Question: The ignitor on my General Electric gas stove burned out. Can I manually light my stove? The burners on the top of the stove work fine.

Answer: No, this is not possible due to the gas being controlled by the gas safety valve. You need the ignitor to be working properly before gas is allowed out of the gas safety valve.

The ignitor is a small round or rectangular (flat oven ignitor and the round oven ignitor) device located near the burner and is wired in series with the gas safety valve. When the ignitor is cold, it has a lot of resistance, meaning it gets most of the electricity in the circuit. As the ignitor heats up, its resistance drops allowing the heat to pass to the bi-metal strip in the gas safety valve, which then allows gas to be released to the burner assembly. The gas then gets ignited by the glow-bar ignitor. The ignitor glows the whole time the burner is on, keeping the gas safety valve open. The thermostat senses when the desired temperature is reached, and cuts off electricity to the gas safety valve and ignitor.

DavesRepair.com has an article on “Gas Oven Glowbar Igniters” along with photos and some helpful tips if you plan on making this repair yourself. He also offers some helpful suggestions on the two different types of igniters: the flat oven ignitor and the round oven ignitor and how to tell which shape your gas oven takes.

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