7 Reasons Your Oven is Not Working and How to Fix the Issues

Oven won't heat

It can be a frustrating experience when you find your oven not working just before you’re about to make a nice, home-cooked meal. 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 making a batch of cookies, baking a loaf of sourdough bread, or just throwing in a frozen pizza after a long day at work, you need your oven in working order. 

When something goes wrong with your oven, you need to know how to fix it and when to call the pros. Here is your step-by-step guide to DIY oven repair to help fix seven of the most common oven problems.

The Gas Stove Won’t Light

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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 still won’t light, and it’s not the result of an obvious problem like a power outage, take these steps to 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 compressed air.

  3. While you’re at it, clean the grate, cap, and case.

  4. Check the wires connecting the igniter to the control module. If there’s a loose connection, tighten it.

If this doesn’t solve the problem, it could indicate that the oven igniter is not working; you may need to have the igniter replaced. It could also indicate another problem, like a kink in the gas line. Since this is a hazardous issue, it’s time to call the pros.

The Range Burner Won’t Heat

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If you have an electric stove, your range burners need electricity 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 in the working one.

  2. If the working burner heats up, that means all you have to do is replace the original one.

  3. If the working burner doesn’t heat up, the problem may be 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 after replacing the socket, test the infinite switch and replace it, if needed.

The Oven is Not Heating

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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). You may be able to replace the heating element or igniter yourself:

  1. Make sure to turn off the power to your oven before servicing it.

  2. Use a screwdriver to remove the old igniter or heating element. Heating elements and the igniter are usually located inside the oven.

  3. To get to your igniter, remove the broiler or storage drawer.

  4. If your heating element is hidden, you may need to call a repair person to replace it for you.

A gas oven not working—plus faulty gas burners—indicates that the problem is most likely the gas line. Gas oven repair for a defective gas line usually requires the skill of a trained professional.

The Oven Won’t Heat to the Right Temperature

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An oven not heating evenly could indicate a problem with the temperature sensor or the heating element. Follow these steps to check the temperature sensor: 

  1. Make sure that the sensor is not touching the inside wall of the oven.

  2. Use an ohmmeter to ensure the sensor is functional. The resistance should rise as the temperature of the oven increases. If the ohmmeter shows that the sensor is not working, replace it.

  3. If your gas oven is still not heating after checking or replacing the temperature sensor, you may have a problem with the gas igniter. If that’s the case, follow the steps in “The Oven is Not Heating.”

  4. Once everything has been checked or replaced, recalibrate the oven.

  5. Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the temperature inside the oven with an oven thermometer after 20 minutes. Continue checking the temperature every 20 minutes for the next 90 minutes to two hours.

  6. 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.

  7. Adjust the oven’s temperature dial accordingly.

The Oven Door Won’t Shut

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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 doesn’t pull up, 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 oven door gasket.

  7. If the oven door still doesn’t shut, the door sensor may need to be replaced.

The Interior Light Is Out

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Just like other lightbulbs, the one inside your oven occasionally goes out. Thankfully, this is a simple oven repair task. Here’s how to replace your oven light:

  1. Remove the bulb cover, usually by giving it a quarter-turn counterclockwise.

  2. Remove the old bulb by pulling it straight out.

  3. Use a dry cloth or gloves to install the new bulb (it should be the same type as the old one).

The Oven Won’t Self-Clean

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Keeping your oven clean is important to ensure that the oven doesn’t start smoking from leftover food particles that burn. Here’s what to do if your self-cleaning cycle stops working:

  1. Make sure you’re starting the cycle correctly per the manufacturer’s directions. Set timers and knobs correctly.

  2. Manage your expectations. Large spills inside the oven will leave a layer of ash that may still require some manual cleaning. Learn more about how a self-cleaning oven works.

  3. If you’re still having trouble with the self-cleaning cycle, you’ll probably need to call in a repair professional 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.

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Keeping up on repairs and maintenance are great ways to extend your oven’s life. If you find your oven not working, now you know how to diagnose and fix the issue yourself—and when it’s a good idea to call in a professional.

If you’re an American Home Shield® member, utilize your home warranty coverage to submit a service request when you need oven repair. Our oven/cooktop/range warranty covers all parts and components of your appliance, including gas burners, cooktop elements, the ignition system, and the temperature sensor.

Learn more about how American Home Shield can help protect your budget when parts of your home systems and appliances break down due to normal wear and tear. Check out home warranty prices and plans today

Do you need help with your Oven? AHS ProConnect offers Oven repair near you.
AHS also offers Appliance Warranties and protection plans.

AHS assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.

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