Ovens are the unsung heroes of the kitchen; most of us use our oven every day and just take it for granted, doing little more than give it a clean every now and again. It is not until an oven stops working that you realise just how dependent you are on it. Here are some of the most common oven problems, and what you can do to fix them.
The oven is not heating up.
One of the most common problems for electric cookers is for the lights to come on and fan to start whirring, only for you to notice that the oven is not heating up. This is usually to do with the element but could be down to a faulty thermal switch or thermal fuse. An oven repair person should be able to diagnose, and fix, the problem relatively cheaply.
The oven heats up too much.
If you notice that you are suddenly burning food, your thermostat may be faulty. The thermostat basically senses when the oven is hot enough and flick a trigger to make it stop heating up. If you open the door, or raise the temperature again, the thermostat realises that the oven isn’t hot enough and the heat comes back on.
The oven overheats and then fails to switch on.
Another cause of an overheating oven could be a faulty or damaged thermal fuse; the fuse that cuts off the temperature when it gets too high. If your oven overheats once, then fails to switch on, the latter is the most likely cause; replace the thermal fuse and it should work fine again.
The oven isn’t working at all.
If you switch your oven on and you get nothing: no lights, no sound, no heat, it isn’t necessarily as bad as you might think. The first thing to do is check your power supply. It could be as simple as a fuse, so check the plug or fuse box, depending on the type of oven you have. If your oven has an integrated timer, make sure that it is not stuck on automatic (you may need to check your user manual to take it off automatic). If all else fails, it may be an electrical fault, including loose or damaged wire connections and faulty thermal fuses. Once you have checked the power supply and timer settings, call your local electrician or oven repair specialist.
Often, it can help to know what is causing your oven fault. However, remember that working with electrics can be dangerous; if in doubt, consult a professional. For more advice and guidance on finding the right tradesperson for the job, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.