An oven that won’t heat is obviously a big problem. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or you’re just trying to make a quick meal for lunch, an oven that won’t get hot can cause a variety of problems. This article is going to go into detail as to why an oven might not heat up and what you can do to try to fix it before you call a costly repairman out.
The two main types of ovens are gas and electric, fortunately fixing the issues on both are very similar. While it may not be very difficult to replace certain parts of your oven, you should be confident that you can handle electrical units if you’re not then the following steps are best left to a professional.
Electric ovens work by using metal heating elements to heat up the stove and usually have two elements that make them function. Most have a baking element that is located on or underneath the floor of the oven and a broil element that is located on the top of the oven. Electric ovens give a more precise temperature than gas ovens and generally heat up much quicker. If you are going to replace either elements yourself then make sure you have the following tools; a screwdriver, the replacement baking element, and needle-nose pliers.
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Gas ovens work through the use of a tube burner that is ignited by a spark igniter or a glow bar that lights the gas and heats up your oven. For baking, the elements in a gas oven are the tubes and are located under the floor of the oven and the broil elements are infrared burners that distribute flames. Gas ovens aren’t as precise as electric ovens because the temperatures vary more. Here are some reasons why a gas oven may not be heating and some solutions to fix them.
Generally, the baking element will be on the floor of an electric oven and will usually connect to the back of the oven by a bracket or plate that is screwed in. There are metal prongs that connect to wires in the oven if the wires are loose simply set them back in place and turn the oven on to see if that solved your problem. If not you may need a replacement element, make sure you check the model number you need which might be located a few places.
- Open the top of the oven and check under the cooktop cover
- Pull out the bottom drawer and check on the frame under the door
- Open the door and check around all sides of the door jamb
- If the burners are removable, check under the burner
- Lastly, check around the vent duct (if your oven has down-draft venting)
Once you have all the supplies, the first thing you want to do is make sure your oven is off and unplugged from the wall. If it’s impossible to unplug the oven (like hardwired ranges) make sure you turn off the circuit breaker in your breaker box, keep in mind there may be more than one breaker.
Then you’re going to want to remove all the oven racks and find the bracket or plate at the back of the oven. Use the screwdriver to remove the plate or bracket and gently pull the element and plate out until you can see the wires. Disconnect the wires with the needle nose pliers if you can’t reach them with your fingers (make sure not to pull on the actual wire but the connector) and be sure the wire won’t fall back into the housing. Then remove the old element and replace it with the new one by connecting the wires onto the element probes. All you have to do is slide the new element in and reattach the bracket or plate and test the oven to make sure it works.
To replace a broken broil element as stated before make sure you check for the proper model first so you buy the right replacement part. This can be found in your users manual for the model of oven you have. The steps are extremely similar to replacing the baking element.
Like with the baking element, the first thing you’re going to do is make sure the power to the oven is off either by unplugging it or turning off the circuit breakers. Then you’re going to remove all the oven racks and locate the broil element that’s screwed into the supports into the oven. If you can’t reach it because the door is in the way then you can remove the door first. After, you’re going to unscrew and remove the supports, then gently pull the broil element forward to expose the wires. Again, use pliers or your fingers to disconnect the wires by the connectors and not the wires themselves and don’t let them slip into the housing. Reconnect the new broil element, replace the supports, then test the oven to make sure it works.
Gas ovens have ignitors that spark the gas in order to create the flames for your oven. If your ignitor breaks or burns out you’re going to have to replace it in order to get your oven running again. Just like before make sure you disconnect the power to your oven (either unplug it or turn off the circuit breakers) before you start replacing anything.
In order to access the ignitor you’re going to once again remove the oven racks and locate the base plate. The plate will have a cover around it, held down by two screws located at the back of the plate. Unscrew it and pull the plate out, then you should be able to see the ignitor. You should take a picture to know exactly how the ignitor is situated so you can replace the new one accurately. Carefully remove the ignitor and disconnect the wires (you’re going to have to use pliers to twist the nuts free if you have them). Remove the two screws and take the ignitor out. Place the new ignitor in the same spot gently and secure the wires (and nuts) in place and replace the plate and racks. Then test your oven and see if this solved your problem.
You Need to Know This About Your Oven!
If you’re noticing problems with your oven, you need to know what’s causing the issue and if you’ll need to get the oven repaired or replaced. Having a working oven is crucial for any home, and fixing it is just one form of home improvement, but there are many more.
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By the end of this article you should know all you need to in order to replace baking elements, broil elements, and ignitors in electric and gas ovens. Hopefully, you will be able to identify your problem and be able to solve whatever is causing it.