DIY Diagnosing A Stovetop Issue

Happiness is putting a homemade apple pie in the oven, but disappointment is realizing that the igniter won’t light after you’ve put the whole pie together from scratch. Though ovens might appear to be reasonably durable as far as appliances go, they can still fail for various reasons. 

Often, ovens can be difficult to fix without professional help unless the issue is minor like the door not closing all the way or an inconsistent temperature. Still, it helps to be familiar with the basics so that you can hopefully save your next apple pie. This article will look into the most frequent oven issues so that you can have a better idea of how to get them resolved. 

Pre-Appointment Quick Checks

Many homeowners favor a DIY method, but stove fixes aren’t typically easy enough to do without calling in a professional. Here are a few quick checks you can do on your own before you recruit the experts. ‘Don’t spend the money unless you know that you need to. 

  • Ensure that the oven is plugged in and that the gas valve is on.
  • Pull out your owner’s manual and complete the recommended troubleshooting steps for your stove’s make and model. 
  • Clean and remove grease. Note: Before opening the unit for cleaning, first ensure that the stove is off or the gas is off on a gas range. Then, carefully raise the oven range top. Merely cleaning out built-up grime can make your stove work again afterward. 

If the issue still isn’t fixed, it’s important to call a stove repair professional because there are many delicate electric components inside of a stove that can be easy to accidentally damage. People can also get hurt if they try to fix it but aren’t sure how to repair a stove properly. If you aren’t entirely how to fix the issue, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

A Stovetop Issue

Common Stove and Oven Problems (DIY and Professional Fixes) 

While some stove and oven issues are simple to fix, others are far from it. To avoid electric shock, don’t ever try to check the voltage on your own. The issue might be a broken wire, bake, control, broil element, or wrong power source being directed to the electric oven that an electrician or professional needs to fix. 

Problem #1: Oven Door Is Jammed or Won’t Close

Inspect the unit to see where the issue is. If the problem is with the hinge, you can take the door off fairly quickly to replace it. If your oven has the door hinge mounted to the side of the oven, the side panel might also have to come off.

Problem #2: Oven Won’t Heat

A broken igniter is a common culprit for gas ovens that aren’t heating. Most gas stoves have an igniter that’s attached to the thermostat located in the control knob. The igniter can’t get any power if the thermostat isn’t working correctly. After you turn a gas burner on, there should be some quiet clicks and a sound when the gas ignites. If the gas doesn’t ignite and the clicking ends, switch the stove off. The igniter might need replacement.

This component might be the culprit if the igniter isn’t faulty after a continuity test. Use a screwdriver to take it out, do the continuity test, and put a new piece in if it turns out to be faulty. 

For an electric oven, check the child lock first, which is a common issue. If this isn’t the problem, the electronic control board might have broken during a power surge. 

You should also check to see if the igniter works by looking to see if the heating areas glow red when switched on. The igniter enables gas to pass through the device while glowing hot and lighting the gas. It’s located in the bottom of your oven, typically beneath a hood and beside the inlet for the burner gas. Look at this part when turning on the oven: is it lighting up? It might be bad if it can’t create enough electrical current to push gas through the gas valve. If it ‘doesn’t glow, you might need to replace it.

To take the igniter out, you’ll need a screwdriver and won’t need to mess with the gas conduits. First, unplug the cord for the stove from the wall. Remove the igniter and use an ohmmeter to test the continuity. If the meter gives you a high resistance output, the part is no longer functional and requires replacement.

Sometimes, the issue could be a wire that was nibbled on by a mouse or just a connection that wiggled loose. Look around, after you flip the gas off. You should be able to see any significant issues. 

Problem #3: Oven Will Only Partially Heat and Cook Food 

If your oven isn’t cooking to the right temperature and is undercooking your meals, there are a couple of possible reasons why. One cause could be malfunctioning of the temperature sensor inside the oven. The temperature sensor might be too close to the oven wall, and if moved, it might fix the issue because it can impact the way the oven measures its temperature. 

Or, the temperature sensor might be faulty from use. You can test whether or not the sensor is broken with an ohmmeter. If the sensor needs to be fixed, it’s simple to do, and you can typically do it on your own. Another cause could be that the oven needs calibration if you’ve inspected or replaced the gas igniter, temperature sensor, and heating elements. 

You can see how accurate your oven is, but you’ll need a thermometer for ovens, and it requires taking the temperature every 20 minutes for several hours. Then, you might have an idea of how to adjust the temperature dial on your oven. Or, you can call a professional.

A Stovetop Issue

Problem #4: Oven Doesn’t Bake Evenly

First, find out if the temperature sensor and the heating elements are working. You can check these by preheating the unit and see if the inside of the oven is visually red hot. If the temperature sensor displays resistance that’s going up with the oven heat, it should be working fine. If not, replace it or the heating elements if not functioning. 

However, it’s important to realize that different ovens have different ways of cooking. Some are much faster or slower than they should be, or it might be due to your oven rack positions or the pans that you use. You might need to rotate the dishes while they bake or move the racks.

Problem #5: Self-Cleaning Doesn’t Work

This could be because of many things, like a broken wire, broken clock, bad door switch, or lock assembly. These issues are too dangerous to try to fix on your own, so it’s best to call a trained professional.

Problem #6: The Light Inside the Oven Won’t Turn on 

If the bulb is bad, you can put a new one in on your own. If a new bulb doesn’t solve the problem, the light switch, electronic control, or connecting wire might be faulty. These fixes require the help of a professional.

Problem #7: The Top Burner on an Electric Stove Won’t Work

Try turning on a different burner. If it begins working, that one heating element that isn’t working might need replacement.

Also, the gas control housing has a safety valve that can occasionally malfunction. While this isn’t a super common issue, it can cause gas to stop flowing to the heating elements. Never try to replace this component yourself, it’s crucial to have a licensed professional in working with gas to take care of it.

Problem #8: Rust 

No matter how often you clean your oven, moisture and cooking can produce rust and holes in the metal over time. When you first notice the rust, you might want to start thinking about replacing the unit. Rust can impair how well the oven and the parts work. In the worst cases, traces of rust has even been found in meals. You can only cover your dishes for so long. While rust can be repaired, it’s expensive and could be cheaper to get a new unit.

Problem #9: Rack that Keeps Falling

If the inside of the oven has issues and can’t hold the rack, you’ll probably need to call a professional. It might be included in your warranty, but if not, it could be a costly fix.

Problem #10: Error Message Displaying on the Range Clock

If you see an error message, you might be experiencing a power failure, or the oven might be in “Sabbath mode.” Otherwise, your unit might require a new electronic control board.

In summary, while some parts of an oven are safe enough to fix without a professional, many situations will require expert repair. If you can tell where the problem is, you might save some cash upfront on the diagnosis.