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Gas Stove Clicking: Complete Troubleshooting Guide 

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Having issues with the igniter on a gas stove is a widespread occurrence. Many people ignore it or use alternative ways to light their gas stoves. However, you can easily fix a gas stove clicking issue by following this guide.

The primary way to fix clicking issues in a gas stove is to clean the burners. If the burners aren’t dirty, it may be an electrical fault with the ignition switches, which you should replace. Poor alignment and moisture in the burner can also cause clicking; small adjustments can solve these issues.

We’ll look at all the common issues with the gas stove clicking and how to solve them, as well as some maintenance tips to keep your gas stove working perfectly.

Why Is My Burner Making a Clicking Noise?

If the burner is clicking continuously, check the alignment of the burner and make sure the burner is clean. If there are any issues with the flow of gas, this can result in the burner clicking without igniting.

It’s normal for an igniter to click up to three times before it sparks and lights your stove. Any more than this, and you likely have ignition switch issues. If it takes many clicks to light the stove, look through the major components of the stove top for some issues.

Poor Alignment

Stovetops and gas burners require no obstructions so that the fuel can adequately mix and then get ignited. As you go about your typical usage patterns, you can expect the various pots and pans to bump the burners out of alignment.

The burners are the main heating element of a gas stove. They’re the squat protrusions from where the fire comes out and the most common location of blockages causing poor or no ignition.

The burners will often have burner grates, a type of metal framework designed to support pots and pans while being cooked. Some stovetops will use the burners themselves to help, while others may use both the burners and grates.

How to Check Your Burners for Problems

First, do a visual inspection to look for any apparent issues. 

Burners will be slightly raised off the surface of a gas stove, so check here to make sure all the gaps are even for all the burner caps. You may have different types of burners, like for a wok, so these may be nonstandard.

It’s worth checking online by looking up the model number for your stove and checking out the configuration. You can easily find manuals for almost any model or stove. That way, you can tell whether your oven is still like it came out of the factory or needs some adjusting.

Most information should be prominently displayed on the stove, but you may have to open the oven door to find the label. If you’re struggling, you can try to put in the information you know into a Google search and try to find it that way, such as Westinghouse gas stovetop.

Adjusting the Alignment

Next, remove each burner cap from its seating and then reinsert piece by piece. 

Sometimes burners will be in separate parts and can be assembled by placing each piece in a specific order back into the recess that holds the burner head.

Make sure the alignment of the burner head matches up with the appropriate holes in the recess of the stovetop. There will be a large hole which the spark will travel through from the electrode on the stovetop’s surface, and this must be appropriately aligned to the holes on the burner head.

The electrode will generally be a short, thin protrusion sticking up from the stovetop. There should be a corresponding hole that the electrode pokes through on the burner head that should be your primary alignment benchmark.

The burner cap should fit snugly and securely into the stovetop. Lopsided burner caps reveal a likely issue with a buildup of dirt or improper installation. One technique is to sit the burner cap on the stovetop and then rotate or wiggle it slowly until it falls into place.

Any excessive movement of the burner base or burner head will likely signal that it is not aligned correctly. A quick test is to use the tip of your finger to push the burner head; it shouldn’t be able to move much at all.

Center the burner cap on top of the burner head, and then give your stovetop a test run.

Buildup of Dirt

Stovetops can become one of the dirtiest objects in the house, given their constant use and the messy nature of cooking with certain foods. A buildup of dirt will cause the stovetop not to operate correctly.

The nature of cooking also means that you can’t clean the stovetop effectively while you’re cooking. Sometimes food is left on the stovetop to be eaten later, meaning the stovetop isn’t conveniently accessible for cleaning, invariably meaning junk builds up.

Applying high amounts of heat can also result in burning and the accumulation of stubborn food scraps. Effectively removing all traces of this is challenging, and the liquid nature of many foods during the cooking process means that it can easily drip into cracks and crevices.

Some of the most common culprits of a buildup of food debris are starchy foods. Starch is commonly found in flour, noodles, and pasta. Cooking these products can lead to material dripping down and clogging the stovetop. 

Here’s a video on how to fix a clogged gas burner.

WD-40’s Specialist Industrial-Strength Cleaner and Degreaser, available on Amazon.com, will cut through large amounts of buildup. It’s safe to use on stainless steel and is biodegradable, so you know you’re not harming the environment.

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Moisture in the Burner 

Moisture can quickly form in the burner head from a variety of sources. Properly cleaning and leaving the burners to dry for a few hours should remove all the moisture.

Sweating is very common in products that contain a lot of moisture and those high in humectants. You’ll find humectants in various foods, including honey, seaweed, alcohol, and anything that contains salt or sugar.

Applying heat to specific products will cause them to sweat, even forming moisture outside pots and pans. This moisture will accumulate and then flow down into the burner.

The burner cap is the thin piece of metal sitting across the top of the burner head. The burner’s flame evaporates this moisture, which will condense on the underside of the burner cap.

