Your stove is a versatile cooking utensil that can help you to prepare a wide range of meals. The great thing about your stove is that there are two main methods for cooking: the oven and the stovetop for meal cooking.
Sometimes, your oven component may not work even though the burners on the stovetop work. It could be due to a bad igniter, the thermostat malfunctioning, or even as simple as a loose connection or wire. Troubleshooting the problem can be a relatively simple endeavor.
Table of Contents
- Professional Help is Always the Best Bet
- Gas is Dangerous
- The Oven Igniter
- Burners Still Turning on in an Electric Stove
- Other Potential Issues
- Loose Connectors or Wires
- Malfunctioning Safety Valve
- Reasons Your Gas Stove May Not Work at All
- The Gas Burner Doesn’t Light
- The Oven Doesn’t Heat to the Right Temperature
- Checking and Fixing the Problem
- What if the Oven Door Won’t Shut?
Professional Help is Always the Best Bet
Even if you consider yourself to be a fairly handy type, gas and electrical lines are the ones that require the most care. They can be potentially dangerous when left in the wrong hands, leading to personal injury, fire, and even explosion.
Gas is Dangerous
With gas in particular, the repairs have to be made to certain specifications in order to protect against any gas leaks and potential fires. Doing minor repairs is fine and, in most cases, the stove falls under the umbrella of minor repairs.
When it doubt, call in a professional to check out the issue for you. It will at least give you peace of mind in knowing that the proper repairs have been implemented and your stove is working properly and effectively.
The Oven Igniter
The oven igniter is an electrical component meant to serve a pair of functions within your stove. Whenever you turn the oven on, the igniter will open to allow gas to flow directly through the valve. While this is happening, the igniter will begin to glow red hot, ultimately igniting the gas flowing through the valve. In most cases, when the oven igniter goes bad, it is this component that goes bad.
1. Locate the igniter. Locating the igniter depends on your model, but you can typically find it at the bottom part of the oven compartment. It should be located under some sort of cover and will be close, if not right next, to the burner gas inlet.
2. Checking the igniter. When you turn the oven on, the component can still glow red even when it isn’t working properly. The most likely culprit is that it might not be generating the proper amount of current to properly open up the gas valve.
3. Removing the igniter. The good thing about this is that you can remove the igniter relatively easily. Simply use a screwdriver to pry it out; you don’t have to modify your current gas connections to do so. Just make sure that the stove is unplugged before you disconnect the igniter. You can then test using an ohmmeter to check the continuity of the igniter.
Getting a high resistance reading (which is the OL on your standard digital meter) will indicate that the igniter is bad. There is no repairing a bad igniter; it will have to be replaced entirely.
Burners Still Turning on in an Electric Stove
In the instance that the electric oven won’t work but the stovetop still works, the situation is pretty similar to that of the average gas stove. The fact that the burners are still working is an indication that the unit as a whole is getting power.
1. Check the heating element. In electric stoves, the heating element can burn out over time. Check this by taking the burner out and performing one of the aforementioned continuity tests.
2. Check for loose connections. Should the heating element pass the test, check to make sure that there are no loose connections or wires.
3. Test the thermostat control. You can also perform a test on the thermostat control unit. Just make sure that you unplug the stove before you do anything as the potential for electrical shock is always present unless unplugged.
Other Potential Issues
In most standard gas stoves, the igniter is connected to a thermostat that is connected to your control knobs. This is how you dictate the internal temperature of the stove. Primarily, you will see these knobs on older units as most have converted to a digital standard.
When the thermostat fails to function properly, the igniter doesn’t get any power. Should your igniter pass the continuity test, this should be the next component that you check. You can remove the knob with a screwdriver and perform the same continuity test on it. Should it be defective, replace it and you ought to be good to go.
Loose Connectors or Wires
But there is the chance that you have checked both the thermostat and the igniter, and they are working as they are meant to, the problem could simply be a loose connection or wire. In more extreme cases, some wires can even be chewed on by a rodent and damaged in the process.
