Troubleshooting Ovens

A woman opens an oven door.

An oven is a major appliance and one that is all too often taken for granted. These wonders seem to be as strong as a mini tank that is immune to breaking down like other kitchen appliances so often do. If only that were true. Unfortunately, the oven is prone to breakdowns and with the exception of a few very common problems, you may need to call in professional help or replace the oven.

Common Oven Problems

Like any appliance that gets a lot of use, eventually things break down or wear out. It's worth your time to investigate oven issues because it may be a simple fix instead of a costly repair or replacement process. A well-maintained oven can have a lifespan of 30 years, but things can happen, especially to ovens that get a lot of use.

Oven Elements

The elements in the oven not functioning as they should is a common problem due to usage and age. Over time, an element can burn out so nothing is cooking, or it doesn't produce the heat to cook food properly. Turn on the oven and determine if the elements are glowing red. If not, the oven, or some of its parts, may need replacing.

Temperature Sensor

A woman adjust an oven temperature.

If the oven's temperature sensor is malfunctioning, the oven cannot reach its intended temperature, which means it can take much longer for it to cook food. The sensor should reflect the temperature within the oven.

One thing to look for is whether the sensor is touching the oven wall. If it is, this throws off the sensor's accuracy. All that's needed is to reposition the sensor. If this doesn't work, it may be the sensor is faulty and needs replacing.

Broken Hinge

A non-workable hinge results in the oven's inability to retain interior heat. Depending on the design and construction, and how the door is attached, the oven's side panel may need to be removed in order to replace the faulty hinge.

Bad Bulbs

Bulbs burn out and that includes the one in the oven. Remove and replace the bulb. If it still fails to turn on, this could be due to wiring, which is best handled by a professional electrician.

Oven Isn't Maintaining the Set Temperature

An open oven door.

If the oven isn't maintaining the temperature, the fix may be as simple as adjusting the temperature. Check the owner's manual for directions.

Older Ovens

If you've checked the oven and discovered a hole in the interior walls, this can cause the oven to not work properly. If signs of rust are visible or if the supports have degraded and are no longer capable of supporting the oven racks, it is more expensive to repair the oven than to replace it.

Warning: Unless you are an electrician, it is recommended that you hire a professional. Bad wiring or bad connections may be the root problem, which can result in severe shock, or worse. Take precautions and let a professional handle the job.

If you do attempt to make any oven repairs, always turn off the power source to the oven before doing any work.