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Fixing Gas Ranges



The most used and abused piece of kitchen equipment is the range.  Luckily it’s probably also the easiest to repair.  There are five range components that need to be replaced the most frequently:

If you are having problems with the oven portion of your range, check out these tips on repairing the oven.  There are additional parts depending on what other features your range has.  A convection oven would also have a blower motor and fan.  If there is a griddle on the range then burners and gas valves may need repair.

When working on a range always remember to shut off the gas!

1. The top grates only need replacing if they have cracked due to metal fatigue or if they have been dropped and broken.Fixing Gas Ranges

2. Burner heads usually become plugged over time.  There are usually two screws that connect the head to the venturi.  It is a good idea to use some kind of rust dissolver on the screws to loosen them.  Once the screws are out you can install the new head, and always remember to replace the gasket as well.

One alternative to replacing the head is to get a drill bit the same size as the holes in the head and drill out the grease build up in them.  However, this can sometimes alter the flame pattern.

3. Replacing the venturi is only necessary if it has been dropped or broken.  Use the same procedure for replacing the burner head and remember to install a new gasket.

4. Top burner pilotsneed to be replaced if they become clogged.  They are very difficult to unclog, and generally need to be replaced. There are three types of pilots:

Those with the tube pre-welded to the pilot head.

Those that have a nut and ferral to slide over the tube and be tightened onto the tube.

Pre-formed pilot assemblies specific to a particular range.

Fixing Gas RangesFinally, there are new “flex tube” pilot burners that have a flexible pilot tube, making them very easy to install.

When replacing the pilots you will have to remove the front top plate (bull nose) from the range to access the pilot adjustment valves.  This will also have to be removed to replace the burner valve described below.

The pre-welded type is fairly easy to install. To replace, disconnect the pilot tube from the pilot adjustment valve and remove.  Place the new pilot head and tube next to an existing one and follow the contour while slowly bending to form the same shape.  When you get to the end you may need to cut the tube off, using a tubing cutter.  A nut then needs to be put on, and then a ferral and screw back onto the pilot adjustment valve.

The type with the nut and ferral is very easy.  Simply use a tubing cutter and cut if off just below the old pilot head.  Remove the nut and ferral from the new replacement pilot head and slide them over the tube, nut first and then the ferral.  Slide the pilot head onto the tube and tighten the nut up to the pilot head.

The pre-formed pilot assemblies are far easier because they are all bent and ready for installation, the only draw back is they are a little more expensive than the others.

Fixing Gas Ranges

5. Top burner gas valves are fairly easy to replace. With the top plate (bull nose) removed you can access them easily (part of the frame runs across the top of them).  If you are replacing all or just one, the burners must be removed if they have a slip type orifice.  If there is a tube type burner valve they need not be removed because you can disconnect the tube from the burner valve and move it out of the way.

In either case when the burners or the tube is disconnected take a wrench and screw out the valve being replaced (in some cases you may have to remove a pilot adjustment valve to be able to turn the burner valve by it).

Once the old valve is removed, put some gas thread sealer on the treads of the new valve and screw it back into position, being careful not to over tighten.  Reassemble the unit except for the top plate.  Turn the gas back on and light the pilots (this may take a few minutes because the gas must first force out the air in the manifold).

Once the pilots are lit, turn on the first burner.  There may be no gas flow because the orifice on the new valve may be closed.  Using two wrenches, one to hold the valve the other to turn the orifice, open the orifice to allow gas flow (this may take a couple of turns).

Fixing Gas RangesOnce the burner lights, continue to adjust the orifice until there is a nice blue flame.  Adjust until you have as little of a yellow flame as possible. If you feel there is still too much yellow flame you may need to adjust the air shutter located on the end of the venturi.  Once you have produced the bluest flame you can get, you are done.  You can reassemble your range and cook to your heart’s content.

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20 Responses to Fixing Gas Ranges

  1. Evelyn Houser December 30, 2009 at 3:02 pm #

    Is it possible to convert a garland propane gas stove to natural gas. What parts do we need? Thank you

  2. david April 8, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    What Is the best way to get charmarks off stainless ?

