Just when you have a big family dinner on the horizon, the unthinkable happens: Your stove or oven goes on the fritz. Can you conceive of a more horrible nightmare? Before you curl into the fetal position with blankets over your head, take heart. There are steps you can take to figure out what is wrong with your appliance.
Faulty Gas or Electricity Supply
If your appliance is gas, the most common problems stem from the supply and ignition of gas in the burners and in the oven itself. As for electric ranges, problems with the heating elements are usually the culprits when the appliance stops working and is in need of a stove repair technician. Make sure the unit is unplugged and that the gas supply valve is closed. Only then can you safely take a peek inside to see what’s going on.
Burnt Out Light Bulb
If the oven’s surface light has burned out, you might be able to replace the bulb yourself by removing the service panel on the back of the control panel by detaching the screws that go around its edges. But we don’t recommend it. If you do decide to go forward make sure your new bulb is of the proper wattage. You might also take this opportunity to put a new bulb in your oven light if necessary.
Door Gasket Difficulties
These are often at fault if your oven is not reaching the proper temperature. If you feel heat escaping from around the oven door, it’s time to get a new gasket. Multiple sources on the Internet will tell you this is a quick DIY job, but if the gasket is installed between the front and back sections of the oven door, you will need a professional to make this repair.
If they are clogged, ignition can’t take place. To clean, soak burners in a solution of warm water and mild soap. Dry and replace.
Oven Setting Control
If this part malfunctions, your appliance will not heat properly. This is a simple repair that a certified stove and oven technician can repair by disconnecting the electric lead wires, lifting out the faulty control, and replacing it with a new one.
Test your oven’s thermostat by inserting an oven thermometer onto the oven’s middle rack. Set the temperature anywhere between 300 and 400 degrees and wait 20 minutes. If the temperature of the oven and that of the thermometer differ by more than 25 degrees, it’s time to recalibrate your thermostat.
As you can see, a broken stove or oven doesn’t have to mean immediate replacement of the entire appliance. Some of the issues that occur can be fixed with relative ease if you have a little time and knowledge. However, remember that these appliances use gas and electricity, both of which can pose hazards if you aren’t too sure what you’re doing. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to call a reputable appliance technician in your area. Most fixes are quick and effective. Before you know it, you’ll be cooking away in preparation for that big family gathering.