I've bought a new stove which is supposed to be auto ignition. If I turn on the gas and turn the knob thing, a flame flickers underneath but the stove doesn't light, I have to use a lighter to light it.
Any ideas what I'm doing wrong?
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A couple of things. First, you just bought it, it surely came with a manual, you should check there to make sure you're doing it right.
In general there are a couple of things that come to mind:
My experience with the modern home appliance gas stoves is that all the parts that constitute the heating area disassemble easily. This includes the burners.
When I've had problems with burners not lighting, it has always been:
Note: Am including information for both electronic (spark) ignition and pilot ignition stoves.
The pilot flame is being impinged by something (usually a small chunk of carbon or food) which keeps the pilot flame too far away from the burner to light it. To fix, clean the pilot light assembly well and check the alignment an proximity to the burner.
The spark gap has changed, causing the spark to arc to something other than the burner body. To fix, bend the arc electrode to where it is arcing to the burner proper.
The burner bodies sometimes have extra perforations at a single point which bring the combustible gas closer to the arc source or pilot flame. To fix, check the alignment of the extra perforations to the ignition source and adjust as necessary.
In many cases, there are different sizes of burner bodies which fit into respectively different size receiving holes, make sure the correct burner bodies are in the receivers.
Also in many cases, the burner bodies are distinctly keyed so they only fit into the receiving holes in one position. In order to set them correctly, I set them into the receiver and turn them, using no downward force, until they drop in to position. A slightly raised burner body, due to not being keyed to the receiving gas port, would allow gas to exit from the wrong area of the burner, causing flame where it shouldn't be.
In one instance, each burner was in three pieces, the bottom skirt, the middle main burner body and the top burner cover. Each of these pieces was keyed to the size of the burner receiver, and each of the three pieces was keyed to fit well only to the correct matching part.
So, all that being said, your statement that "a flame flickers underneath but the stove doesn't light" leads me to the conclusion that the burner body(s) are slightly misaligned, allowing combustible gas to leak out at the bottom of the burner assembly - or, that the pilot light or spark electrode is misaligned.
Take one burner apart; if it is a simple matter of lifting the parts off (which it should be, as they do need to be cleaned and the spilled food dug out of the gas ports occasionally) and get to know how it fits together. If all is well there, check the ignition source for location in the proper place to ignite the combustion gas coming out of the burner in the proper place.
*Press the knob and start moving the knob(while it is kept pressed by you) towards the position where the ignition flame flickers
*but stop the knob movement for sometime(3 to 45 seconds) just before the knob reaches that position.
*The knob must still be held pressed in the interval(3 to 45 seconds) during which its movement was stopped.
*Now move the knob exactly to the position where the ignition flame flickers.The stove will certainly light as you have allowed much gas flow towards the burner before the ignition flame flickers.
*Leave the knob.
Note:The stopping/holding of the knob for 3 to 45 seconds is done for the flow of much gas towards the burner you want to light.This interval may be exceeded a little but please understand that the presence of large number of gas particles in the kitchen is dangerous when you are going to ignite.