Antique 1950s Magic Chef Oven Pilot Won't Light

ConfusedOvenOwner

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Sep 8, 2018
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MI
Hello. I have a Magic Chef stove in my home that I believe is from the 1950s. I've looked extensively for the model number and unfortunately cannot locate it. It has a working stove and we've been able to get the pilots to light, but the oven itself has been difficult to figure out.

We can't even quite tell which part of the interior is where the pilot light is although we know generally where it should be. We're not sure if we're not trying to light the right things or if something is broken and needs to be repaired. Looking for any advice on how to troubleshoot this. I've attached some photos of the interior equipment that we believe is the pilot light.

WhatsApp Image 2018-09-08 at 7.28.03 PM(3).jpeg WhatsApp Image 2018-09-08 at 7.28.03 PM(2).jpeg WhatsApp Image 2018-09-08 at 7.28.03 PM(1).jpeg WhatsApp Image 2018-09-08 at 7.28.03 PM.jpeg
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
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Murray, Utah 84107, United States
The round part on top is a pilot generator (I'll make you a diagram) The pilot flame is on constant low and heats the pilot generator which supplies millivolts to open the safety valve. When the thermostat is turned on the pilot flame increases to light the gas at the manifold. The pilot light is controlled by the oven thermostat. Some of the older gas ranges had a pilot adjustment on the thermostat and some used a magnetic switch you had to hold in while you light the pilot light and continue holding for several seconds to keep the pilot light on. Most common is the pilot gas line goes into the thermostat with no adjustment. Then you'll need to replace the thermostat.

Here's a diagram:
WhatsApp Image 2018-09-08 at 7.28.03 PM.jpeg
 

ConfusedOvenOwner

Premium Member
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Sep 8, 2018
Messages
2
Location
MI
Thanks for your help Rick! We found the red safety button hidden under the right set of range burners (I'm trying to be detailed for any future readers) and got the pilot to light when pressed. It wouldn't stay on, so we tested the thermocouple using a multimeter and found it to be defective (only putting out about 6 millivolts). I cleaned the contacts and still only got about 7 mV. We replaced it with a thermocouple from the hardware store and got it to stay lit even after the button is released. Success!

However, we still can't get gas to flow to the main oven/broiler burner. Even when the thermocouple is heated, there's no hissing or gas smell and definitely no other flame in the oven. Also, the flame size of the pilot does not increase.


We've noticed that sometimes the thermostat leaks when it gets bumped around. We think this may be a problem? Are there any other likely culprits or any other tests/repairs we can make without spending ~$150 for a replacement?
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
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I don't think you can find a replacement thermostat for that old machine. You might be able to find someone that can rebuild it.
 
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