Common Oven Problems – Troubleshooting Guide

You go to preheat the oven just to find that it’s not working. What a bummer! Whether your oven isn’t heating or the temperature is inaccurate, this guide can help you figure out the next steps to getting your oven fixed fast.

Troubleshooting Common Oven Problems

Oven Not Heating

Like a car with square wheels, an oven not heating is virtually useless. This is one of the most common oven problems we see in gas, electric, and convection units alike. While most ovens are designed differently, there are several usual suspects when you find your oven not working.

Causes of an oven not heating include:

Defective Igniter
If you have a gas oven not heating, the problem is most likely due to a defective igniter. These can fail over time if food or debris are spilled inside the oven, causing the igniter to be too weak to ignite the gas inside.

Fix It: View the igniter while the oven is on, and if it fails to ignite the gas after two minutes, you’ll have to replace it.

common oven problems

Burnt Out Wires in Heating Element
Electric ovens depend on a heating element to bake. When your oven stops heating, check to see if your bake element is getting hot and turning red while the oven is on. If not, the wires that supply power to the element may be burnt out.

Fix It: Inspect the wires where the heater plugs in. Burnt wires will need to be addressed by a professional. Otherwise, you have a dead element which you can easily replace by yourself.

oven not working

Oven Not Cooking Evenly

Uneven cooking can lead to undercooked or burnt food and can make cooking a pain. Here are the most common causes of this problem:

Common User Issues:

  • Incorrect rack placement
  • Overloading the oven with too much food
  • Not rotating the pans during cooking
  • Using the wrong type of cookware

Need to Calibrate Oven Temperature: Over time, ovens can drift from their calibrated temperature and this can result in uneven cooking. You can calibrate your oven temperature using an oven thermometer. Place the thermometer in the center of the oven and turn the oven to the temperature you want to calibrate to. Check the thermometer after 15-20 minutes and adjust the temperature accordingly. Repeat this process until you have reached the desired temperature.

Convection Fan Not Working: A faulty convection fan can result in uneven cooking. The fan is responsible for circulating hot air throughout the oven to ensure even cooking. If the fan is not working, you will usually need to replace it.

Oven Temperature is Inaccurate

Some surprises are fun, but not when you bake a cake for 45 minutes and it barely has a crust when it comes out. Occasionally a faulty control board or thermostat will cause an oven to get hotter than it’s supposed to, but most of the time the temperature will be too low. As annoying as this problem can be, it’s usually one that can be fixed inexpensively on your own.

Causes of oven temperature not accurate include:

Defective Safety Valve
Most of the time if a gas oven’s temperature is inaccurate, it’s on its way to not heating at all. Keeping the inside of your oven clean and free of grease will prevent the igniter from being weakened over time. A defective safety valve can also create longer intervals between ignitions, resulting in your oven not heating enough.

Fix It: Replace the igniter first if it appears to be defective or weakened.

Temperature Control Thermostat Failure
A faulty temperature control thermostat is the usual culprit when it comes to electric models not heating enough. This part monitors the inside of your oven and cycles the heat on and off at the right time.

Fix It: Thermostats are difficult to test but are inexpensive and relatively easy to replace, so this is a smart place to start.

oven won't turn on

Oven Won’t Turn On

Look at the bright side, at least when you find your electric oven is completely dead, you know it’s dead. You won’t be wasting time and money preparing food for an oven that turns on but won’t even reach 200 degrees. Not that it should make you feel any better, but at least this issue has only a few possible causes, all of which can be fixed by a novice.

Causes of an oven not turning on:

Power Cord Unplugged
First and foremost, it pains me to say it, but a loose or unplugged power cord may be your problem.

Fix It: Check to make sure that your oven is plugged into the wall. That’s the cheapest, easiest fix there is! It may be a good idea to use a multimeter to check the incoming voltage from the power supply in the wall as well.

Control Board Worn Out
If the unit is plugged in and getting the proper power from the wall, then the problem is most likely your control board or user interface. The user interface can get worn out over time due to repetitive use and fail.

Fix It: Oven control boards also frequently fail for one reason or another, but both boards can be tested using a multimeter and are easy to replace.

Many common oven problems can be diagnosed and repaired by the average Joe, but safety is always an issue. That’s why if you have any doubts about your ability to repair your oven, or if these solutions didn’t fix your problem, call Oak Valley Appliance today and let the experts take care of it for you. Our experienced technicians are trained to repair every make, model, and configuration of oven. Call us or schedule service online for the area’s best oven repair technicians!

David lange

David Lange

In 1982 David went to work for his mom as a service technician and has been servicing appliances ever since. He is the owner of Oak Valley Appliance, an appliance repair company in Tehachapi, CA, with local techs also serving Lancaster, Ridgecrest, and surrounding areas.