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The Importance of Oven Igniters in Gas Ovens

Posted on by rpm dev

The Importance of Oven Igniters in Gas Ovens

Gas ovens came into usage in the mid-1800s and remain popular to this day. Early-model gas ovens had to be fired up with a match, and this functionality eventually evolved into the pilot light. In those early model ovens, sometimes user or mechanical error could cause the gas in the oven to explode. Fortunately, gas oven manufacturers have since developed electric-powered oven igniters that eliminated the need for matches and pilot lights, thereby improving safety.

Powering on a gas oven today causes the oven igniter inside to produce a spark that safely ignites the gas for the burner. Thermostats and timers built into modern gas ovens monitor the internal temperature, turning off the gas to prevent overheating, then automatically switching on the gas and reigniting to maintain correct heat levels.

The Gas Oven Igniter

Gas oven igniters today are made from silicon carbide, which enables them to deal with intensely high heat levels. As the name suggests, the gas oven igniter literally produces the heat that lights the gas so the cooking process may proceed at the desired temperature. As the user turns on the oven, electric current flows to the igniter, heating it to a very high temperature.

Once the igniter reaches the desired temperature, the oven safety valve opens the gas valve so the igniter can light gas burners inside the oven. Electric current continues to flow through the igniter even after the gas is lit. The igniter in modern gas ovens performs in series along with the oven safety valve.

Using a Normally Open Time Delay Relay in an Oven Igniter Control

A time delay relay can resolve issues with gas oven igniter controls by staggering the various gas oven functions. Using a time delay reduces the amount of energy used to power up the gas burners in the oven to ensure the different parts of the oven start at specifically defined, separate times for efficiency, longevity, safety, and proper oven function.

For instance, when switching on the gas oven power, a normally open time delay relay timer will begin a timing sequence to ensure fail-safe startup of the electrical gas oven igniter. With the time delay relay and the oven igniter hooked up in series, the relay contacts only close after the correct time has passed for the igniter to reach the correct temperature. This will trigger the solenoid on the gas valve to open the gas. If the igniter fails, however, then the safety valve remains closed, and the gas will not be released.

Gas Oven Igniter Issue Solved

The normally open time delay relay can help prevent gas oven igniter problems, improving safety in oven operation. Amperite Co. time delay relays are the industry standard for today’s gas oven igniters. We provide appliance OEMs with customized time delay relays that will lead to consistent, reliable gas oven function for years.


Contact us today to see how our time delay relays can improve the function of your equipment.

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