Unfamiliar sounds can be disheartening, if not alarming, coming from appliances. This even more true when the sound comes from your stove. That’s why we are here to tell you why your stove keeps clicking.
The most common reason your stove will click is likely because the electric ignition is attempting to ignite the gas. If the igniter is clogged or dirty, the burner will not ignite, and the stove will keep clicking. The most efficient way to solve this is to clean the stovetop and carefully wipe the area around the burner’s base, ensuring you remove any dust, grease, or dirt from the area.
Cleaning your stove regularly or after use is an excellent practice that promotes hygiene, safe food preparation and ensures you and your loved ones’ safety while using the appliance. If your stove is still making clicking sounds after cleaning it, read on to find out how to troubleshoot and diagnose the clicking source coming from your stove. We will explore the causes of clicking sounds for different types of stoves like induction and electric, along with troubleshooting and diagnosing tips.
Different Types of Stoves, How They Work, and Why They Click
Identifying your stove type and understanding how it works is the best way of quickly and safely finding the source of the clicking and fixing it. This will ensure that you do not cause damage to yourself or the stove while attempting to fix the clicking. Below we will briefly discuss the different types of stoves, how they work and why they might possibly start clicking.
Gas Top Stoves
Gas stoves are the favorite of most professional chefs and enthusiast cooks because of the range of control you can exercise on the heat while preparing food. As the name implies, gas stoves use propane, butane, natural, syngas, or liquid petroleum to create a flame for food preparation. The majority of the gas stoves found in homes globally are connected to either propane gas tanks or natural home gas systems.
Propane gas stoves need to have the valve opened on the gas tank for the gas to flow through the stove. Depending on the stove model, an ignition starter is required to be pushed for the stovetop burner to ignite.
Most modern stoves use an electric ignition starter. The electric ignition starter creates a spark that ignites the gas and creates the flame on top of the burner. The starter can come in the form of a separate button. However, many manufacturers have incorporated the starter or ignition switch into the knob that controls the gas flow. By pressing the knob while turning it, the electric igniter on the burner should start clicking. When the knob is released, the electric igniter should stop clicking. Most gas stoves function in this manner, for the most part.
Modern gas stoves rely on electricity to ignite the burners but can still be ignited manually using a match or lighter. Because of the use of gas, open ventilation is a necessity when using a gas stove to prevent hazardous fumes from accumulating.
Why do gas stoves click, and how do you fix it?
Above, we mention that most modern gas stoves use an electric starter to ignite the burners. It has already been established that when the burner’s area becomes dirty, the igniters may malfunction and keep on clicking.
Misaligned burner caps
However, there are other causes as well, such as a misaligned burner cap. This can be easily fixed by realigning the burner cap. To do this, make sure that the stove is completely cold and that the burner cap, the flat black sphere on top of the burner, is cold. Next, remove the stove grates, and remove the burner cap with your hand in a straight-up motion. Check underneath to ensure there are no particulates underneath and re-center the cap on top of the burner base. Typically there are grooves cut into the base upon which the cap will center when rotated correctly.
Moist or wet igniters
Another cause of constant clicking on gas top stoves is moist or wet electric igniters. This usually happens after the stove has been cleaned and not dried or let left to dry properly. It can also happen when liquid spills from pots while cooking. The igniters will dry on their own in time, but you can facilitate quick drying by removing the burner cap and wiping the burner ports area with a paper towel or dry cloth. To dry the igniter, carefully dab it with a cloth to absorb any moisture, or use a hairdryer on the low heat setting and aim it at the igniter.
Broken burner components
For the last issue, a repair technician is required or at least highly advised as it involves replacing one or several gas stove burner components. Typically if none of the above solutions have fixed your clicking gas stove, there is one of the following mechanical or electrical issues:
- The spark module needs to be replaced. The spark module is the electrical mechanism that provides electricity to produce the spark that ignites the gas. Without the spark module, the igniter will continue to spark even when the gas nob is not turned or activated.
- The spark ignition switch is malfunctioning. The spark ignition switch provides the signal to the spark module to power the igniter. This part usually malfunctions when an accidental electrical path has been created in the circuit. This process is called short-circuiting and can be caused by excessive exposure to moisture or an electrical failure. If the spark ignition switch has short-circuited, the igniter will keep clicking after being activated.
- A faulty igniter. If the igniter is not working properly or malfunctioning, the spark generated will not contain enough heat to ignite the gas. This will result in the igniter clicking constantly without lighting the gas from the burner.
Electric stoves can be found worldwide and were once very popular because they do not expose your home to open flames or gas. They work by sending an electrical current through circular coils or heating elements. The heat is controlled by a knob that regulates the amount of electricity and therefore the heat. The heat levels are challenging to manage on these types of stoves, and residual heat remains for a period after being switched off.
Why is my electrical stove clicking?
There are a few reasons why an electric stove is clicking. Most of them require you to engage an electrician’s services as it involves either replacing parts or taking the stove apart and cleaning the malfunctioning parts. If your electric stove is clicking, it might be:
- A faulty relay. A quick way to spot this is to inspect the clock on the stove and see if it keeps resetting itself. If the clock resets itself every so often, it means that there might be a loose connection in the main control board or something is causing electrical power interruptions. This issue is especially prevalent in electric stoves that are part of oven units.
- The switches are arcing. This typically happens to older electric stoves and is an indication that the switches have reached their limit. It is highly recommended to have the switches replaced as soon as possible because they may burn out and cause a fire or electrical shock. These switches are available at most electrical appliance stores or even online. If you intend to replace them yourself, make sure that the power is disconnected and that you remove and replace the faulty switch one wire at a time to ensure the wiring is correct.
- Thermal expansion. This usually is not dangerous or abnormal and is caused by the metal burner stretching as it heats up. Some low-quality cookware may also make clicking or popping noises when rapidly heated on electric stovetops.
- The oven thermostat activates. Electric stoves that come with ovens usually contain thermostats to regulate the temperature in the oven. The clicking sound you are hearing is the thermostat activating to heat up the oven, and when turned off, the thermostat will make another click to indicate that the power has been cut from the baking or broiling elements.
Although expensive, modern induction stoves are becoming more popular because they are safer and use less power than regular electric stoves. Induction stoves can only work with cookware made from magnetic metals. This is because induction stoves use an oscillating magnetic field to create eddy currents in the cookware’s metal and heat the metal itself and not the surface of the stove. This results in more efficient heat transfer and control.
Why is my induction stove clicking?
This is normal for induction stoves, as the circuit board contained within generates electronic impulses that emit clicking sound upon detecting the cookware. The cookware quality can also determine whether your induction stove will generate louder or softer clicking sounds.
As we have discussed, a clicking sound coming from your stove is not rare but can mean different things depending on the type of stove you own. Contacting an electrician or your stove’s manufacturer is recommended when in doubt or before attempting to fix any electrical components.