Friday, February 5, 2010

Fix-It Friday: Oven edition

Our Shiputzim Chief Security Officer YZG (aka “Mr. S.”) is not only known for his Solomonic wisdom and his ability to concoct fake TV shows, but also for his erudite halachic discourses.

But today, YZG has graciously agreed to share some of his vast technical knowledge.

Take it away, YZG!

Disclaimer: The following post may not interest readers who don’t live in Israel and own American gas ovens. Proceed at your own risk.

Replacing Your Gas Oven’s Ignitor

A Guest Post by YZG

The ignitors on many American gas ovens don’t last very long. For instance, we have to replace ours every 1-2 years.

Fortunately, it’s a fairly simple process, and you can save a lot of money by doing it yourself.

Here, then, is a step-by-step DIY guide to replacing the oven ignitor. (I’m assuming that you have a replacement part. If not, they’re available in the US from sites like

This is what the ignitor looks like:clip_image002clip_image004




The first step is to remove the shelf covering the bottom of the oven. Once you do this, you should be able to see the ignitor attached towards the back of the long bar (called a “burn bar”) in the middle of the oven, as you can also see in this picture:


Unscrew the two screws on the top which are holding it on:


There will still be two wires going through some insulation and which are attached to somewhere in the under part of the oven, as shown here:


You’ll need to unplug this from underneath. Here’s how it’s done:

Remove the drawer on the bottom of the oven so you can access the underside of the oven. You should see a metal plate, like this:


After you unscrew and remove the plate, you’ll see a plug as shown circled in red:

clip_image014Click on the picture for a closer view of the plug.

Disconnect the two halves in order to unplug the ignitor. Then carefully pull the wires out, through the insulation, from above.

That’s it. You have successfully removed the old ignitor.

You’re now ready to install the new ignitor:

  1. Put it in place and screw the two screws back in.
  2. Push the wires through the insulation, being careful not to leave any spaces or holes in the insulation. Sometimes the ignitors will come with some extra insulation which you can add to the hole if you want.
  3. Plug the ignitor into the other half of the plug.

Congratulations! The ignitor is now installed.

What’s left now is to test it and then put everything back together.

To test the oven, turn the oven on. The ignitor should slowly start glowing, and after about a minute, the flame in the oven should ignite. If the ignitor doesn’t glow, it’s either not plugged in all the way or it might be cracked. If the flame doesn’t ignite, either the ignitor isn’t positioned properly, or there is some other non-ignitor-related problem.

Once you test that everything is working, you can put the rest of the oven back together.

Thanks, YZG! Excellent job!

שבת שלום ומבורך!


  1. For handy people these things seem so obvious. For the rest of us-well, let's just say I'd be scared the whole oven would blow up in my face after I tried something like that...

  2. First of all, thank you very much for the detailed description. This post is very useful and indeed will save us some money.

    Immediately after reading your post and preparing myself with all the necessary tools and necessary items I began to fix our ignitor.

    I carefully followed each and every step you mentioned and here is where my problems began. First, after completing the procedure, I seemed to have left over two extra wires, three bolts and what looks to be like a hook of gold. These parts where not mentioned in your process and I do not see a list of remaining parts on your post. In the future can you please be more detailed in this regard.

    None the less, since I followed your post exactly I assumed that my oven would work, I therefore plugged it in and put my chicken for shabbos in the oven. As you can guess (otherwise I would not be posting), my chicken did not cook and we only had challah for the meal. Since I am sure I did all perfectly, I ask you what is wrong??? Why does my oven not work?? I see no reason for my oven not to work, its not like I am missing any parts!

  3. Malke - Yeah, but even if your oven explodes, it's still TOTALLY worth it because of all the money you save by installing the ignitor yourself... :-)

    Be All You Can Be - It's official. You win the "Comment of the Week" competition! :-)

  4. LOL -- I remember doing this exact same thing a few years back. Didnt have a blog then nor did it occur to me to photograph it for posterity :-)

  5. Jameel - That's pretty good that the last time your ignitor had to be replaced was a few years ago ba"h...

  6. Great step by step. This helps!


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