Loose connectors will probably be pretty easy to see but if it isn’t, turn the gas off and unplug your stove before beginning your search for the loose connector. Simply tighten the loose connector or replace it if it has been damaged.
Malfunctioning Safety Valve
If none of those are the reason for the malfunction, it could be that the safety valve in your gas control housing is bad or malfunctioning. While this doesn’t happen all that often, it does happen. And when it does, gas doesn’t get to flow to the burner properly.
It is imperative that you do not attempt to perform this repair yourself. You need to ensure that a licensed professional do the job for you. Remember, when dealing with gas lines and safety valves, it is all too easy for things to go wrong. Don’t leave it to chance.
Reasons Your Gas Stove May Not Work at All
Because there are so many different components to your gas stove, a number of issues could arise. Each of these issues can be limited to a specific component but they can impact the rest of the stove as a whole.
Here are the most likely issues surrounding a gas stove, why they are happening, and what you can do about it.
The Gas Burner Doesn’t Light
The great thing about a gas stove is that, even if the electrical ignition isn’t working properly, you can still light the burner. If the burners don’t light at all and you can’t find an immediate problem to pin it on, there are a couple of things that you can do to troubleshoot the issue.
1. Lift the grate. First, lift off the burner grate, the cap, and the base. Make sure that you clean away any debris or food chunks that may be causing a jam; you can use a toothpick or some compressed air if you have some available.
2. Clean thoroughly. While you’re at it, clean out the pieces that you removed, too.
3. Check the wiring. Finally, check the wires that connect your igniter to the control module. More often than not, the reason for no ignition is due to a faulty or loose connection. If it still won’t light, the igniter will likely need to be replaced. If the igniter is fine, it could be due to a kink in the gas line which would require a call to your local professional.
The Oven Doesn’t Heat to the Right Temperature
We’ve already covered why your oven won’t heat, especially when the burner is still working. But there could come an instance where the oven works just fine, except it won’t heat to the right temperature every time.
The reason your oven won’t reach the right temperature could come down to the temperature sensor, the heating element, or the gas igniter. Start by checking the temperature sensor first. If it is functioning properly and is positioned correctly, it should not be touching the oven’s inside wall.
Checking and Fixing the Problem
1. Check functionality. Using an ohmmeter, check to ensure that the sensor is fully functional. The resistance should rise as the oven’s temperature increases. If the sensor doesn’t work, replace it immediately.
2. Check the igniter and heating element. Should the temperature sensor not be the obvious problem, check to verify that both the gas igniter and the heating element are working properly. Check their continuity using your ohmmeter and replace either component if it is not working correctly.
3. Recalibration. In the event that everything has been checked completely or replaced, you may need to recalibrate the oven. Heat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and then check the internal temperature of the oven when 20 minutes has passed. Continue to check every 20 minutes for 90-120 minutes.
Add up the total of your temperature readings and then divide that number by the total number of readings taken. So, if you take 5 temperatures and come to a cumulative total of 1,400 degrees, your adjusted total would be 280 degrees. You can then adjust your oven temperature using the dial accordingly.
What if the Oven Door Won’t Shut?
From time to time, you may notice that the oven door won’t shut. Though this can appear to be a minor inconvenience, it can actually be unsafe to use the stove until the issue has been resolved in a satisfactory manner.
1. Turn off the gas. Start by turning off the gas and unplugging the oven entirely.
2. Take off the door. To remove the door entirely, pull straight up and then out. If it doesn’t pull up, you may have to unscrew any screws that may be holding the hinges inside of the oven in place.
3. Check for damage and replace. Replace the hinges if necessary and then check for damaged or broken door springs. You can slide out the oven’s bottom drawer and check, removing any broken springs using pliers. The ends will be wrapped around 2 bolts; replace them and then rewrap the ends of your springs around your new bolts.
You may also want to check the rubber or silicone gasket that is located under the door. If, after all of that, the door still won’t shut properly, your door sensor will likely need replacing.