Owners of gas ranges can expect to see an average of 15 years out of their stove. All major appliances eventually need some level of repair and maintenance. Usually, these are small parts or components that need replacement.
The best way to extend the life of your kitchen appliances is to stay on top of its maintenance. Knowing how to fix an oven’s essentials will save you a lot of money in the long run. When your appliance no longer heats up or when you notice any kind of problem, it is important that you call a trained technician for oven repair right away.
Let this guide demystify the keys to caring for an aging oven.
If you have an inkling that the oven is taking longer than usual to preheat, this might indicate one of two things. One, the heating element might be going out. Sometimes this is accompanied by a change in the way it lights up.
With a heating element failure, usually, it goes cold in certain areas or fluctuates to produce ‘hot spots’ of brighter reds.
The second scenario for inconsistent oven temperature is the failure of the built-in thermostat. You can test this out by using a separate oven thermometer. Set it inside and let the oven run for half an hour.
You’ll need a glass-bulb thermometer to get the most accurate results. A difference of five or ten degrees is okay but could indicate the early stages of failure.
Over Door Problems
Ovens that see a lot of use are subject to the most wear-and-tear. The first signs of trouble will show up in the gasket or hinges. In fact, if your oven door gasket becomes uneven enough, it can affect the oven’s ability to hold temperature.
You probably won’t notice it off of the thermometer’s reading, but the oven will do a lot of cycling. Listen for that ‘click’ going off more than usual. It should only do a cycle every five minutes, not every 1-2 minutes.
If the gasket looks good and isn’t stiff, then you’re probably not getting a good seal due to the hinges. Hinges on an oven door can become bent or loose at the springs. This is a cheap and easy replacement that is often needed before the oven’s end-of-life cycle.
Clock and Display Issues
Ovens with built-in digital displays are amazing, so long as they are calibrated correctly. The timer is especially important to the functionality of your oven. If your clock isn’t set properly, then your oven may not turn off when it goes off (or turn on at all).
Double-check everything in the manual to see if you’re programming it correctly. Also, make sure you are resetting everything when the power goes out. If your oven still refuses to respond to cooking presets, it’s probably time to call for serving.
What You Should Do for Maintenance
Outside of monitoring the above for times of repair, do your best to clean and maintain your oven. Proactive maintenance at home is the best way to avoid expensive emergency repairs.
All modern stoves have a self-cleaning option. Take advantage of this modern convenience because it reduces the amount of scrubbing you’ll do. If you’re running this cycle weekly or bi-weekly, you may never need to pick up a brush.
The more gunked-up your oven gets, the harder it has to work and the more likely components will start to fail. Depending on the degree of neglect, you could face a tough choice between multiple gas oven repairs or replacement. There are a number of factors to consider before committing, learn more before throwing in the towel.
As we mentioned earlier, modern stoves with digital timers can go haywire. The easiest way to lose functionality overnight is through an ill-timed thunderstorm. If you experience a power surge, the circuits onboard may short out.
It might not even happen right away, the damage may cause a gradual short circuit and you’re left with a surprise repair months or years later. All of this is completely preventable with a heavy-duty surge suppressor.
Replacing Minor Parts
Sure, your stove won’t suddenly stop working because the oven light has burnt out. It does help to know how to replace any of these minor parts, though. Calling in a professional to get your oven light fixed is an easy way to throw away $60-80.
The oven light is a little different than changing a standard light bulb. You’ll need to remove the small glass covering it. Depending on your oven’s model, it could involve unscrewing or some light prying it loose.
Knobs are usually easy to replace (i.e. rotating them counter-clockwise). You can look on eBay or independent dealers for cheap replacement parts. Make sure you match the model numbers, even if they look identical physically.
Drip pans and bowls need regular cleaning to protect electrical circuits from shorting. Avoid covering them with foil or metal bowls that trap heat. This could ruin the protective covers on the wires.
How to Fix an Oven Defect
If your oven is less than a year old and suddenly stops working, The problem may require professional help. Sometimes knowing how to fix an oven involves engineering problems that you won’t understand.
The good news is that your oven’s warranty will cover you. The bad news is that you might have to go without the use of your oven until it’s fixed. In most cases, the company will send out a repairman to fix it at home.
If the oven is defective, your warranty will cover its replacement. Defects usually show up early in an oven’s life, but in rare cases, they may happen when it’s too late. For this reason, we recommend that you get extended warranties on all major appliances.
Preparation is the key to frugality! You’ll find this theme throughout other blog posts on Scrapality.