Cooktop Igniter Clicks when Light is Switched

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by BS, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. BS

    BS New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    As part of a kitchen remodel a year ago I dedicated a 20 amp, 120 volt branch circuit for the sole use of the gas cooktop and the vent hood above it. Each of these appliances is plug-and-cord connected to its own duplex outlet and there is no lighting or other load on the circuit (12/2 with ground). Everything worked fine for the first 10 months. Lately, and only infrequently, one of the igniters in the cooktop will click when the vent hood light is switched on. Why would this happen and how can I correct it?

    Thanks.

    - Bernie
  2. DonL

    DonL Banned

    Messages:
    3,995
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    What Model cook-top do you have ?

    Most have the HV tap going to all burners, and they all will get voltage.

    You may have tripped the Clean Me indicator.


    Good luck.
  3. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Messages:
    346
    Location:
    Colorado
    Quite some time ago I had a home owner with a problem similar to yours. The cook top igniters would click randomly. The issue, according to the manufacture, was low atmospheric pressure because he lived at a high altitude. Don't know if that was true but a different model fixed the problem.
  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,139
    Location:
    IL
    I was looking for a small plug-in EMI/RFI filter for you, but I did not find what I was looking for. Maybe that is because an inline plug needs to be able to handle 15 or 20 amps. There are a lot of components that could be wired into a device. There are more-expensive power strips with the right kind of filter in them. The right kind of filter would have inductors (chokes) inside. A common transient filter would not do the job.

    Anyway, the filter could be put in the power path of the lowest power load, and I expect it would stop your symptom of having motor transients tripping your ignitor. Maybe somebody can locate a suitable small in-line plug-in gadget that is reasonably priced.
  5. DonL

    DonL Banned

    Messages:
    3,995
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    I was thinking about a problem like that.

    And if EMI/RFI is the problem, the light needs replaced and the Cooktop should have a recall on it.

    You could get zapped cleaning around the HV spark gap.


    Have fun.
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,139
    Location:
    IL
    On second thought, change the light bulb(s) to old fashioned incandescent or new LED bulb(s) to see if that solves the symptom.
  7. BS

    BS New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Thanks for all the replies. The cooktop is Bosch model NGM5064UC/03. The vent hood is Bosch DHL755BUC/02 and uses two halogen bulbs. I called Bosch and all they said was they had never heard of this problem before and that there must be "grounding" issues.

    When my wife brought the problem to my attention about a month ago we were able to get the igniter to click several times over a five minute period, maybe once out of every 4 or 5 times we pushed the light switch button. I think I've been able to get it to click only once since. it hasn't happened for my wife for a week or two now.

    I appreciate your help. I'll continue to monitor the situation and will keep the light bulb change-out in mind. In the meantime I'm open to any suggestions on how to narrow down the possibilities and better diagnose the cause.

    -Bernie
  8. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Messages:
    346
    Location:
    Colorado
    May I ask what you two are talking about?

  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,139
    Location:
    IL
    Operating the light on the hood triggers mis-operation in the other device. That would seem to suggest that a transient voltage spike from the hood unit was triggering the ignitors on the stove. A filter should cut out the transients, which consists of high frequencies, yet pass the 60 Hz AC power. EMI stands for Electromagnetic interference.
  10. DonL

    DonL Banned

    Messages:
    3,995
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    I guess a ground problem could be possible.

    That Cooktop has auto re-light , and it will do a test spark after a Power Fail detection, according to the manual.

    Are you cooking when this happens or are all of the Gas controls off ?

    The Cooktop and Venthood should both be grounded. You can verify with a Ohm Meter using RX1.


    Good Luck.
  11. houptee

    houptee Member

    Messages:
    182
    Location:
    Monmouth County, NJ
    What kind of circuit breaker is being used to feed this dedicated branch circuit in your electric panel?
    Is it a GFCI or a AFCI breaker?
    If so, maybe the circuitry inside those type breakers is somehow feeding back thru the ground wires causing this?
    I believe you can use a regular 20amp breaker for this circuit since it is dedicated for the cooktop and hood.
    Only the two small appliance circuits on the counter tops need to be GFCI.

