Power outages are an occasional fact of life, and sometimes they're accompanied by a power surge either when the outage begins or when power is restored. These can sometimes disrupt your appliances and electronics, so if your oven won't turn on after a power outage, that's usually why.
Check the Breaker
There are several potential reasons why your oven isn't working after a power outage and the surge that accompanies the return of your power. One very common reason, and by far the simplest to diagnose and fix, is that the breaker controlling this appliance may have blown.
Check the breaker panel, locate the breaker for your range or wall oven and reset it. Ideally, your oven should begin working again. If the breaker immediately blows once more, you have a deeper problem with either the appliance itself or the wiring of the circuit. Either of those situations requires more advanced troubleshooting and often a service call from a professional.
Check Your Fuses
Some ovens and ranges still use fuses to protect their internal components from overloads. Consult your owner's manual or GE's website for the location of the fuses in your specific oven. Set your multimeter to its continuity setting if it has one or the resistance (ohms) setting if it doesn't. If a fuse has no continuity or if its resistance reads as either zero or infinity, the fuse is blown and must be replaced. If it blows again, you have an electrical problem with your oven that must be resolved.
Reset Your Oven After a Power Cut
If the power went out and resumed while you were in the middle of cooking or baking something, you might want to skip the clock setting and other functions and go straight to turning your oven back on. Unfortunately, your oven may not let you do that. If yours is one of those models, you'll need to reset everything before it can resume baking.
Consult your manual or GE's website for model-specific details. On some models, for instance, you'd start by holding down the Clear/Off button until it resets. Then, reset the clock and finally the oven temperature and (if appropriate) the timer settings. Your oven should resume normal operation.
If You Have an Error Code
In some cases, your oven's display might show an error code. Resetting your oven will sometimes clear those if the information in the oven's chipset has been corrupted by the power surge. If not, it may indicate a deeper problem with the oven's electronics.
Most of those error codes begin with the letter F followed by a number; the number indicates the specific type of error:
- Codes F0, F1, F6 and F7 all point to potential problems with your oven's key panel. Resolving your problem may require replacing the key panel.
- Codes F3 and F4 may indicate that your oven sensor has failed and needs replacement.
- Codes F5, F8 and FF may mean that your oven's electronic control has failed and needs replacement.
- Codes F96, F97 and F7X all indicate that one or another internal component has failed.
Depending on the model of your oven, other codes may also be applicable. Resolving these problems can require advanced troubleshooting skills and at least some experience in appliance repair, so you may wish to call in a professional.
Fred Decker is a trained chef and prolific freelance writer. He was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. His articles have appeared on numerous home and garden sites, including OurEverydayLife, GoneOutdoots, The Nest and eHow, as well as the San Francisco Chronicle's SFGate.com.