Many homeowners enjoy taking on do-it-yourself projects and basic home repair jobs. Some hesitate, however, when it comes to fixing major home appliances. Tackling the troubleshooting or repair of these big ticket items can be intimidating at first, but it is not as difficult as you might think. Investigate some common issues and follow these steps to troubleshoot your oven's problems and make informed repair decisions.
Check for bad oven sensors or thermostats if your electric oven does not get hot enough. Read the manufacturer's specs and test the unit(s) with an ohmmeter. Also check the seal around the door to see if it is torn or cracked and letting heat out.
Look first to make sure that you are getting power to the oven if the heating element on the electric oven won't get hot at all. Also look for a tripped breaker, bad electrical outlet or burnt out cord. If power is good, test the element with an ohmmeter, again referring to the manufacturer's specs for a properly functioning unit. Also check the wiring leading to the element for wear or a loose connection.
Start once again with the simplest possible solution first if your gas oven will not heat at all. Check to make sure that there is a good gas supply and that the gas orifice is clean, then relight the pilot. If the gas supply is good, look to the ignition system as the problem. It is usually worth it to replace this, as the parts are not expensive. Another potential cause is a bad valve. Check this with an ohmmeter against manufacturer specs in the same manner as described above in Steps 1 and 2.
Inspect and test the oven sensor, thermostat and oven relay if the oven temperature is erratic. This problem is almost always related to a failure of one of these devices. Check these with an ohmmeter and replace as necessary.
Look for to the the self-cleaning latch being bent, broken or out of line if the self-cleaning function does not work. Another reason may be that the self-cleaning latch switch has failed.
Look up the appropriate code to identify the problem if the oven display is showing an error code. These codes are different for nearly every model (see Resources).