How Does an Oven Thermostat Work?

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Your oven thermostat helps maintain its temperature.
Image Credit: dpproductions/iStock/GettyImages

An oven thermostat or stove thermostat regularly cycles the mechanism's heating elements on and off to maintain the correct temperature. Although most thermostats operate with similar functions, some ovens have more accurate thermostats than others. If you have an older or newer oven, your thermostat must be working correctly to maintain proper oven temperature control.

How an Oven Thermostat Works

According to Cooker Spare Parts, an oven thermostat or a stove thermostat is an electromechanical switch that regulates the temperature of the oven or stove. An oven thermostat particularly regulates the temperature inside of an oven. A thermostat has a temperature-sensitive probe that measures the heat in an oven. The thermostat will switch the heat on and off to maintain the appropriate temperature in the oven.

There are different types of oven thermostats, and they have the same functions, but the kind of cooker you have will dictate how the thermostat operates.

Older Oven Thermostat

If you have an older oven model, the oven thermostat will be connected to a long copper tube. This copper tube extends into the main oven cavity, and the purpose of the copper tube is to read the temperature of the oven. The tube heats up and relays the heat back to the thermostat. When the tube has reached the set temperature, the thermostat will cut off the heat source.

If the temperature drops in the oven, then the thermostat will reactivate the oven burner and heat the oven back up again. There's a constant cycle of the temperature rising and falling while the oven is on.

Newer Oven Thermostat

According to Cooker Spare Parts, modern thermostats are attached to a long probe. The probe extends into the oven, and the thermostat is wired to a control board that controls the oven's heat source. When the probe detects that the oven has reached the set temperature, it sends a signal back to the thermostat. The thermostat will then tell the circuit board to turn off the heating supply.

When the oven's temperature drops, the probe will send another signal to the control panel. The control panel will then turn on the heating source to heat the oven again.

Oven Thermostat Problems

According to Appliance Assistant, four major things cause temperature problems when it comes to the oven thermostat or stove thermostat. The first issue is that the thermostat or sensor fails to detect the correct temperature in the cavity of the oven. This happens because the circuit isn't opening or closing correctly. If the circuit isn't opening and closing when it should, the oven will either stay super hot or run cold.

The second issue you can run across is that the control thermostat or burner switch won't close, or it sticks shut. A third issue is that your heating element, i.e., the stove or oven, is not heating correctly. A final issue that you can run across is that the conducting wire is cut or broken. If the conducting wire is cut or broken, it will not be able to carry electricity to the heating element.

references

Allanah Dykes is a freelance writer and her work has been featured on Elite Daily, Levo League, Popsugar, Complex, Gurl, The Kitchn, HelloGiggles, Revelist, and Food 52.

View Work