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Old 12-15-16, 03:36 PM   #1
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Default Gas oven electricity use.

Maybe many of you are already aware of this, but I couldn't find a thread talking about it.

Like most of you, I keep a fairly close eye on my electricity usage. I had always assumed that using a gas oven meant that no electricity was used other than for igniting the flame. My stove does not have a pilot light. It does have piezo starters for the individual stove top burners and I just thought the oven lighted the same way. However after accidentally discovering that an excess of electric power was being used while the oven was on I had to check into it. Normally with nothing on in the house except small chargers, fish tank pumps, etc. the house will pull about a hundred watts. I noticed when the oven was on it was using an extra 400 watts. Couldn't believe it. After a little research I found that most modern gas ovens use what is called a glow bar to ignite the oven flame and that the bar stays on until the oven reaches its set temperature. I guess it could be a safety feature because the gas valve will only open when the glow bar has reach the temperature high enough to ignite the gas.

So, to all of you who already knew this sorry to bore you. Everyone else, hope you learned something new.


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Old 12-15-16, 07:14 PM   #2
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I used to live in a house built in 1990 that had a Whirlpool oven that used a piezo ignition. It would click for about a minute, wait another minute to prove the flame, then the burner came on. Worked well for about 20 years and eventually it's mechanical clock went haywire and the flame sensor for the oven kept getting fouled. I'd prefer an intermittent pilot like this to be on my oven though to save the power. least the glow bar isn't wasted heat, it's in the oven after all. It's a bigger factor if electricity is much more expensive than gas or electricity is scarce(off-grid).
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Old 12-16-16, 11:08 AM   #3
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The way most newer gas ranges work is they use a glowing element that heats up white hot and stays hot while the range is on and the burner cycles on and off as needed.
Then if the range has a clock then you can bet it's using 4 to 7 watts all the time.
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Old 12-17-16, 10:34 AM   #4
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Then there's the additional loss since gas ovens, unlike electric, cannot be completely sealed.
To my surprise, shortly after Naomi Wu gave me a bit of fame for making good use of solar power, Allie Moore got really jealous of her...
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Old 12-17-16, 10:50 AM   #5
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I had a similar experience.

When we first moved in to our house, it had a very old electric oven, which we immediately replaced with a gas oven and range.

I was also surprised that, yes, it uses something like 400 watts. I think that on my oven, that glow bar isn't on constantly, but it is on to start and then I think it may cycle on and off a bit while baking.

Overall, I really like the gas oven and range. It's just nicer to cook with real fire and have very fine control over the flame, and you can SEE what the heat is doing.

My range uses a piezo-spark start for the burners. I believe that in an electrical power outage, I could still use the range. The burner controls physically control the gas, and I could match light the burners.

It might be fun sometime to simply unplug the appliance and play around with testing how it would (or wouldn't) work in a power outage.

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Old 12-17-16, 11:14 PM   #6
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I've pulled the power on mine, the oven will not operate because the controls are electronic but the gas valves for the stove burners are mechanical valves and can be lit manually. My kitchen counter GFCI outlets are in line with the oven, so I tripped that one summer since I wasn't using the oven anyway and it uses about 5 watts, oddly enough the toaster, which has no display also uses about the same wattage, a few watts for the microwave. I enjoyed removing a number of watts in the 'teen' range. The transformers for the doorbell and the furnace also use about 10 watts total. The fridge uses about 2 watts at idle too, even with the defrost timer removed from circuit, there's no display there and the thermostat is a mechanical switch, so I'm not sure what consumes power inside the fridge, but I'm not going to cut power to that appliance.

Turning off the circuit breaker to the HVAC, doorbell, and kitchen appliances during the months where heating and cooling aren't needed saves about 20 watts. My consumption dropped down to about 17 watts from 40. The remaining quantity being the solar(inverter and eGauge) at idle and the DSL modem/wifi router. The Internet is about 12 watts and there was a time that I unplugged it when I wasn't home. ..all of this doesn't really have a positive factor anymore though because I have two other people living at the house and the standby load wattage is now in the 70s with the extra stuff they have plugged in such as gaming systems, TVs, alarm clocks, etc. Amounts to nearly 2kwh daily for standby usage. My lowest usage month was 41kwh, which is a 55 watt average over the course of that entire 31 day month. This was pulling out every trick in the book which meant arranging my schedule to read and do other things during daylight hours, using my phone and a tablet instead of a laptop, not watching TV. I was dedicated to it, so it didn't feel like a chore or like I was giving up anything. I'm not sure I'll put that much effort into it again though because typing on a laptop and watching Youtube videos and surfing the web are quicker. In comparison, the worst day was 67.5kwh, more power than my best month. One of the roommates cranked the AC when it was cold out overnight and froze the coil so the AC ran for 24 hours and the roommates were watching TV, playing video games, and doing laundry(electric dryer). I wasn't even home that day. Makes my efforts feel somewhat worthless with a comparison like that. Hopefully I'm not taking things too far off topic but I feel it is connected to standby and background load conversation.

The ignition bar remains lit whenever the oven is calling for heat. It turns on and after about 10 seconds when the thermal sensor is satisfied, the electronic gas valve is opened. For something like cooking a pizza without heating the oven before putting the pizza in, the heat bar is on for at least the first 15 out of the 18 minute cook cycle. Due to the humidity and heat added to the house and the dual use of energy heating the large box, I use a Pizzazz pizza oven, it takes 13 minutes to cook a basic pepperoni pizza of the non-rising crust(thin crust) variety. I did the math on gas and electric costs combined and the pizzazz costs less to run. Adds less heat and humidity(gas combustion adds a bunch of moisture) to the house in the summer too.
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Old 01-11-17, 11:46 AM   #7
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The ignitor comes on until there is enough current through it to open the gas valve. Then the valve opens and it ignites.
After that a seperate thermocouple will provide the power to keep the gas valve open as the ignitor circuit drops out. There are some that keep the ignitor on the whole time though.

If your oven won't open the gas valve and light and you can see some glow from the ignitor then 90% of the time the ignitor is bad as it isn't passing enough current to open the valve.
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Old 02-18-17, 09:25 AM   #8
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I've got a kitchenaid, it uses spark ignition for stovetop and oven.

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