As the water accumulates, it forms into heavier and heavier droplets until it drips down back into the burner head, causing issues with the electrode and possibly causing blockages of the gas feed. This is compounded if the moisture droplets are themselves contaminated with starch.

The evaporation and condensation process continues even after the heat source is removed. This is actually where most of the issues occur, as the heat source will no longer cause the water droplets to be vaporized, and so they’re more likely to drip in dirt and debris.

Moisture can also wreak havoc with the spark ignition switch. This is the primary mechanism behind bringing the spark to ignite the gas.

What To Do if the Gas Stove Keeps Clicking When Off?

If your gas stove continues to click when it’s not in use, clean the parts by taking off the knobs and removing all debris from the stovetop near the ignition switch. Replace any faulty parts, such as the ignition switch, after diagnosing the problem with the multimeter.

The switch may get shorted due to excessive moisture that has accumulated in the burner. Keep your stovetop as free from moisture as possible by cleaning up spills and drying out the burner if it becomes wet.

A damaged ignition switch will not modulate properly and continuously sparks the igniter, making it click continuously.

To test for a faulty ground, use a multimeter. A multimeter is one of the most important diagnostic tools to have on hand to detect any electrical systems issues. I recommend the easy-to-use AstroAI multimeter on Amazon.com to test AC/DC and voltage.

Use the multimeter leads on each of the stove switches. It’s essential to determine whether there’s a short or another issue by checking for continuity. No continuity means a faulty ignition switch, and you should replace the ignition switches.

Multimeters have a continuity setting which will cause a tone to sound if there is a positive for continuity.

The other method is to look at resistance. Use the two leads with the multimeter on the Ohm setting at the lowest setting. Access the ignition switches by removing the top cover of the stovetop and testing both of the outlets for the ignition switch. Check this video out on how to fix the auto ignition system:

You can also quickly get access to the switches just by removing the knobs. Some ovens may not allow you to get into the ignition switches without entirely removing all covers, although you should still be able to do the diagnostic test through the holes.

Why Is My Gas Stove Clicking but Not Lighting?

If your gas stove is clicking but not lighting, you may have a problem with blockages. Additionally, your burners or burner caps may be dirty or ill- aligned. Make sure the burner and burner cap are seated correctly and that the gas flows out of the burner. Thoroughly clean any blockages.

First, you should remove and realign the burner crate and burner cap. Make sure that the electrode is clean inside and out and poking through the right part of the burner.

Enamel-coated or cast iron burners, the two most common types, can be washed in the sink with dish soap and hot water. They should be rinsed and properly dried before being put back to use.

If you have brass burner caps, wash them using a home remedy of white vinegar, water, and something like Bar Keeper’s Friend. Any stainless steel cleaner will do, but Bar Keepers Friend, available on Amazon.com, is a non-bleach powder that will make metal look like new.

Burnt or caked-on food scraps can interfere with the airflow of the burner and cause it not to be able to ignite correctly. If the above methods have not worked, consider putting the burners into a container with one-part ammonia to three parts water and soaking overnight.

You can use a self-cleaning oven to clean the metal grates, but make sure there are no rubber parts on them.

You can use a pin to pick away accumulated carbon buildup that is not responding to washing or chemical cleaners. A cotton bud used with a strong cleaner can apply cleaner to tight channels or holes.

Is a Clicking Stove Dangerous?

A clicking stove is potentially dangerous. Ensure that the gas is also not being continuously pumped into the room from a stuck knob. It would be best if you tried unplugging the stove from the wall.

A clicking stove is very dangerous when gas is also flowing into the room. A stuck knob can cause the stove to ignite, but as the knob is only partially stuck, not much gas comes in. But over time, this can build up and get ignited.

However, a stove may be clicking all the time if the ignition switch is broken. There is a low chance of danger in this situation, but it would still be worthwhile to disconnect that ignition switch or unplug the oven from the wall.

If you look behind or under a stovetop, you should be able to find a power source. The ignition switch is powered off the mains, so there has to be some plug that is feeding this into the stovetop. Unplugging this will stop it from continuously clicking.

Why Does My Stove Igniter Keep Clicking?

If your stove igniter is continuously clicking, the problem could be a stuck stove igniter that is likely due to an electrical fault or a stuck control knob.

Check the individual spark modules and the power point with a multimeter to ensure that all readings are as expected. If these spark modules suffer a fault, they may begin to spark continuously on their own.

Problems with the mains power will require an electrician, but faulty ignition switches can be easily purchased online. Compatible replacements can be easily found on Amazon just by looking up your stovetop’s model number. 

A stuck control knob should be taken care of by doing the full removal and cleaning process as detailed above.

Conclusion

A stove igniter will keep clicking if it doesn’t ignite the gas. The gas flow may be impeded because the burner cap needs cleaning. Otherwise, you will need to check the spark modules inside the stovetop to check if they are functioning properly.