[FIXED] Thermador Pro-Range PGR486GDZS 48Ē Griddle not igniting
Help guys, I first posted about this over a year ago....i have tried to fix it myself and was told the part I need is not available, but I don't believe it, the range was purchased in the fall of 2003.
The griddle worked fine for a few years, then about 2 years ago it started to give out, that's when I began having trouble getting it to ignite. When I turned the griddle on I could hear a click and the igniter click, but just for a split second. I didn't smell any gas. I would have to turn the griddle on and off several times and maybe after a dozen tries or so, it would finally ignite. I got tiered of the whole thing and just started taking the "plate" off and setting on the two burners to the right of the griddle, when I had to use it. Well, we have a tradition of making pancakes every Sunday, so this is now getting old!
Last Friday I took the thing apart, the U-shaped tube where the flame comes out looks very good, nothing blocking any of the holes or anything like that. The flame igniter also looks very clean and "normal" (to me). I took more of it apart. I got under the sheet metal thing and saw where the solenoid valve was (Iíve been told itís the solenoid valve). I unplugged the two electrodes (one blue one pinkish). I then unscrewed it from the gas supply. (See picture A) Lots of gas immediately came gushing out, so I quickly screwed it back on. I then re-plugged the two electrodes back where they were. I didn't know what else I could do, so I just put it back together and guess what, it turned on first try and worked like a champ!
I tested it often the rest of the day, turning the griddle on the gas would hear the gas come on and the igniter would turn on (nice strong blue line between the two points for as long as it took to get the flame going). Again, it turned on perfectly first try. I tested the next day, and NO GO. Back to square one.
I took the thing apart again today and unplugged the same stuff as last time, plugged the blue and pink back in, turned the griddle knob and nothing. I didnít re-assemble all but, when I turn the griddle knob, the gas does not come out of the valve and the igniter doesnít light, so basically it didnít ďmagicallyĒ heal itself like last Friday.
Any ideas on how to proceed, what to test, etc. Let me know. Iím a housewife, but pretty handy. If I have to start replacing stuff, I want to start with the cheapest part first, then move on from there. (I once fixed my dryer by replacing a $10 part, only AFTER replacing a $100 part that didnít do the trick; learned my lesson).
PS: I took my pictures to a local appliance repair shop to see how much this part (solenoid) cost. They first told me itís called a solenoid and second said the manufacturer doesnít make it anymore and has no suggestions for a replacement. I find this hard to believe. Picture A, depicts the solenoid valve and the two electrodes.
Well based on a quick search I did on the possible parts, I find all three still available, so that is at least good news. You are obviously more knowledgeable about the inner workings of your griddle than most any other customer I usually deal with, so I may be able to walk you through some steps to narrow down the problem and get you a permanent solution. I am going to need you to do some electrical measurements which means you will need a multimeter. If you have one and feel comfortable doing the tests, I can point you in the right direction. Also, just so we are looking at the same things, I need the last two digits off the model number if you would be so kind. Let me know when you are ready to proceed.
Thanks Brian! I've requested help at 4 different forums and you're the first reply, THANKS!
Let me bring you up to speed with the latest news: Yesterday, I called Snap-Tite (the manufacturer name on the solenoid), they sold off the solenoid business, so I called Solenoid Solutions, they told me to call Thermador, because they don't sell direct to the consumer. I called Thermador and they explained how to find the part number on their web site (not very easy). They said the model number should end with a "/" and then two numbers, but mine doesn't -- it really doesn't, I checked again (took the foot guard thing off, there is no "/" it is only PGR486GDZS ).
I checked all five models on the web site /01 through /05 and they all have the same part number for the solenoid: 418064. I ordered it and it came today, but I haven't tried to install it yet because when I went to unplug the old one from the connection piece, I found it's almost glued on with some white stuff, so I had planned on maybe tackling that tomorrow (before I got your message).
I don't have a multimeter, but I could purchase it at OSH or Home Depot in the morning. Would you recommend any specific one, or are they all the same? This solenoid part was $100, I would hate to install it and find it was something else! I was told I could return it if it was not installed, so I'd rather do the testing first before installing. Let me know what tests I should do, I'll do them in the a.m.
Most any multimeter will do what we need to check, but they are handy to have so get one that you can use later for other things. The white stuff the solenoid is generically called pipe dope and is used as a sealer on the threads. You can pick up small tubes at Home Depot, just make sure it's for use on gas pipes. The main checks to make are a resistance check on the solenoid, and since you have a new one, you can check to see if they check the same. And with the two wires unplugged, do a voltage check between the two wires and your meter set for AC voltage. With the meter leads connected, turn on the griddle thermostat and see if you get voltage. If you do, then the solenoid needs to be replaced, but if not, then it's time to work back wards. I will need to get you more specifics after that point as to which wires to check. The Thermodor wire diagrams are a disaster to read so I will need to do some research after I do some calls tomorrow. Then I can give you some specific points to check.
