Your oven is one of the most important appliances in your kitchen – you may not use it every day, but it will always be necessary and useful for special occasions. Whether you’re baking up a batch of cookies with your kids or a special meal for a special day, or just heating a fast meal after a long and tiring day at work, you need your oven. This is why it is so important to know what to do when something goes wrong with it or whether it’s time to call for a professional assistant.
Today we bring you a step-by-step guide to fixing seven of the most common oven problems:
- The gas burner does not light
When you have a gas stove and the range burners won’t light, it might be a problem with the electric ignition that can be solved by using a match to light them up, but when the problem it’s not the result of a power outage you might need to make a deep cleansing following these steps:
- Lift off the burner grate, burner cap, and burner base.
- Clean any food debris out of the burner with a toothpick or some compressed air.
- Clean the grate, cap, and case while you’re at it.
- Check the wires connecting the igniter to the control module. If there’s a loose connection here, tighten it.
Note: If the problem persists you may need to replace the igniter or call a professional assistant.
- The range burner does not heat
If on the contrary you have an electric stove, and the burners do not heat, it might be time to replace them by following these steps:
- Switch out the faulty burner with one that you know works by unplugging it from the burner socket and plug the working one in.
- If the working burner heats up, the problem is your burner. Replace it.
- Test the burner again. If it still doesn’t work, it could be either the infinite switch or the socket.
- Does the socket look burnt or damaged? You may need to replace it.
- The oven does not heat
An oven that won’t heat is usually the result of a faulty igniter (for a gas oven) or heating element (for an electric oven). Fortunately, you may be able to replace the heating element or igniter yourself, following these steps:
- Make sure to turn off the power to your oven before servicing it.
- Use a screwdriver to remove the old igniter or heating element.
- Heating elements are usually located inside the oven.
- To get to your igniter, remove the broiler or storage drawer.
- Replace it with the new one.
- If your heating element is of the hidden variety, you may need to call a repairman to replace it for you.
Note: If both your gas oven and your gas burners have stopped working, the problem is most likely with the gas line, and will require professional repair.
- The oven does not heat to the right temperature
This could be a problem with the temperature sensor, you should check it and verify it isn’t touching the inside wall of the oven. Use an ohmmeter to make sure the sensor is functional. The resistance should rise as the temperature of the oven increases. If the sensor isn’t working, replace it. If everything’s been checked or replaced, you may need to recalibrate the oven.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the temperature inside the oven with an oven thermometer after 20 minutes, and every 20 minutes thereafter for the next 90 minutes to two hours.
- Add up the sum of the temperature readings, and divide by the number of readings you took, to get the average temperature of the oven.
- Adjust the oven’s temperature dial accordingly.
Note: If the problem persists then verify that the heating element or gas igniter is working, and replace it if not.
- The oven door does not close
There is not much to say about this point, an oven that does not close properly is not safe to use, follow the next steps to solve it:
- Unplug the oven and turn off the gas, if it’s a gas model.
- Pull straight up and out on the door to remove it from the oven. If it won’t pull up, look to unscrew any screws holding the hinges in place inside the oven.
- Check the hinges. Replace them if necessary.
- Check for broken door springs. Slide-out the bottom drawer and look under the oven to see the door springs.
- Remove any broken springs with pliers. The ends should be wrapped around two bolts. Replace them, rewrapping the ends of the new springs around the bolts.
- Replace the silicone or rubber gasket around the door.
Note: If the oven door still won’t shut, the door sensor may need to be replaced.
- The interior light is off
Just like other light bulbs, the one inside your oven burns out. Here’s how to replace it:
- Remove the bulb cover, usually by giving it a quarter-turn counterclockwise.
- Remove the old bulb by pulling it straight out.
- Using a dry cloth or gloves to handle the new bulb, replace the old bulb with one of the same type.
- The oven does not self-clean
Follow these steps when your self-cleaning cycle stops working:
- Make sure you’re starting the cycle correctly.
- Set timers and knobs correctly.
- Manage your expectations. Large spills inside the oven will leave a layer of ash that may still require some manual cleaning.
Note: If you’re still having trouble with the self-cleaning cycle, you’ll probably need to call a repairman to replace the door lock motor and switch, control board, thermostat, or some other component that is keeping your oven from running the self-cleaning cycle.