How to Fix 3 Common Oven Problems (For Beginners)

Repairing an oven
Reading Time: 3 minutes

When your home appliances don’t work as you expect them to, it’s more than just a minor inconvenience. Especially in the kitchen.

And if you’re not so great with fixing appliances on your own, it can be even more frustrating. Luckily, there are some simple things that even the most tech-challenged person can do to troubleshoot the most common problems you might encounter with your oven.

Here are three of the top problems and a quick check-list for each. If you’ve tried these solutions and nothing works, or if you’re nervous about taking things apart, there are plenty of licensed technicians out there ready to help you with your oven repair.

There are some simple things that even the most tech-challenged person can do to troubleshoot oven problems
There are some simple things that even the most tech-challenged person can do to troubleshoot oven repair problems

The Gas Burner Won’t Light

  • Do you have power? Some people forget that if the power is out, so is the oven. Double-check that your oven has power.
  • Is it clogged? Remove the grate and burner cap, and clean the area well to remove the grime. You can use a toothpick or an air compressor can, if needed. Put it back together and try again.
  • Is it a loose connection? Make sure to cut the power first. Then check under the grate, burner cap, and base for any loose connections.
  • Is it a faulty igniter? If you tried everything else, it could be. If you aren’t sure, you should contact an oven repair technician.

Quick Tip: You can use a match to light the burners if the electric ignition is broken.

The Oven Temperature is Wrong

  • Double-check that you’ve allowed it enough time to preheat and that it’s set to the temperature you need. Make sure you haven’t left the oven door open for longer than a few seconds, and note that oven thermometers are usually not very accurate.
  • Don’t block the circulation. Too much aluminum foil on the shelves will hinder the heating process. Make sure foil sheets don’t cover the whole area and that they are a few inches from the back of the oven.
  • How’s the temperature sensor? It should not be touching the wall of the oven. It can also be tested with an ohmmeter and replaced if needed.  
  • Have you checked your oven manual? There should be instructions on how to recalibrate it.

The Oven Won’t Self Clean

  • Double-check your manual to make sure you’re running the cycle properly. Make sure all timers and knobs are in the correct positions.
  • Are you expecting a miracle? Self-clean cycles won’t magically erase all spills. If there was a big mess, you may just need to get out your gloves, oven cleaner, and scrub brush.
  • Is the door locking? If it doesn’t lock, it will prevent the cycle from starting. You may need to clean the lock mechanism or check the wiring.
  • You may need a technician. If you haven’t figured it out yet, get some help from a technician. It could be the thermostat, the wiring, the control board, or a fuse. Your technician will test it.

Oven problems are a drag. Get your kitchen back in action by trying these quick fixes or reaching out to a licensed technician.


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