures only gas enters the oven when the igniter is hot enough to ignite it. This component stops working if there is not enough power to either the valve or the igniter. A handy homeowner can use a multimeter tool to test that the valve is working.

  1. Unplug your oven.
  2. Remove the back panel of the oven (and possibly the heat shields) to find the gas valve. 
  3. Remove the valve.
  4. Use a multimeter tool on the RX1 setting and test the valve. Some brands use valves with terminals for both the broiler and the baking elements. Test both sets of terminals.
  5. The multimeter reading range is zero to 50 ohms of resistance. If your valve tests outside that range, replace it.

Check the igniter

The igniter is the key component of a gas oven. If you have a faulty igniter, many of the other components will not work and the oven will not turn on. Oven igniters glow hot to ignite the natural gas released by the oven safety valve. However, if the heating element is not working, the gas valve will not trigger and the oven will not ignite. 

To check the gas igniter:

  1. Turn off the circuit to the oven and confirm the power is off by checking that the oven light, clock and control board are all off. 
  2. Remove the oven racks and metal plate covering the gas burner and igniter.
  3. Check the igniter for any buildup, discoloration or damage. Discoloration is often the first sign of a faulty igniter.
  4. If nothing looks wrong with the part, plug the oven back in and watch to see if the igniter glows after turning on the oven. If it does not glow orange, replace it.


How to replace a gas oven igniter in 3 steps

Replacing a faulty gas oven igniter is a moderately easy DIY appliance repair. Estimated costs are between $40 and $80, depending on the cost of a replacement igniter. If you have a newer oven, check any manufacturer warranties before making any repairs. 

While a homeowner can do this project, ensure you take every safety precaution before attempting. Turn off the oven’s gas supply and disconnect the appliance from the outlet. Remember to take precautions if you smell gas (even after you have turned off the supply to the oven). Turn off the main gas supply to your home, open windows for ventilation, and call an appliance technician for assistance. 

1. Order the correct replacement part

To ensure you have the correct replacement igniter, have your oven model number and serial number. A Kenmore oven might not use the same part as a Whirlpool oven. These numbers are often found inside the oven door or drawer, depending on the brand of oven.

Once you have your model and serial number, visit your local appliance store or check the manufacturer’s website for replacement parts. 

2. Shut off the power

Turn off all power to your oven. Ensure the power is off by checking that the light, control board and clock are off. Then remove the oven racks. Next, unscrew the base plate and remove it from the oven. You will find the igniter underneath.

Some models have igniter coils. Do not touch these black, springlike coils. The igniter coils are very fragile, and your skin's oil can damage them.

3. Remove and replace the gas igniter

Take a reference photo before removing the old gas igniter. Install the new igniter in the same way. Be very careful with the new igniter because it is very fragile. 

  1. Unplug the two wires or the wire harness from the igniter. 
  2. Unscrew the two screws that hold the igniter in place.
  3. Remove the igniter from the oven.
  4. Carefully position the new igniter in the same position as the old one. 
  5. Secure the igniter with the same two screws.
  6. Reattach the wires or wire harness.


Why is the gas stove working but the oven is not?

While your gas stove and gas oven are part of the same appliance, they do not use the same parts and components. This is why your gas burners can work while your gas oven won’t light. Your gas range has its own set of igniters, gas valves and safety features. If everything is in working order, your range can work independently of your gas oven.

However, if your gas oven is not receiving power, natural gas or propane, neither the oven nor the gas stovetop will work.


Prevent costly oven repair bills with Cinch

Appliance repairs are always a big inconvenience and can sometimes cost an arm and a leg. Don’t get stuck without your most important appliances. Check out the Cinch Home Services warranty plan that cover appliances, including both gas and electric ovens. With three different options to choose from, you can find the right plan for your home. 

Cinch serves nearly 1 million customers and includes a 180-day workmanship guarantee on covered repairs. Get a quote on a Cinch home protection plan today.


Don’t worry if your gas oven won’t light. Here are some common oven repairs to try before replacing your appliance.