Diagnosing a fault with your oven

Diagnosing a fault with your oven

Has your oven stopped working, and you're not sure what the problem is?

Don't worry, it might be a little bit too late for the half-cooked chicken inside, but we are here to help save you from takeaways or microwave meals for too long.

There are many things that can go wrong with your oven, but there are some common culprits, so usually it won't be too difficult to narrow down the offending item.

Below, we will explain how you can attempt to diagnose the following common faults:

  1. The fan and thermostat light appear to be working, but the oven is not getting hot
  2. The oven is tripping my electricity
  3. The grill is not getting hot
  4. The oven is noisy
  5. There is power to the oven, but nothing happens when I switch it on
  6. The oven is not getting hot enough

 

Before carrying out any of the tips below, always ensure that the power to your oven is turned off!

 

Before diagnosing many of the problems, it may be important to figure out what type of oven you have, from the following few variations:

  • A fan oven, usually displayed by a symbol similar to
  • A conventional oven, usually has a symbol similar to or a conventional oven with a fan, by a symbol similar to  

 

What issue are you having?

 

 1.  The fan and thermostat light appear to be working, but the oven is not getting hot

If you have a fan oven on which the fan and thermostat light on the control panel are coming on, then more than likely it will be the fan oven element which has failed, causing it to stay cold.

The element may have obvious signs of failure on it like holes, cracks or warping.  However, it is worth bearing in mind that it may look fine to the eye.  The only way to check it for certain would be to test for continuity with a multi meter.

Shop fan oven elements

A conventional oven and a conventional oven with a fan both use two elements to heat the oven, one in the top and one under the floor.  If you are getting some heat it is likely one of these elements has failed.  In this case, you would need to discern where the heat is coming from (top or bottom), in order to figure out which one has failed.

If you have no heat in a conventional oven, yet the thermostat light is on - there is a chance that one element has failed before without you noticing, and now the second has failed also.  However, if the oven was working perfectly up until that point, you will want to consider other options as it is extremely unlikely two elements failed simultaneously. 

Shop conventional oven elements

 

2.  The oven is tripping my electricity

The oven tripping your electricity could be caused by many of the components inside, however by far the most common is an element.

The oven may trip immediately as you turn it on, or it may trip once it is hot.  If you have no means of testing the parts, the best method to identify which part is causing the tripping is disconnect them one at a time and trying the oven.

For example, if it trips as soon as you turn the control switch to select a function on your oven - try disconnecting the oven element (ensuring the loose wires are not touching anything) and trying the oven again.  If it no longer trips, you can be confident that the disconnected element was the culprit.  If it continues to trip, reconnect the element and try another - until by process of elimination you get to the offending part.

 

3.  The grill is not getting hot

If your grill is not getting hot, or not hot enough in the case of dual circuit grill elements, then the most likely cause will be a failed grill element.  The element may have obvious signs of failure on it like holes, cracks or warping.  However, it is worth bearing in mind that it may look fine to the eye.  The only way to check it for certain would be to test for continuity with a multi meter.

Shop grill elements

 

4.  The oven is noisy

If your oven is making a loud noise when operating, it is likely going to be a fan.  However, many ovens will have more than one fan, so you will need to narrow down which one is causing it.

If your oven is a fan oven , you will have a convection fan in the back of the cavity of your oven.  This disperses the heat around your oven for even cooking.  This fan should come on as soon as you select the oven function on your cooker, and will stop as soon as you turn it off again.  If you have decided it is this fan causing the issue, remove the cover at the back of the cavity to reveal the fan blades to ensure it is not catching on anything.  If it is running freely, but is noisy when operational - you will need to replace the motor.

There will also be a cooling fan in the top of the oven, which helps cool down the components on the control panel when the cooker gets hot.  This will often come on a few minutes into cooking, and will run for a few minutes after until the cooker has cooled down.  You can usually feel the air from this fan blowing out from above the oven door.  Therefore, if the noise continues after you have switched the oven off, you may need to replace the cooling fan motor.  This is usually accessed through the top of the cooker.

Shop fan motors

 

5.  There is power to the oven, but nothing happens when I switch it on

If the digital display is lighting up on your oven, but when you try to turn the oven on it appears dead, this could be for numerous reasons.

The first thing to check is that the clock/timer is set to manual.  This may seem obvious, but if your oven has been switched off at the mains, when it is turned back on the timer is usually in automatic mode.  Whilst this is the case, conventional oven settings and the grill may work fine, but if you find that the fan oven appears dead - you will need to reset the timer to 'manual' in order for it to work.  Exactly how to do this will vary from appliance to appliance, so please consult your manual.

If you have set your timer to manual, but you still have no heat, fan or lights coming on on your oven, the next thing to check would be the selector switch.  Turn your selector switch fully to see if it feels ok - generally it should move from position to position consistently.  If you have a double oven, compare it with the other selector switch to see if it feels the same.  After this you will want to remove the lid of your oven to inspect it visually.  A faulty selector switch will usually have tell tale signs like burn marks on the contacts or a chip on the plastic lobes of the cam.

If you believe the selector switch is OK - you may want to check the following less common problems; the thermostat, a thermal cut out, faulty door switch.

 

6.  The oven is not getting hot enough

If you feel your oven is not getting up to the temperature you are setting it to, your first move may be to get an internal oven thermometer (see here) to go inside your oven, so you can be sure there is a discrepancy between what your are selecting and the actual heat inside.

Once you can be sure there is a problem, the next step is to check whether the thermostat light on the control panel goes out.  If this light goes out, yet the temperature inside isn't at what you have selected, then there will most likely be a fault with the thermostat.

If the light never goes out, because it is not getting hot enough, this could be for various reasons.  Firstly, check what kind of oven you have.

If it is a fan oven then this just uses an element at the back.  As an element either works or it doesn't, if there is any heat at all the element is OK.  Therefore, you may want to gauge whether the fan is working efficiently.  If this is weak it will not blow the heat around effectively and it will remain hotter at the back of the cavity than the rest.  This will also shorten the life of your element.

If it is a conventional oven with or without a fan there are 2 elements heating the oven, located in the top of the cavity and underneath the floor.  If this is not getting to temperature, chances are one of these elements has failed.  Feeling where the heat is coming from should allow you to figure out which one has failed.

If the fan and elements appear ok, you will want to check whether any heat is escaping from around the door. Check the rubber door seal to make sure is it maintaining its shape and creating a seal when the door is shut. Often, they can begin to sag and allow the heat to escape.  Similarly, make sure the hinges are working properly and closing the door tightly.  If your oven door stays ajar slightly, the heat from inside your oven will escape.

 

 

Hopefully this guide has helped you narrow down the problem with your oven, however if you are still unsure about things, please feel free to contact us and speak to one of our engineers:

Tel: 0151 448 1201

Email: Sales@elerep.co.uk

 

*Disclaimer:  This post is for guidance only. If you are in anyway unsure, please use a qualified electrician or domestic appliance engineer.

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