Okay, I purchased a multi-meter and tested the resistance on the new solenoid valve. Then, I unplugged the two electrodes/wires from the solenoid the range and it tested the same, both are a tad bit over 50 Ohms (when the meter was at Rx100). Does that mean it's not the solenoid? Yikes.
Next I took the two wires that were now unplugged from the solenoid and tested the ACV at all 4 settings (10, 50, 250, and 500) with the grillde knob turned on and got _nothing_. Interestingly the blue light that tells you the griddle is on DOES come on.
I can tell you that the pink and blue wires go to a black box located on the side of the range under the rear right burner. See picture C. I looked again at the thermador web site to see if I could find a part number for the box, just to reference it to you, but I wasn't able to find it.
There are two wires that come out of the small black box behind the griddle knob, one white and one black (also a copper one with a long probe on the end). See picture B. The black one goes to the same back box under the right burner (you can see it in picture C).
Please let me know what I can test next, or if I should give up! Also, I should go ahead and send the solenoid back, right?
Thanks again so much for your help. I so appreciate it.
OK here is the short version of how this works. You have a thermostat located in the front with the black wire and white wire coming out of it. When you turn on the griddle, the voltage from the white wire will exit via the black wire. One wire goes to the griddle 'on' indicator and the other goes to the black box Thermador calls a gas lighter. Since the indicator light comes on, my guess is you have voltage, but you can verify by doing a voltage check between the black wire and the chassis. You should have 120vac when the thermostat is turned to any on setting. Next the voltage enters the gas lighter and here is what turns on the solenoid and initiates the spark. Since you do not have voltage coming from the box via the blue and pink (Thermador calls it orange) wires, I would suspect the gas lighter to be your problem. And if history is any indicator, yours isn't the first one I have seen fail. With the research I have done, I believe this is the gas lighter for the griddle, but Thermador makes 3 versions of them that all seem to look alike so without plugging it in and trying it (or calling tech support), I cannot be 100% sure. If it turns out wrong, you can send it back, and yes, it looks like the solenoid is good so send it back too. Hope this helps.
I tested the AC from the end of the black wire, where it connect to the griddle knob and the chassis as it did register some voltage. Next I re-tested the orange and blue wires again and nothing again.
I searched the Thermador web site again for the gas lighter (listed as "ignition device" on their site) and yes I saw where they have many versions of it, I think I counted 8 of them. Anyway, all of the PGR486GDZS models /01 through /05 use the same one: 189010, so I'm probably safe using that one.
I searched applianceblog's parts and it seems you guys don't carry it, but
it is still available via Thermador, that's the good news, the bad is that it's $152! Yowza.
The part number 189010 is the ignition device for the surface burners and is different than the gas lighters used for the oven and griddle burners. Follow the link I provided above as that will take you to the gas lighter that should work.
So I used the URL you linked to and it says "Manufacturer's Number: 418572 made by BOSCH" Since you said there were 3 or so of them and you weren't sure, I thought I'd try to double-check on the Thermador web site.
On the Thermador parts site, 418572 shows up as an "ignition device" and when I did a search for "gas lighter" nothing came up (the web site is now down for maintenance). So I did a search for "ignition device" and that's when about 8 of them came up. I then went on the diagrams for each of the /01 through /05 models and found the "ignition device" for each one and each one listed 189010.
Having said all that, I trust what you're saying, I only went to double-check on Thermador because you mentioned there were 3 and didn't seem sure. Usually with these parts, they only let you return them if you don't actually plug them in.
So if I call Thermador tech support on Monday to confirm like you suggested before, what should I be asking them to be sure?
Thanks yet again, and I will be leaving 'nuff in the tip jar for a beer for you and a friend!
If you talk with Thermador, just ask them for the part number for the griddle ignition device. Each burner on your range uses it's own ignition source and the surface units use a spark module (the part you found before) while the oven and griddle burners use a gas lighter board as described in the technical documentation. I believe there are three versions of the boards to cover the griddle, the bake and broil burners, but all the boards look alike so I am not absolutely sure if they are the same or not. I have only ordered the part I linked to above and used them, but then a tech friend on Friday said he has had trouble with getting the wrong board. Since the part information is not very descriptive and doesn't really show proper locations, calling tech support is usually the only option to avoid buying and returning parts. Hope this helps and maybe this will be the last Sunday without pancakes.