Gas Range maintenance
January 1, 2012
Gas Range Precautions
This is the “well-duh” portion of the gas range problem-solving instructions, but you might pass these along to your tenants.
1. If you smell gas near a gas range, first check to see if all the pilots are lit.
2. If all the pilots are lit, turn off the gas shut-off valve immediately and call an appliance repairman, or, in the case of a tenant, the landlord. A gas range, as any gas appliance, can explode if it has been leaking gas.
3. Do not turn on anything electrical, such as the kitchen wall switch, un- til the gas leak has been located and fixed.
4. Ventilate the unit.
5. Do not smoke near the range.
6. When looking into dark corners of the appliance, use a flashlight, not a lighted match.
7. Call an appliance repairman if a part is so inaccessible that the range must be moved away from the wall in order to reach the part.
Gas Range Solutions for Older Appliances
The Range Surface
If a surface burner does not light, lift the cook top and check to see if the pilot has gone out. If it has, relight and adjust it.
If the burner does not light when the pi- lot is on, but you are able to light the burner with a match, the burner ignition holes have become clogged with dirt or spilled food. Uneven flame height at the burner indicates clogging also. Remove the burner and wash it in hot, sudsy water and household ammonia. If the burner has narrow slots instead of holes, use a razor blade to clean them.
A burner flame should have a blue cone with a light blue flame tip. If the burner roars and the flame lifts off the burner, too much air is being mixed with the gas; if the flame is part yellow and causing soot to collect under the pot, too little air is being mixed with the gas. In both cases the burner will heat poorly. To correct the air-gas mixture, adjust the air shutter on the burner.
Note: On some models it is possible to make a simmer adjustment. Do this under draft-free conditions and set the flame so that it barely stays lit.
Most older ovens use a pilot. It is underneath the oven and frequently located to the rear of the unit. Pull out the oven drawer and relight the pilot if it is out. Note: To reach the pilot you may have to remove the oven bottom and oven baffle.
The oven may not light because the pilot flame, though burning, is too low. Re- move the oven bottom and baffle and turn the adjustment screw on the ignition assembly to increase or decrease the height of the flame.
The flame switch, found in a number of ovens, should be checked when the oven does not ignite—even though the pilot flame happens to be lit. For this problem you need to test the flame switch with a volt-ohm meter set to the RX1 scale. The pilot flame has to be out and the power to the range turned off, or the flame switch bulb pulled away from the flame.