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GE Oven Not Lighting or Igniting? Top 4 Causes (+ Fixes)

Many of us choose to cook in an oven to save time. But what happens if your GE oven suddenly won’t light or ignite? All your time-saving efforts will go to waste then, and you’ll only be left wondering why your oven isn’t lighting or igniting.

These are the top 4 most probable reasons a GE oven will not ignite or light:

  • Power/gas issues.
  • A defective bake or broil element (GE electric oven).
  • A defective igniter (GE gas oven)
  • Oven controls are not set correctly.

This article will help answer the “why won’t my GE oven light or ignite” question. I’ll also give you practical tips to help you resolve your oven issues ASAP. Let’s explore each of the causes and fixes in more detail below.

Your GE Oven Has Power/Gas Issues

All modern ovens run on electricity. While an electric oven needs electricity to run the heating elements and the other parts, a gas oven needs electricity to run gas ignition and components like fans and the control panel. A gas oven also needs gas to run the burners.

If a GE electric oven has power or electricity issues, it won’t light or ignite. If a GE gas oven has gas issues, it may run other components but not the burners. Gas ovens whose flame sensor can be operated mechanically or whose sensor relies on hydraulic pressure will ignite the burners without electricity, but other parts will not function.

The following power/gas issues will cause your oven not to ignite or light:

  • A socket switch that’s turned off
  • A loose plug
  • A damaged power cord
  • A faulty wall outlet
  • A tripped circuit breaker
  • A faulty wall outlet
  • Insufficient voltage (electric ovens)
  • No gas supply (gas ovens)

How To Fix GE Oven Power/Gas Issues

You’ll need to determine which of the above issues is causing your GE oven not to light or ignite using the “elimination method.” In other words, check for each power issue, starting with the simplest to the most complex, until you can determine the cause. 

Here’s what to do:

  1. Ensure the socket supplying power to your GE oven is turned on.
  2. Confirm that the GE oven cord is plugged well into the socket.
  3. Assess the GE oven cord for damage. If there are any frayed wires or breakages, replace the cord.
  4. Check if the circuit breaker switch supplying power to the oven is tripped (i.e., turned downwards). If it is, turn it back up to send power to the oven. If the switch feels rigid, call a trained electrician to assess the circuit breaker for faults.
  5. Test the wall outlet for voltage. A properly working outlet should read around 110-120 volts for gas oven outlets and 220-240 volts for electric oven outlets.
  6. Check the gas hookup to the oven and your home to ensure it’s turned on. If it is, turn on another gas-powered appliance in your home to confirm that you’re receiving a gas supply. If the appliance works, your oven has issues with other igniting parts like the spark electrode, thermostat, or control board. If the other appliance isn’t receiving gas either, contact the supplier to restore gas to the home. 

Check this YouTube video for a demonstration of how to test a wall outlet for voltage: 

Your GE Electric Oven Bake or Broil Element Is Defective

Your GE electric oven bakes or broils because it has two heat elements for each function. If an oven element is shorted or defective, it won’t complete the electric current needed to heat it. As such, your oven will not ignite.

How To Fix a Defective GE Oven Bake or Broil Element

First off, you need to know which of the two elements is defective. The broil element supplies minimal heat in cycles during the baking process. The bake element doesn’t heat up during the broil cycle. You should, therefore, try both cycles before deciding that the oven isn’t igniting or lighting at all.

If you’ve determined that the elements aren’t igniting, you’ll need to assess them for damage and continuity and replace them as required. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Disconnect power to the oven and remove the plug. Alternatively, cut the power at the circuit breaker.
  2. Remove the oven racks to make space and access the elements.
  3. Locate the bake element at the bottom of the oven and the broil element at the oven’s roof. Assess each for damage in turns. A damaged bake or broil element may show cracks, blisters, or broken parts.
  4. If the elements don’t show any signs of damage, remove them to test for continuity. You’ll need to remove screws in both cases to release the elements. 
  5. Detach the wires from the elements and pull them a little into the oven to prevent them from sinking back into the back of the oven wall.
  6. Probe the isolated elements for continuity by placing a prod of the multimeter on each of the heating element’s terminals. The element should record about 10-50 ohms if it’s sound. If no reading is recorded, the heating element is dead and needs replacement.
  7. Order a correct GE oven bake/boil element to replace the damaged one. Then follow the reverse steps to reconnect the wires and screw back the elements where you removed the defective ones.
  8. Test the oven to see if it ignites.

