Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How to Fix a BlueStar Igniter

First, a little context. This is Jason, Helen's husband. Helen is currently getting some extra sleep so that she'll be conscious for the next 2am feeding :) This morning, Paul, from Vesco, came to fix a burner igniter problem we've been having with our BlueStar range. Paul discovered the problem and showed me the easy fix, so I wanted to share it with all of Helen's blog readers.

We had our BlueStar range installed approximately 1 year, 1 month ago. Since then, we've had six problems and repairs ("jet engine" noise, 2 stuck doors, broken oven bottom, failing oven glow bar, intermittent igniter), all under warranty. Vesco is the local service company BlueStar uses for warranty repair. Our latest issue, which is the topic of this post, is burner igniter trouble. July 16th, Helen noticed that our high-intensity burner would occasionally fail to light, even when she held it in the "lite" position for a while. When I looked at the problem, I noticed that all other burner igniters were firing (I could see sparks arcing between the igniter and the burner), just not the high-intensity burner igniter. Clearly, something was wrong with the high-intensity burner igniter.

The next day, we emailed BlueStar about the problem. They sent us a replacement igniter and installation instructions. Once the igniter arrived, I was able to replace the igniter without much trouble. At first, the burner came on fine. But, a few days later, we noticed that the problem was recurring---sometimes the igniter would spark, sometimes it wouldn't. We let BlueStar know the replacement didn't fix the problem and they set up an appointment with Vesco, their Boston-area warranty service company.

Like I mentioned before, today was the day that Paul from Vesco came to fix the igniter. We know Paul quite well at this point. I think he's been to our house 7 times now. He's quiet, but knows his stuff. It didn't take long for him to identify and fix the problem. I demonstrated that the igniter wouldn't spark. He took off the burner grate and bowl and immediately pointed-out that the transparent igniter connector plug was touching a metal pipe. "There's your problem," he said. He turned the burner knob to "lite" and, sure enough, we could both see that the spark was coming from the transparent igniter connector plug rather than from the tip of the igniter. "You just need some electrical tape," he said. He got out his roll of electrical tape, wrapped around the transparent igniter connector plug and fired the burner. It worked like a charm. I don't think I'll ever understand why BlueStar doesn't simply design their ranges to avoid these sorts of problems. But, it's certainly nice to know that if we have trouble with the other igniters, a fix could be as easy as a few inches of electrical tape.

Before writing this post, I emailed Michael, our new BlueStar service rep, to let him know the source of the problem and the electrical tape fix, suggesting that they add this to the igniter replacement instructions. He said that he thought that tip would be helpful and asked his supervisor to add it to the instructions.


Anonymous said...

Dude, awesome, thanks for the quick fix!

Susan Valentin said...

Hi Paul

We have this stove too and have had the "jet enngine" sound on one of the burners since the day of install. Do you happen to remember what that was from and how they fixed it? Blue Star is "claiming" they have not encountered it. I am able to demonstrate it on the phone and they can hear it. I also have a problem with one of the burners the same as you describe above. I will definately try that. Do you happen to have pictures so we can see the fix?


Helen Rennie said...

We don't have pictures, but if you try to search on youtube, you might find something. The noise might be fixable by adjusting the high and low settings on your burner (check your manual for info). Unfortunately, I don't remember how the noise problem got fixed. It was 4 years ago and we've had much more persistent problems that stand out in my mind more ;) I have an excellent BlueStar rep. If you want his contact info, e-mail me helenrennie (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Les LĂ©ocatiens said...

Not sure I understand the electrical tape. This must be on the back side of the stove? electrical tape in the stove would melt, can you explain a little more about its location. we are having the same problem


Jason said...

Hi Les Leocatiens,

I uploaded a picture of what it looks like. See


Jason said...

Here's a clickable link to the picture:

Anonymous said...

Have you ever found a reasonable substitute for the ceramic igniter? It keeps cracking on me, and Bluestar is selling them for $23/each. It's very annoying to having to continually buy these.

Helen Rennie said...

our igniters have never cracked, so I never looked for a solution. best of luck to you!