  3. Peter Heft April 22, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    The soup kitchen I volunteer at has a Garland H283 that needs to have new valves installed for the Griddle. I got some 26878XX Valve Assy Less Hood and am having trouble deciding how to install them. Do I have to pull the manifold forward to be able to remove old and install the new? What kind of trouble am I likely to run into trying to get the manifold to move forward enough?
    Or is there a possibility of removing the hood or venturi from the front of the griddle burners to give me enough room to swing the valve assembly?
    What is a preferred sealant for gas line threads or ferrules and nuts. Old tubing connections are hard to retighten..
    Thanks for any and all help.
    Peter

    • Tundra April 25, 2011 at 7:38 am #

      Hi Peter,

      You’re going to have to lift the front of the griddle top and block it up in order to get to the burner valves. Once you’ve done that you may have to remove the little pilot valves in order to remove the burner valves. You’ll want to use a yellow PTFE tape or pipe dope on the threads.

      By the way the manifold is bolted down under the griddle plate so you can’t slide it out.

  4. Peter Heft April 25, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    Thanks for the quick response,

    I am going to have to see how to get that griddle top to move. Thanks for the info on the pipe dope.
    I was thinking that it might be possible to unbolt the manifold all the way across to get some freedom of movement, after removing all of the knobs and trim covers. Moving the griddle sounds better.
    Peter

  5. Peter Heft May 8, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    Thanks for the advice, it worked like a charm. I wanted to be able to see what I was doing a bit better so with the use of some 1x2s and 2x4s the griddle top got pushed off to the side really opening things up. I could then also avoid bumping my head on the bottom/front of the grill.
    A couple of the top burners on the same unit are pretty messed up from food spills. Holes are plugged and there is carbon buildup in corners and also in the tubes to/from the pilots. You don’t mention the use of oven cleaner on the burners, but is that a possibility if we pull them out? Or will they burn clean if we open up the holes mechanically?
    Final question for this round. What can burner valves be lubricated with?
    Thanks,
    Peter

  6. Greg June 3, 2011 at 5:41 am #

    I have a Garland h283 I need a new Griddle # 172596 And ideas where I can get a used one? Thanks

    • Greg McGuire June 3, 2011 at 7:37 am #

      Hi Greg,

      I would Google “used gas griddle” or something along those lines to find a used one. I’m biased, but I think you would be better off with a new commercial gas griddle – they’re more reliable and more energy efficient. Good luck!

  7. Greg June 3, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    Ok Thank you.

  8. Greg June 3, 2011 at 8:38 am #

    LOL I just got the “biased” comment.
    I didn’t realize this was a new restaurant equipment website. sorry.

    • Greg McGuire June 3, 2011 at 8:50 am #

      No problem! Hope you find something that works for you.

  9. Garry ehoff August 22, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    I have 3 American range fryers that run on propane in 2 of them the fire is yellow and puts out a black soot. How do I stop this

    • Tundra August 25, 2011 at 7:10 am #

      Hey Gary,
      Sorry for the delay but I had to think about this one. I’m assuming you have had them all for a while. Fryer burners do not have air shutters so the air to gas ratio is done but the burner size and the orifice size.
      I have a suspicion that the burners may be plugged up. You may have to remove them and get a drill bit the size of the holes in it and drill out the rust and soot build up in them.
      Also make sure the orifices are clear.

      Good Wrenching!

  10. k. smith October 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    Hi Garry,

    While you can not adjust the air shutters on a fryer you can adjust the gas pressure you might have too much gas in the burners. try to lower the gas pressure either in the regulator or the combo gas valve. Hope this is of help.

    • Tundra October 24, 2011 at 9:33 am #

      K. Smith,

      You can lower the pressure by adjusting the regulator on the back of the unit, Just remove the cap on it and there is a screw inside of it for adjustment.

      To really do it right you should have a water column tester. This attaches to the gas manifold and should be adjusted within 8-10 inches of water column.

  11. John August 7, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    I have a Garland RCS 36-4CB gas range and the igniters for the burners do not work . Are they wired and controlled seperately and go through another souce first . . Seems odd that none of them work . I bought the range with the house .

  12. nnaddius March 9, 2014 at 12:33 am #

    I have an old school garland 6 burner 2 oven unit that is putting out an incredible amount of soot/carbon on everything it touches especially the bottom of the saute pans and stock pots. we do run off propane. Its getting all over everything in this kitchen. I just took over managment of this restaurant and i am being told that the stove has always done this. also none of the burners light when turned on even though the pilots are lit, so I need to light with a lighter everytime i need to cook something UUUGGGHHH any help please. Not that it matters but I was toild this unit was won on the price is right years ago. The unit hasnt been in use to long and we do run off propane, please help

    • Tundra Restaurant Supply March 20, 2014 at 11:17 am #

      Nnaddius, is the flame orange? It sounds like the flame is too high. It should be blue. Try turning down the flame and see if that helps.

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