You can watch this YouTube video demonstrating how to remove and replace an oven element:

Your GE Gas Oven Has a Defective Igniter

If you have a GE gas oven that’s not igniting or lighting, the heating elements issue in an electric oven turns into an igniter issue in a gas oven.

A functional igniter in a gas oven is indispensable. It sends electric current to the oven through the safety valve and ignites the gas burners once you send the ignite command through a knob or switch. A faulty igniter won’t be able to do this.

How To Fix a Defective GE Gas Oven Igniter

A faulty igniter will not turn on when you turn the knob or switch, or it may turn on without enough flame to ignite the gas burners. In both cases, you need to replace the igniter following the steps below:

  1. Disconnect the power to the oven.
  2. Remove the broiler drawer to access the igniter. Gas ovens have a broiler drawer below the baking space.
  3. Remove the screws holding the safety valve.
  4. Unscrew the wire cover. 
  5. Remove the valve wires and pull the igniter wire through the passage hole.
  6. Release the wires by pressing the two tabs on each side of the connector.
  7. Unscrew the defective igniter and screw the new one in place of the old one.
  8. Follow the reverse steps to put the igniter, igniter wires, valve wires, safety valve, and broiler drawer in place. 
  9. Test the oven to see if the issue is resolved.

This YouTube video of the steps will help you better visualize what to do: 

Your GE Oven Controls Are Not Correctly Set for Bake or Broil

Whether you have a GE profile oven, a gas or electric range, or a GE wall oven, you need to use the oven controls to set the cycles before you can hit the START button. 

Setting the oven controls programs your oven for what it should do. If you don’t set the controls correctly and don’t start the cycle, your oven will not ignite or light up.

How To Set GE Oven Controls

Setting your GE oven controls will depend on the type of controls that your oven has. 

If You Have a GE Gas Range With Knobs

Turn the oven selector bezel knob to the BAKE or BROIL option as required. Then proceed to set timing and temperature by: 

  1. Pushing in the selector knob and turning the START indication to the current time – press ENTER on the control panel.
  2. Pushing in the selector knob and turning the STOP indication to the time the oven should stop – press ENTER on the control panel.
  3. Setting the desired bake/broil time and temperature.
  4. Press START on the control panel.

If You Have a GE Oven With Electronic Oven Controls

Follow these steps to set the BAKE function:

  1. Press the BAKE pad on the control panel.
  2. Use the plus (+) or minus (-) TEMP pads to set the baking temperature.
  3. Press the START button.

Follow these steps to set the BROIL function:

  1. Hit the BROIL HI/LO pad to set it to HI Broil.
  2. Hit the BROIL HI/LO pad again to set it to LO Broil.
  3. Hit the START button.

GE Oven Igniter Not Working or Glowing

If your GE oven igniter isn’t working or glowing:

  • The safety gas valve that sends power to the igniter is faulty.
  • The igniter is bad and has no continuity.
  • The oven isn’t receiving any gas, and neither is the ignitor (in gas-only models). 

In the first two cases, the components (safety gas valve and igniter) need to be replaced. If the oven isn’t receiving any gas, check if the gas hook-up valve is in the ‘on’ position and if gas is coming into your home. 

For any of these causes of GE oven not lighting or igniting, call a GE oven professional to resolve any issues you’re not sure you can handle or contact GE Support.

Additional GE Oven Resources

If you have any other issues with your GE oven, our other GE oven troubleshooting articles may be able to help:

Author

  • Steve Rajeckas

    Steve Rajeckas is an HVAC hobbyist with an avid interest in learning innovative ways to keep rooms, buildings, and everything else at the optimal temperature. When he's not working on new posts for Temperature Master, he can be found reading books or exploring the outdoors.

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