Upon looking into this, I found two likely scenarios:
1) bad bake igniter 2) bad temperature sensor.
Because there are two igniters, one for bake (below) and one for broil (abo ve), I figured that if the bake igniter was failing, I could simply swap th e two igniters - because it is highly unlikely that both would be bad (sinc e we hardly ever use the broiler). However, when I swapped the two, I see exactly the same problem. I also measured the resistance on both igniters and on the temp sensor.
The online troubleshooting videos tell me that the resistance of the temp s ensor should be between 1000 and 1100 ohms. Mine was around 1080. They al so tell me that the resistance for the igniter should be between 0 and 1100 ohms, but I think that is just a test for continuity, and doesn't tell me if it's failing or not. My two ignitors were around 180 and 190 ohms respe ctively.
Doing some trouble-shooting, here is what I see:
- When I turn the oven on, the igniter glows, but it takes about 5 minutes before the flame comes on, which seems too long, but maybe that's typical.
- Under normal operation, when the oven is on and has come up to temp the f lame goes off. When the oven has sensed that the temp has dropped too much , the igniter comes on again to relight the flame. Currently, the igniter comes on for about 35 seconds, after which the flame does *NOT* come on and the igniter goes off again. This cycle repeats every couple of minutes un til such time as actual oven temp has dropped enough that the difference in temperature between the oven and the set temp is pretty large (in the rang e of 100 to 150 degrees) at which point, the gas will come back on after ab out 35 seconds and eventually warm the oven back up to temperature.
- If I've set the oven for 350 and the flame has gone off, when the oven is trying to relight the flame, I can temporarily set the oven to 500 and the flame will come back on and stay on (even when I have returned the thermos tat to the desired set temp). But this hack is not that useful because und er proper operation, the flame will come on and off frequently to keep the oven temp within 25 degrees or so of the desired temp. So while this hack did allow me to bake cookies and cupcakes without ruining them for my daugh ter's birthday party recently, It's not convenient to stand by the oven for the entire baking duration (especially if cooking meat).
I think this sounds like the behavior of a failing igniter, the only reason I am skeptical is that both igniters seem to exhibit the exact same behavi or when installed in the bake position. Sadly, I didn't actually didn't te st their performance in the broil position.
It seems unlikely that both igniters would go bad, but I do have some dim r ecollection of this problem happening before - but no recollection of actua lly swapping the igniters. If I actually did swap the igniters previously and then failed to order and install a replacement for the one that went ba d, and the brain cells remembering that have died away, then I'm sorry for wasting your time.
If this sounds like the typical behavior of a failing igniter, then I will try and order a replacement and see if that works, but is there any other l ikely scenario that might be causing these symptoms? Could the problem be further upstream in the electrical chain in a place that is likely unfixabl e by a DIY enthusiast? Is it time to get a new oven?
I guess if it sounds like it could be the igniter, I will certainly try the $25 solution before proceeding to other more costly options - though it wo uld be good to know if there are other possibilities out there that I shoul d be looking at.