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Ask Dave: Why will only one of my RV stovetop burners light?

Dear Dave,
Only one of three RV stovetop burners will light using the “spark” knob (back left). Is there a way to troubleshoot? Thank you! —Carol

Dear Carol,
Typically your Wedgewood three-burner stovetop has a spark ignitor or piezo located at each burner. If you have the cover off, you will see wires coming off the spark knob going to each piezo. This is a ceramic insulator with wire probe. When you turn the knob, each one should throw a small spark similar to a gas grill.

Inspect the spark ignitors on stovetop burners

First, I would turn the knob and inspect the two spark ignitors. See if there is a noticeable spark going to the burner. If the ceramic insulator is cracked, the spark will follow the crack to a ground source, which is called tracking, so the spark does not get to the burner and the gas. This would require a new piezo. However, typically you don’t see both doing this.

If there is a spark present but it’s not lighting, use a butane lighter stick and see if it will light with a direct flame. If not, then you most likely have a plugged LP tube going to the burner.

Check the wiring

If you do not have a spark and it lights with a butane lighter, check the wiring to the piezo from the knob to the bottom of the probe. It could be a loose connection or an opening in the wires. I would suggest taking the wire off on both ends, checking continuity with a multimeter and, if it is good, cleaning the terminals really well. My guess is that it is a loose connection. Since one of the burners lights, it means there is LP getting to the stovetop and the spark knob is working—just something wrong at the other two points.

Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club.

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Bob Palin
4 months ago

None of mine work, I’ve given up and just use the butane lighter.

hillye1
4 months ago
Reply to  Bob Palin

Had the same problem with my stove, the insulation on the wires that come with the stove are so thin that it shorts out to the frame, replaced with new wires that had an extra cover over the wires, no problem since.

Irvin Kanode
4 months ago

Check the insulation on the wires running from the piezo to the problem burners. On mine, the wires were laying against the metal bottom plate. Bouncing down the road apparently wore off the insulation thus causing the spark to short out.

I bought some heat shrink tubing and covered the wires with it. It had to have a large enough diameter to fit over the connectors at the end of the wires.

DAVE TELENKO
4 months ago

I totally agree with Dave, those connectors on the piezo & at the burner have come loose. They seem to have a bad habit of doing that all by themselves. I think it has something to do with jolt of spark it gets every time its used & bouncing down the road doesn’t help either! Just a note that our back yard BBQ done it once & the wire had come loose!
Snoopy

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