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Antique gas range help

I know this isn’t the proper forum, but it’s the same principles and I can’t find help anywhere else:

Our ministry uses an antique (1940’s) Wolf double commercial oven and range (propane). Both ovens worked perfectly several months ago. One stopped igniting, then months later the other. 

The burners still work, but neither oven pilot will stay lit. If we can get one to light, the oven itself won’t ignite. 

We’ve replaced both thermocouples, both safety valves, both thermostats, nothing works. We know lp is getting to the valve, but not past them. I took one valve apart and removed the diaphragm to make sure it’s the valve, and the oven works perfectly with the safety valve essentially bypassed. We purchased 2 new valves ($700ea) each with new thermocouples and neither worked. 

The thermocouples are mounted property (not adjustable once installed) with the ends directly in the flame. We’re at a loss, both mentally and financially at this point. 

Does anyone have a suggestion? 


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 21,528
    If the ovens work with the safety bypassed, you're a long step to finding the problem.

    Do I presume that these are electric thermocouples connected by a wire or wires to the safety valve (shows you how much I know about Wolf ovens, eh?)? Because if so, the first thing I would check is all the wiring and all the connections. Also make sure that that there is a clean metal contact for any mounting. Sometimes these things are dependent on mechanical bonding and grounds, and if those get iffish they can fail to work.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 6,045
    I also find that keeping the gas/air passageways clean and free from debris and other buildups can correct many ignition issues.

    And I don't know that much about Wolf Ovens either, as a matter of fact, I don't believe I have ever even eaten a wolf. I would imagine they can be a bit gamey.
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 797
    edited April 2021
    I also know nothing about a Wolf stove. Are the pilots and their orfices and air mixers clean? With the safety valve bypassed how did you light the oven; by pilot or match? Are the pilots original or did you also replace them when you replaced everything else? What lights the pilots? Are they electronic? Can you show a picture of the pilot when lit? I contacted a Wolf rep and he gave me the companies phone number for you to call for help. (888-639-9653)
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,240
    Maybe @Tim McElwain could weigh in on this................
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,593
    As an old gas man from way back I have worked on several versions of Wolf ranges. I am not sure which version you have and what ignition system you have. Some pictures of the equipment and the controls would help me to help you.