View Full Version : Rebuilding a gas range

Bradley Gray
10-26-2017, 8:22 AM
We've had the same circa 1950 gas (propane) range in our kitchen for over 30 years. A couple of the burners are out of order and now a 3rd has started to be hard to light.(spark lighter-no pilots)

I have a chance to replace it with a slightly newer stove but my daughters were here last weekend and both thought I should rebuild the old one. One of them won blue ribbons at the county fair for several years for pies baked in this oven.

Has anyone done this? Any clues on where to source parts?

Jim Becker
10-26-2017, 9:46 AM
Parts availability will be the biggest challenge...I ran into that issue with my mother's old custom built gas range that I had in my previous residence and "got lucky" to find what I needed. And that was before the Internet was a force. Aside from that, you also have to ask yourself whether or not there could be potential safety issues brewing as more components fail. That's not something to sneeze about when it comes to a gas fired appliance. I will tell you that we chose to replace our previous DCS gas range when it developed a gas leak after ten years rather than try and fix it for exactly that reason...it was an issue with trust.

It's actually interesting that your 1950's range has spark lighting. That must have been a premium feature at that point for sure!

Most bakers today rely on electric ovens over gas fired because they are more temperature-stable and often pay extra for dual-fuel so they have the gas on the cooktop and the electric in the oven. I would have done that, but at the time, couldn't absorb the extra cost. Fortunately, our gas ovens in the range are pretty darn stable in temps anyway. (Thermador)

Mike Null
10-26-2017, 10:55 AM

It may be easier than you think. What is the brand?

It may be that cleaning the burners in a sonic cleaner may fix them. In any event I believe you will be able to replace them.

Bradley Gray
10-26-2017, 5:10 PM
Thanks guys:

Jim - the stove is spark lighting only because the pilot jets are capped off and we use a welding type spark lighter
Mike - I'm going to have to unhook the stove and look on the back as the is no name visible from the front - stay tuned.

lee cox
10-26-2017, 6:40 PM
I have an old Viking 6 burner range I bought off craigslist. I had to replace several things. It works great now. I replaced the jets, hinges, ignitors, and gas valve.

I then had to remodel the kitchen which I just finished after 3 months.

Nicholas Lawrence
10-26-2017, 6:55 PM
I have a Caloric cooktop. Original to the house (1959). Still works great, but is a little inconsistent lighting. If it does not light, I just use a match. One of these days I would like to take it apart and figure out what the issue is though.

Mike Null
10-28-2017, 8:23 AM
I think it may be newer than what you think. I don't remember spark igniters until the 60's. ( I spent a lot of years in the appliance business) My memory could be failing me but when spark igniters came out they were the "cats meow" feature and I seem to remember that being mid to late 60's. Prior to that a pilot light was used on most gas ranges and on older ones, a match.

If exact replacement parts aren't available I'm sure you can refit it with newer burners.

Bradley Gray
10-28-2017, 8:57 AM
Mike -I think you missed my post about the spark lighter, this is a welder's type hand held spark lighter we use because the pilots have been capped off. This thing was old when I got it in the 80's.

Mike Null
10-28-2017, 10:25 AM
I did indeed miss it. There should be a label on the back, inside the oven or inside the broiler drawer if it has one.

Perry Hilbert Jr
10-30-2017, 7:20 AM
At our old farmhouse, we had a 1920's four burner with oven New Perfection Kerosene range. Mrs. used it out on the enclosed porch for canning because it got hot far faster than our electric range. We also used it to cook during the all to frequent power outages. I purchased another New Perfection kerosene stove at a farm auction just for the parts. A friend of mine has a very old gas kitchen range circa 1920 and he did the same. They use theirs in a summer kitchen for canning and for cooking at holidays etc. He converted it to propane, although I have no idea how that would be done in something that old. I am sure the valves were different then as compared to the valve sets that are supplied today.

I think a person who is "in the business" could probably recognize which parts were standard. Some manufacturers used burners and valves made by others. Just knowing that would give you a leg up on parts.

Bruce Wrenn
10-30-2017, 10:10 PM
The gas valve for the oven will be your downfall. When it fails, replacements will have long ago disappeared. I ran into this on our wall mount "Caloric" oven. For fun, try pricing a 24"" gas wall oven-OUCH!