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The Most Common Stove and Oven Problems

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Over time, your stove or oven may start to malfunction. Whether it's because of regular wear and tear or a faulty part, you can typically resolve this issue by contacting a professional. If you're lucky, you can fix the issue all on your own. Ready to put your tool belt on? Here are six common stove and oven problems you may encounter as a homeowner:

Your Oven Can't Keep the Right Temperature

When your oven doesn't maintain a consistent temperature, it can be hard to properly cook or bake anything. Without any temperature consistency, your food can get under- or overcooked. If your food isn't coming out cooked properly, the issue could be with some internal stove parts such as a broken thermostat or a faulty gas igniter. Start by checking your oven's heating elements and the temperature sensor. Fortunately for you, you can do this fix all on your own.

  • 1. Make sure the temperature sensor isn't touching the oven's inside wall.
  • 2. Use an ohmmeter to verify that the sensor is working. If the temperature doesn't rise with the resistance, you need to replace it.
  • 3. If that doesn't seem to resolve the issue, check the heating element or gas igniter. If neither of these work, you need to replace those parts.
  • 4. If the problem persists, recalibrate the oven. To do this, heat your oven to 350 degrees and give it time to preheat. Check the temperature using an oven thermometer every 20 minutes. Do this for at least 90 minutes. Add up the temperature readings and divide by how many readings you did. This results in the oven's average temperature.
  • 5. Using this average, adjust the temperature dial on the oven.


Your Oven Doesn't Heat Up

If your oven doesn't heat up properly, this means your food doesn't get cooked all the way through. This problem can stem from a variety of issues depending on the type of oven you have. Here are the steps for resolving this issue on your own:

Electric oven

If you have an electric oven, the heating elements may be the issue. Follow these steps to solve the problem:

  • 1. Verify that the heating elements are glowing. If they're not, you'll probably need to replace them.
  • 2. Get the right replacement part and a screwdriver or nut driver.
  • 3. Disconnect the oven from the power source or shut off the power at your breaker box.
  • 4. Remove any covers and screws from the heating elements.
  • 5. Put the new heating elements, covers, and screws in place.


Gas oven

If your gas oven isn't heating up, it may come down to your igniter. To rectify this issue, follow these steps:

  • 1. Test the burners on your gas stovetop. If the gas doesn't ignite, turn the oven off.
  • 2. Though you may just need to connect a new igniter, refer to your oven's manual for further instructions.


Faulty Interior Light

An oven light is a great way to check your food without opening the oven door and letting the heat escape. If this light goes out, it's an easy fix. Follow these steps to replace your oven's interior light:

  • 1. Open your oven and remove the light bulb cover.
  • 2. Remove the light bulb from the oven.
  • 3. Replace the old bulb with a new one. Make sure it's the same type of bulb as the old one.
  • 4. Turn the light on in your oven to check that the new bulb works.


The Oven Door Doesn't Close

When your oven door doesn't close, that lets heat escape from the oven, which definitely isn't safe for you or your food. Don't try to ram it closed, either. Instead, follow these steps to repair it on your own:

  • 1. No matter what, unplug your oven from the power source or turn it off at the breaker box. If you have a gas oven, be sure to turn off the gas.
  • 2. Pull the door up to remove it. You may need to unscrew it from the hinges inside of the oven.
  • 3. If the hinges are an issue, you'll most likely need to replace them.
  • 4. You can also slide out the bottom drawer of the oven and check for broken door springs. If you see any bent or broken springs, use pliers to remove them. Make sure the ends are wrapped around two bolts. Replace them and wrap the ends of the new springs around the bolts.
  • 5. If that doesn't help, consider getting a new silicone or rubber gasket to place around the door.
  • 6. If none of these solutions work, refer to your oven's manual for guidance on how to replace the door sensor. This is the switch that determines if your oven door is closed, so if it's broken, that could be your actual issue.


Your Gas Stove Doesn't Ignite

No ignition on your gas stove means you can't cook anything on your stovetop. Though it may just mean you're out of gas, play it safe by calling in a professional. In the meantime, verify that the ignition is the real problem:

  • 1. Open your windows and a door to get some airflow into your home.
  • 2. Turn off your lights and try to light the burner.
  • 3. If you don't hear it ignite with a soft noise, you've run out of gas. If there is gas present but it's not igniting, it may be an issue with your stove's ignition switch. If you know that you have enough gas despite what you're seeing, gas flow may be the problem.


Your Oven Doesn't Self-Clean

If you paid for a self-cleaning oven, it's important that it's working properly to get what you paid for. Though your oven may not be able to handle large spills, it should still be able to clean your average mess. Has the self-cleaning feature stopped working altogether? Follow these steps to check if it's working properly:

  • 1. Make sure your oven door is locked closed.
  • 2. Start the self-cleaning cycle again, making sure you're using the timer and knobs in the correct order.
  • 3. If the self-cleaning feature still isn't starting, call a professional to fix the problem. You probably need to get a replacement for a vital component, like the control board or the oven's thermostat.


Though dealing with stove and oven problems isn't ideal, you can have your appliances back up and running in no time.