Why Won't Whirlpool Cooktop Ignitors Stop Clicking?

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There can be several reasons that your cooktop ignitor won't stop clicking.
Image Credit: Matthew Ashmore / EyeEm/EyeEm/GettyImages

A repetitive noise can be a maddening distraction, even if it's nothing more than a dripping faucet. If your Whirlpool gas stove igniter keeps clicking, that's even more frustrating. Not only is the noise irritating in itself, it means you have a problem that may keep your appliance from working properly. This isn't a difficult problem to troubleshoot, and — since Whirlpool-built appliances are sold under many other brands as well — the same steps should work for many common stoves.

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Common reasons for clicking igniters include moisture in the switches and misaligned burner heads and caps.

Gas Stove Making Noise When Off

Under normal circumstances, your igniters should only click when you're actively trying to light a burner. If you hear them clicking endlessly while you're not trying to light the stove, it's a clear indication that something is wrong. The first thing to check, especially if you have kids in the house or a senior who's wrestling with dementia, is that the knob hasn't been turned by accident. Once you've eliminated that variable, you can proceed to actual troubleshooting.

Check Burner Head and Cap

One of the most common reasons for the igniters to operate continuously is that the burner head or cap may simply not be aligned properly. This is especially common if you've just moved or installed the stove or if you've had it taken apart for service or cleaning.

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It's simple to check. Just lift off the cap and burner head and reposition them, paying close attention to the alignment marks. If the clicking continues, repeat until you've repositioned all of the burner heads and caps on your cooktop. The sound should stop once you've corrected the last misaligned burner. If it doesn't, continue your troubleshooting.

It Might Be Moisture

Moisture can also cause your igniters to fire constantly. It's another rather common fault, often caused by spills, drips, pots boiling over or even cleaning the stovetop with a cloth that's a bit too wet. If that's the case the problem will typically go away on its own after a while as the moisture evaporates, but listening to the constant click while nature takes its course isn't an appealing option.

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To speed up the process, you can place a fan on a nearby countertop and direct its flow across the stovetop. Alternatively, if you've had a recent spill or boil-over and are pretty sure you know which knob's switch is the culprit, you can use a hair dryer on its cool setting to blow air directly across the affected area. A third option is simply to bring your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and wait as the oven's warmth dries the area from below.

Clicks but Won't Light

If the endless clicking occurs as you try but fail to light your burner, you may need to check whether the burner's ports are clogged. Again, this often happens because of spills or boil-overs. Use a straight pin or straightened-out paper clip to clean the affected ports, then replace it and try again. Whirlpool's Product Help site has a video explaining how to do this, if you want some guidance.

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Fred Decker is a trained chef and prolific freelance writer. He was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. His articles have appeared on numerous home and garden sites, including OurEverydayLife, GoneOutdoots, The Nest and eHow, as well as the San Francisco Chronicle's SFGate.com.