Electric ovens are a basic necessity in most households, providing quick and efficient cooking and baking capabilities. However, all appliances have their downfalls from time to time, and when your oven doesn’t heat up properly, it can put a real damper on your dinner plans.
Luckily, every problem is solvable – including this one. If your electric oven doesn’t heat up, there are many potential causes, each with a simple solution.
So, keep reading to figure out exactly what’s going on with your oven and discover the steps you might take to get it working again.
Why Is Your Electric Oven Not Heating Up?
Before trying to fix anything, first come to grips with what’s caused it to stop working in the first place. This will help you troubleshoot and start making repairs.
1. Faulty Heating Element
The heating element is a crucial component in your oven and stove that generates the heat needed to cook your food. Unlike a gas oven, an electric unit uses electricity – and a heating element – to heat the appliance. It can wear out or become damaged gradually over time, leading to your unit not heating up properly.
Heating elements are usually located at the bottom of the oven and are easily replaceable if there’s a problem. However, before replacing the component, ensure that it is actually the root cause of the issue.
If you have a multimeter tool, you can use it to check if the heating element is receiving an electrical current; if not, the component might be faulty and need replacing. However, if you don’t know how to use a multimeter for continuity, call a specialist to assist.
2. Broken Thermostat
The thermostat regulates the temperature in your oven by balancing the use of the heating element throughout your cook. And a faulty one can be one of the most common issues with an electric oven.
This component works by sensing the temperature inside the oven and sending a signal to the heating element to heat up to the correct temperature. When the temperature in the oven is below the desired level, the thermostat signals the heating element to crank it up, and vice versa.
If your thermostat isn’t working correctly, this can obviously create heating issues since this is essentially the oven thermometer. Again, to determine if the thermostat is broken, you can use a multimeter for continuity.
3. Blown Fuse or Tripped Circuit Breaker
Electric ovens use a lot of power and sometimes require a dedicated circuit breaker or fuse. If either of those trips or blows, your oven will stop receiving power, which of course, will prevent it from heating up.
To check if there has been a trip in the breaker or a blow in the fuse, locate the circuit breaker box or fuse panel and check the oven’s breaker or fuse for signs of damage. If the breaker or fuse has tripped or blown, reset it or replace it, respectively.
However, if the circuit breaker trips or the fuse blows frequently, it could indicate a more significant electrical problem that would need to be addressed by a professional electrician.
4. Malfunctioning Control Board
The control board in your electric oven regulates the appliance’s various functions, including the actual heating. If the control board malfunctions, it may not be able to signal the heating element to turn on.
To check if the control board is malfunctioning, you’ll need to contact a repair specialist and have it repaired or replaced if there’s something wrong.
How To Fix An Electric Oven That’s Not Heating Up?
With the knowledge of all the potential reasons causing problems for you in the kitchen, you can now have a better grasp of how to handle the situation. So, we’ve compiled together some solutions to help you fix your electric oven.
1. Replace the Faulty Heating Element
If you think the heating element might be faulty, the first step is to order a replacement element compatible with your oven. Most replacement heating elements will come with installation instructions and should be easy enough to install.
Here are the basic steps:
- To replace the heating element, first, turn off the main power at the circuit breaker or fuse panel.
- Remove the racks and the bottom panel of your oven to access the heating element. Disconnect the wires connecting the part and remove everything.
- Next, install the new heating element by connecting the wires to the appropriate terminals and securing them in place.
- Reassemble the oven and turn the power supply back on to test your handiwork.
2. Replace the Broken Thermostat
Perhaps you have determined that the oven thermostat is the problem. If you’re right, you’ll have to replace it to restore your oven to proper working order.
As with the heating element, you should have detailed installation instructions when you order a new part or even within your user manual. Regardless, here are the basic steps to follow:
- As always, begin by disconnecting your appliance from the power source and allowing it to drain energy before you start working on it.
- Next, locate the thermostat, usually attached to the control panel. Disconnect the wires securing it, and remove the component from the oven.
- Install the new thermostat by connecting the wires to the appropriate terminals and securing everything neatly in place.
When this is done, you can put everything back together as you found it and turn on your oven to see if it works.
3. Reset the Blown Fuse or Tripped Circuit Breaker
If the issue lies with your circuit breaker or a blown fuse, you’ll need to take a closer look at these. First, try resetting your circuit breaker.
Next, locate the box and find the breaker that controls the oven. You can now simply flick it off and then turn it back on – this should reset it; see if this has made a difference; it might be your quick, easy fix!
However, if the fuse has blown and needs replacement, make sure to get a new one with the same amperage rating. As this can be complex, you may want to call a professional for assistance.
4. Replace the Malfunctioning Control Board
A broken oven control board is a bit more of a serious issue, as it can affect many aspects of your oven. If you suspect something is wrong with this element, you’ll need to call in reinforcements.
You may be able to repair this yourself f you are certain that you have the skills and knowledge by ordering a new part and attempting to replace it according to the instructions.
However, the process itself is complex, and it’s recommended to contact a professional technician to get this done. Trained technicians will have the necessary tools and expertise to replace the control board and ensure it functions correctly.
5. Replace the Temperature Sensor
One final repair or replacement you might consider is the temperature sensor – which is different from the thermostat.
This oven sensor is the part that’s responsible for monitoring the oven temperature. If it’s not working correctly, it might send inaccurate temperature readings to the control board.
If you think this part needs replacing, you can follow these basic steps:
- As always, turn off the power supply to the oven at the wall outlet or on your circuit breaker.
- Find the temperature sensor component, which should be inside the oven cavity, typically mounted on the back wall.
- Carefully remove the sensor from its mounting bracket, disconnect the wires, and install the replacement sensor.
Hopefully, this will have solved your problem if none of the previous steps did the job.
6. Clean the Oven
A final issue to consider is that you may be dealing with a grease buildup, food particles, and other grime inside the oven. When the oven is dirty, it might interfere with the heating process and prevent it from reaching the desired temperature.
If this is the case, thoroughly cleaning your oven might help things along. Self-cleaning ovens will have a function that you can use, but if not, here’s how to clean it:
- First, turn off your oven and disconnect it.
- Remove and soak the oven racks in warm, soapy water. Use a non-abrasive cleaner to wipe them down, and clean the oven interior in the same way, paying particular attention to areas with visible grease buildup.
- For tough stains, consider using baking soda and vinegar paste to fix away the stubborn grease.
- Rinse away the cleaning agents from the oven’s interior with a damp cloth and dry it thoroughly.
Remember that cleaning your oven regularly is integral to maintaining the appliance and keeping it in tip-top shape.
As you can see, a handful of common oven issues might be causing your oven to stay cold when trying to cook. Fortunately, the steps taken to rectify the problem are simple and straightforward, so you won’t need to struggle through complicated steps or weeks of the same problem.
Use the information in this article to jump-start the process of fixing your oven, whether that involves a quick clean, a simple DIY repair, or a call to your local oven repair services.