Many stove repairs are best left to a professional. However, there are some easy fixes you can do yourself. Here are some simple stove repair tips.
Electric Stove Burner Won’t Heat Up
When one of the burners on your electric stove won’t heat up, the problem could be a bad burner, a bad connection in the burner socket, or a faulty infinite switch. To find out which one, do the following (remember to unplug the stove first):
- Exchange the burner with one you know works. Unplug the faulty one from the burner socket, and plug the working one in.
- If your working burner heats up, then the problem is your burner, and you need to replace it.
- If the working burner won’t heat, the problem is either the burner socket or the infinite switch. Burner socket connections can burn out, causing a loss of power. Check the prongs, and if they look burned, inspect the socket (the burner prongs plug into the burner socket). If the socket looks burned, charred, or corroded you’ll have to replace it. To do so, remove the screw attaching the socket to the stove top. Unscrew the wires and reconnect them to the new socket. Then attach the new socket.
- Test the burner again. If it won’t heat up, the infinite switch isn’t working. This switch is attached to the knob used to turn on the burner. It’s called “infinite” because it allows you to set the heat anywhere from low to high, as opposed to switches that only have three settings (low-medium-high). Typically, when an infinite switch goes bad, the burner either won’t heat, or goes to high heat no matter what the setting. Call your repairman to replace this switch.
Gas Burner Won’t Light
This could be a gas flow problem or an ignition issue. If the burners won’t light, and there’s no power outage, take these steps.
- Unplug the stove, turn off the gas, and remove the burner grate and cap.
- Wipe the burner head with a damp cloth.
- Use a toothbrush to remove food and residue between the burner head slots.
- To remove stubborn residue from the slots, use a sewing needle, paper clip, or small gauge wire.
- Be sure to also clean the ignition port so the burner can ignite properly.
- Wipe the burner head again with a damp cloth after cleaning the slots and ignition port.
- Take the opportunity to clean the removed grate and cap, using the instructions in your owner’s manual.
- Next, remove the burner head. Check to see if the wires that connect the igniter to the burner have come off or are loose and refasten or tighten them.
- If the burner still won’t light, you may have to replace the igniter. Or there could be a gas flow problem. In either case, it’s time to call in a professional.
Oven Won’t Heat Up
When an electric oven won’t heat up, it’s often because of a faulty heating element. With a gas oven, it might be the bake igniter. You may be able to replace the igniter or heating element yourself. For gas ovens, if both the gas burners and gas oven have stopped working, the problem is probably with the gas line — call a repairman. Here’s how to replace the igniter or heating element:
- This is a typical method to replace a gas oven igniter. It may vary, depending on your oven model. First, turn off the power and gas to the stove. Access the igniter by removing the broiler or storage drawer. Unscrew the igniter, disconnect the quick release wiring connection, connect the new igniter, and tighten everything back down.
- Heating elements in electric stoves are located inside the oven. Turn off the power to the oven, remove the oven racks, and remove the screws holding the heating element in place. Screw the new heating element in position.
A concealed heating element is not generally a do-it-yourself swap-out, and you should probably call a repairman.
Oven Won’t Heat to the Right Temperature
Your oven might not be heating to the correct temperature because of problems with the temperature sensor, the gas igniter, or the heating element. Take the following steps:
- Make sure the temperature sensor isn’t touching the inside oven wall; reposition it if it is.
- Use an ohmmeter to test if the sensor is working. The resistance of the sensor should rise with the increasing temperature of the oven.
- Replace the sensor if it isn’t working. This is a quick and easy do-it-yourself fix.
- Check the oven heating element and gas igniter and replace if not working.
- If you’ve checked and replaced faulty parts, and the oven still isn’t heating to the correct temperature, it may just need to be recalibrated. Here’s how to test your oven’s accuracy:
- Hang an oven thermometer in the center of the middle rack, and preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Preheat the oven for at least 20 minutes and take a temperature reading.
- Continue to take readings every 20 minutes for the next hour and a half to two hours.
- Add up the sum of the readings and divide by the number of readings you’ve taken. The average should be around the original set temperature.
- If the temperature is off by 35°F or less, you can calibrate the thermostat yourself. The steps for oven calibration depend on the type of oven controls. With older style ovens, remove the temperature control knob, loosen two screws on the back, and make adjustments using a dial or a switch. On electronic models the thermostats are adjusted by using the keypads. Refer to your owner’s manual for specific directions on calibrating the temperature. If the temperature is way off from what you set, you’ll need to call a repairman.
Oven Door Won’t Close
An oven door not closing properly results in heat escaping from the oven, and food not cooking properly. Here’s how to fix it:
- Unplug the oven and turn off the gas if you have a gas oven.
- Remove the door from the oven. Check your owner’s manual for instructions on how to remove the door from your model of oven. Often, the door can be removed by pulling straight up and out, but your model may differ. If it won’t pull up, look inside the oven for screws holding the hinges in place and unscrew them.
- Check the hinges, and replace them if necessary with identical ones. Hook them back into the hinge holes and push the door down to lock the hinges in place, or replace the screws.
- Look for broken door springs. Slide out the bottom drawer and look under the oven for the springs between the oven and the door.
- If any are broken, remove them with pliers. Open the ends around the bolts, remembering which bolts the springs were connected to. Replace the springs with identical ones, tightening the ends around the proper bolts.
- Replace the silicone or rubber gasket around the door with an identical one.
- If your oven door still won’t close, the door sensor may need to be replaced.
Inside Oven Light Won’t Go On
The light bulb inside your oven sometimes need replacing:
- Remove the bulb cover by giving it a quarter-turn counterclockwise, or by releasing a clip.
- Remove the old bulb and replace it with one of the same type, using a dry cloth or gloves to avoid damaging the new bulb and shortening its life.
When a simple fix doesn’t solve the problem, call C&W Appliance Service at (855) 358-1496 or (214) 358-1496 for fast and efficient service you can count on.