    Also did you connect all your ground wires together and also to the ground screw on the outlet receptacles? Some DIY'ers just hook the grounds together in plastic boxes and never hook it to the outlet's ground screw so they are not actually grounded.
  12. DonL

    DonL Banned

    Messages:
    3,995
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    If it worked for months and now it is broke, it could have a bad AC line cap that is built into the HV Spark Module. They like to sell them, and are sealed I do believe. Takes extra effort to repair them.

    Or it could be a loose connection going to the Module.

    I could be wrong, but I think plastic outlet boxes are a joke and the NEC let us down on that one.


    Have Fun, Everyone.
  13. houptee

    houptee Member

    Messages:
    182
    Location:
    Monmouth County, NJ
    If you had access to a graphing and recording oscilloscope that you could connect to the circuit while turning the light off and on you would be able to "see" the voltage spike or drop or whatever is occurring.
    We used to use one in auto shop to see every spark plug firing so we could diagnose ignition system problems like bad wires, bad plugs, weak coil voltage, or low compression in a cylinder.
    No other way to really see whats happening that I can think of to diagnose something like this since a regular multi meter cannot react fast enough to see a spike or loss of voltage that happens in milliseconds.
  14. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,947
    Location:
    New England
    It could be as simple as a loose connection somewhere...check all of the power/neutral leads, including on the switch and circuit breaker, especially if it is a junction box for both devices. The act of turning on the vent hood means a vibration from the motor turning on, and that could disrupt a loose connection. Depending on the size of the motor, a power surge as well. With a loose/corroded connection, that surge could drop the voltage momentarily. Sometimes, they use push-on connectors, and those can be loose, creating issues.
  15. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Messages:
    346
    Location:
    Colorado
    I'm not an electronics guy but I don't see how a light could cause transient voltage spikes. If it is a fluorescent with and electronic ballast, maybe a one in a million chance.
  16. DonL

    DonL Banned

    Messages:
    3,995
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Any Inductance added or removed from the electrical circuit can put a spike on the line.

    Not so much for a totally resistive load, But the wiring, light bulbs and vent hood fan motor, all add some inductance to the circuit.

    You are correct, that a fluorescent ballast is more likely to produce inductive feedback, and that is one reason you will see AC filter caps on their input. Some will even have MOVs.


    Be Careful playing with electricity, and have fun doing it.
  17. BS

    BS New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    That's a lot of interesting information. I appreciate all your input.

    Let me address some of your questions and comments.

    The clicking happens when all the burner controls are OFF. Just a few minutes ago I was able to get it to happen three times over the course of turning the light on and off about a dozen times. The igniters clicked when I switched the light OFF (push-button switch).

    I've not yet verified that the cooktop and vent hood are grounded but they came with standard three-prong plugs. When I wire receptacles I tend to connect the ground wire first and then the others, and I'm sure I did that with these. Circuit testing at the time indicated proper wiring. The outlets are a little awkward to get at so I haven't rechecked them recently. When I do I'll check for loose connections.

    The circuit breaker is not GFCI or AFCI. It's what I call a half-size breaker (not sure of the correct term) such that two fit in the space for one standard size breaker.

    There is no junction box. Power runs to the cooktop outlet then up to the vent hood outlet. A couple of you referred to the motor. The problem occurs only when switching the light, NOT the fan. Could the mere presence of the fan motor, even when not turned on, have an effect on the situation?

    The troubleshooting guide states: "When the electrical power connection has been activated at the first power up or reconnected after an outage, the igniters may spark once or twice even though all burner knobs are in the off position." Since it's apparently okay that the igniters spark when power is reconnected, I wonder if there's any harm (short- or long-term) from them sparking when the light is switched?

    -Bernie
  18. DonL

    DonL Banned

    Messages:
    3,995
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    I seen that, and that is not really acceptable to me. But may be telling you that there is a loose connection. Maybe a wire nut ?


    Good Luck.
  19. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,139
    Location:
    IL
    I was surprised to see the OP come back and say the bulbs were halogen (incandescent).
Similar Threads: Cooktop Igniter
Forum Title Date
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Cooktop Conection Sep 20, 2013
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog 4 Wire Cooktop and Oven to 3 Wire Sub Panel Dec 28, 2011
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Double oven and cooktop wiring - connecting three #6 wires Sep 18, 2010
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Al to Cu Cooktop Connections Sep 6, 2010
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Cooktop Jul 8, 2009

Share This Page