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Repair & Maintenance

7 Common Oven Problems and How to Fix Them

Is your oven not heating? Ranger burner won't turn on? Oven door won't shut? We have the solutions to these common oven problems and more.

Oven won't heat

Your oven is one of the most important appliances in your kitchen – you may not use it every day, but just try to get through the week without it! Whether you’re baking up a batch of cookies or a loaf of bread, or just throwing in a frozen pizza after a long and tiring day at work, you need your oven. So when something goes wrong with it, you need to know how to fix it – and whether it’s time to throw in the dishtowel and call the pros. Here’s your step-by-step guide to fixing seven of the most common oven problems:

1. The Gas Burner Won’t Light

If you have a gas stove, you can light the range burners with a match if the electric ignition isn’t working. However, if the burners won’t light, and it’s not the result of an obvious problem like a power outage, you should troubleshoot it.

  1. Lift off the burner grate, burner cap and burner base.
  2. Clean any food debris out of the burner with a toothpick or some compressed air.
  3. Clean the grate, cap and case while you’re at it.
  4. Check the wires connecting the igniter to the control module. If there’s a loose connection here, tighten it.

Burner still won’t light? You may need to replace the igniter. There could also be another problem, like a kink in the gas line. Time to call the pros.

2. The Range Burner Won’t Heat

If you have an electric stove, your range burners need electricity in order to heat up. Sometimes, these burners go bad and need to be replaced. If one of your electric burners won’t heat up, follow these steps:

  1. Switch out the faulty burner with one that you know works. Simply unplug it from the burner socket and plug the working one in.
  2. If the working burner heats up, the problem is your burner. Replace it.
  3. If the working burner doesn’t heat up, the problem is either the infinite switch or the socket. Does the socket look burned or damaged? You may need to replace it.
  4. Test the burner again. If it still doesn’t work, test and replace the infinite switch.

issue with oven temperature

3. The Oven Won’t 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). 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. However, you may be able to replace the heating element or igniter yourself.

  1. Use a screwdriver to remove the old igniter or heating element. Heating elements are usually located inside the oven, while you can access an igniter from underneath.
  2. To get to your igniter, remove the broiler or storage drawer.
  3. Make sure to turn off the power to your oven before servicing it.
  4. If your heating element is of the hidden variety, you may need to call a repairman to replace it for you.

4. The Oven Won’t Heat to the Right Temperature

This could be a problem with the temperature sensor, the gas igniter or the heating element.

  1. Check the temperature sensor. It shouldn’t be touching the inside wall of the oven.
  2. Use an ohmmeter to make sure the sensor is functional. The resistance should rise as the temperature of the oven increases.
  3. If the sensor isn’t working, replace it.
  4. Verify that the heating element or gas igniter is working, and replace it if not.
  5. If everything’s been checked or replaced, recalibrate the oven.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Adjust the oven’s temperature dial accordingly.

5. The Oven Door Won’t Shut

An oven that won’t shut isn’t safe for use. Follow these steps to fix it:

  1. Unplug the oven and turn off the gas, if it’s a gas model.
  2. 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.
  3. Check the hinges. Replace them if necessary.
  4. Check for broken door springs. Slide out the bottom drawer and look under the oven to see the door springs.
  5. 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.
  6. Replace the silicone or rubber gasket around the door.
  7. If the oven door still won’t shut, the door sensor may need to be replaced.

6. The Interior Light Is Out

Just like other light bulbs, the one inside your oven occasionally goes out. Here’s how to replace it:

  1. Remove the bulb cover, usually by giving it a quarter-turn counterclockwise.
  2. Remove the old bulb by pulling it straight out.
  3. Using a dry cloth or gloves to handle the new bulb, replace the old bulb with one of the same type.

7. The Oven Won’t Self-Clean

What good is a self-cleaning oven that won’t self-clean? Here’s what to do if your self-cleaning cycle stops working:

  1. Make sure you’re starting the cycle correctly.
  2. Set timers and knobs correctly.
  3. Manage your expectations. Large spills inside the oven will leave a layer of ash that may still require some manual cleaning.
  4. 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.

Oven problems are never fun. But with a little elbow grease and some know-how, you can solve many common oven problems on your own. Your home warranty can take care of the rest.

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