What are the Best Tips for Oven Repair?

Anna B. Smith
Anna B. Smith

The best tips for oven repair are to make sure the appliance is not receiving any power before beginning repair, and to diagnose the problem prior to ordering replacement parts. Ovens are often simple for homeowners to repair if one oven part is malfunctioning. These parts may be ordered directly from the manufacturer and replaced using ordinary household tools, like a screwdriver. More difficult issues, however, such as faulty gas lines and malfunctioning sensor bars, are often best left to professional service repairmen.

Before beginning any type of oven repair, disconnect the appliance from its power source. In an electric oven, this may be accomplished by either unplugging the power cord from the wall socket or by switching the circuit breaker to off, if the oven cannot be unplugged. In gas ovens, also ensure that the valve to the gas line is in the off position so that no excess gas leaks into the home.

Diagnose the problem before ordering parts. Oven parts may be obtained fairly easily through Internet ordering. Some online suppliers allow the user to input the manufacturer of the appliance, as well as the model number, into their websites to provide a list of parts specific to the unit in question.

If the oven routinely undercooks or overcooks food, begin by testing the internal temperature. This may be accomplished with a simple oven thermometer. These are usually inexpensive, and available at most grocery stores. One can hang on the internal oven rack. Set the oven for a specific temperature, allow it to remain on for between 15 and 20 minutes, and check the internal thermostat. Differences over or under by 25°F (10°C) require oven repair.

Gas oven problems typically arise when something interrupts the flow of gas to the oven, or when the igniter fails to light the gas. This may be exhibited in the oven as a failure to ignite in general, or to achieve a specified internal temperature. Gas lines and valves should usually be serviced by a professional due to the volatile nature of gas. Igniters may be purchased and replaced by the homeowner for a nominal fee.

Electric ovens that fail to heat food properly may require a new heating element. This is typically an easy oven repair for the homeowner to perform personally. Heating elements may be removed quickly from the upper and lower walls of the oven with a screwdriver. New elements can be ordered by the make and model number of the oven, and can range in price from between $25 and $50 US Dollars (USD). The homeowner may then replace the old elements with the new ones, using the same screwdriver used to remove the defective parts.

When replacing the baking elements or igniter still fails to correct the problem of undercooked and overcooked food, the homeowner may then wish to replace the thermostat. This is the long, metal sensor bar located between the upper range and lower oven unit that measures internal temperature. The range, or cook-top, must first be removed prior to replacing the thermostat. Ranges should generally be handled by two or more people, and can be set aside once they are disconnected from the stove.

When considering whether to attempt an oven repair personally, the homeowner may wish to first evaluate the cost and time involved in completing the repair. The majority of replacement oven parts cost less than $100 USD and require little effort to exchange with defective parts inside the appliance. Those repairs that require major work, however, should generally be left for professional repairmen, as the time involved and sensitivity of the parts can nullify the financial savings of completing those repairs personally.

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