Help in diagnosing a misbehaving gas stove

I have a gas stove that is acting up. I have considered calling a repair tech, but I have the feeling that the fix is probably pretty simple. Here is the problem:

I have a JennAir stove, model JGS8860. One burner has the periodic click-click-clicking of trying to ignite while the burner is off. It seems to happen more often, but not exclusively, after the stove has been used and has warmed up. If it matters, it is the burner that is the two stage burner (a small simmer burner on top of the very large burner).

The burner itself seems to be pretty clean. The igniter itself seems to be a little dirty, so when I get some time I plan to unplug the stove and try cleaning it. I have read that a little alcohol on a qtip is a decent cleaner, correct?

If that doesn’t do the trick, can anyone walk my through the next steps for diagnosing the problem? I just haven’t been able to find a decent set of instructions online.

It’s not going to be the part you can see. The thing that you see, where the spark jumps across a gap can’t do that unless it’s getting power. You’ll also note that all of them spark at the same time (at least on most stoves they do). You’re probably going to have to live the top up and find the switch that sends power to them.

If it were me, and I’ve never looked at one of these before, I’d start by unplugging whatever wires I can find from the burner knobs to that switch and see if it still happens. If it does, you know it’s not the knobs telling them to fire. If it stops, plug them in one at time (if their wired that way) and figure out which one it is).
If it did continue to fire with no input from the knobs, then you can safely clean or replace that module. Some very quick googling of “JennAir JGS8860 ignitor clicking on it’s own” suggests this is a pretty common issue. I didn’t click on the links, but I’d imagine you can find some answers or videos in there somewhere.

Thanks. It is most clearly just one igniter that is doing this, and I should add that it is intermittent. (like I said, more common when the stove is warm, but that could just be when I’m in the kitchen more.)

It’s entirely possible that your stove sends spark to only the burner that needs it. In any case, the top usually lifts in one way or another (might just lift right up or there might be 9 hidden screws and require sacrificing your first born). Lift it up and see what’s going on. Also, go to repairclinic . com and type in your model number and pull up the parts so you know what you’re looking for.

But like I said, it’s not going to be where you saw the actual spark, it’s either the the module that sending the power to that or something telling it to spark. IOW, the module is bad or the knob is bad.

My old stovetop used to do that. The spark was triggered by pressing down on the desired knob then turning it. It is the downward movement that trips the switch. I just placed my fingers under the knob and pried it upwards a tiny bit until it stopped sparking. I’m not sure why it started doing that after so many years, but I would have to do this every few weeks.

The other thing it can be doing is a re-spark. If the flame goes out and the gas knob is still on, the high voltage can sense this, as the gas has better conductance then the flame (I guess). Something could be dirty enough to cause a very slight conductance that fools the electronics into thinking the flame has gone out. Dried up spills will do this. Pull off the perforated burner cap and clean and dry it.

I’d guess enough dirt/grime/grease/boil overs over the years just caused it to get dirty and once in a while the button stuck in. Some sort of cleaner may (or may not) have fixed it.

I’m not totally sure I follow, but I think you’re talking about a flame sensor/thermocouple. In that case, it’s a little piece of metal that sits in the fire and produces voltage, on it’s own, in the presence of heat. The voltage it creates keeps the gas valve open. If the flame goes out, it shuts off the gas. I’ve never seen one, personally, in this application. You normally see these in appliances that have standing pilots so if the pilot goes out you don’t fill your house with gas. These are the reason you have to hold a button or dial down for a few seconds when you light your water heater. You’re forcing the valve open until the thermocouple is hot.
Similarly, if your (gas) furnace fires, then the fire shuts off and the entire until quits a second later, one of the first things to check is the flame sensor. You can try cleaning it, but they’re easy and inexpensive to replace.

You have to give it a time-out when it does that. Nip it in the bud.

When stove acts right, give a fish.

Give an oven a fish and it eats for a day…

Another vote for “sticky knob” as the first option.