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Why Is the Oven Not Heating to the Right Temperature?

oven not heating
11
May 2021

An oven is designed to make things easier for you in the kitchen – whether you want to cook meals or simply heat food. But like any other household appliance, an oven is bound to malfunction at some point. One common issue is when your oven or range won’t heat to the correct temperature. Maybe it won’t heat up, only gets warm, or won’t maintain its temperature.

Although frustrating, there is no need to call an appliance repair expert right away. With some troubleshooting, you may be able to resolve the problem on your own. In this article, we will run through some of the reasons why your oven won’t heat properly, and what you can do to fix the oven temperature.

Reasons Why Your Oven Won’t Heat to the Right Temperature

There are several possible reasons why your oven won’t heat correctly. It is most likely because one or more components have gone kaput, requiring a replacement. Your goal, then, is to run some tests to figure out exactly which part is to blame. If you are lucky, you may be able to fix the issue yourself.

However, it is important to recognize your limitations and know when to let a professional handle the repair job. To be specific, you may need expert assistance when the problem has something to do with the oven control board, selector switch, power and wiring connections, and gas oven supply line, among many others.

Notes and tips:

  • Before any visual inspection, don’t forget to switch off your oven and disconnect it from the power source first.
  • Refer to the owner’s manual for directions on how to find, access, and replace a certain component. After all, the exact instructions often vary depending on the oven’s brand, model, and type, among other things. If you have already lost the manual, check the manufacturer’s website for a soft copy. 
  • The owner’s manual will also provide some information about the right resistance values. This will be useful when testing the oven components for continuity.
  • Electric ovens will likely have a digital screen, which will display error messages if the oven is not working as it should. Refer to the owner’s manual to know what issue the error codes refer to. This will give you an idea of which parts may be at fault, and what you need to do to correct the problem.

Related article: What Is the Cost of Repairing an Oven in Toronto?

1. The Heating Element Is Faulty

A malfunctioning heating element – also known as “bake element” or “baking coil” – is a common reason why your electric oven or range won’t heat correctly. The element is in charge of creating the heat needed for baking and broiling. Ideally, it should glow a bright red colour, indicating that it is in working order. When the bake element is broken, it may not work properly when the oven is turned on – and that includes failing to heat to the right oven temperature.

Here are some signs that the heating element is faulty:

  • The bake element doesn’t turn bright orange when fully heated. Another example is when only parts of it glow hot red. 
  • The coils have visible signs of wear and tear, such as burns and cracks. You may have to detach the element from the oven to inspect it thoroughly.
  • The food doesn’t get cooked properly or evenly. For example, it may appear burnt on top and undercooked at the bottom.

What to do if the bake element is faulty:

  • An electric oven has two heating elements. If one or both of the heating elements won’t glow hot red, they have most likely burned out already and need to be replaced. You simply have to buy the corresponding replacement part for your oven’s make and model.
  • Not sure if the bake element is defective? We suggest testing it for continuity using a multimeter. If the element doesn’t have continuity, it is already damaged and must be replaced.

Related article: How to Repair an Oven Not Heating Up

oven temperature

2. The Oven Temperature Sensor Is Defective

If your gas or electric oven is struggling to reach or maintain the right temperature, there might be something wrong with the temperature sensor. As the name suggests, this part is responsible for monitoring and regulating the oven temperature. When the temperature gets sufficiently low, it will signal the oven control board to heat the bake element and bring up the temperature. If the sensor is broken, the oven may not heat properly.

What to do if the temperature sensor is defective:

  • First, make sure that the sensor is not touching the walls of the oven. This could interfere with its ability to measure the temperatures accurately. If so, move it away from the wall and see if this will affect the temperature readings. Often, a simple repositioning may already solve the problem.
  • Some models don’t have a temperature sensor. Instead, they will use a bulb to sense and control the temperature. Ensure that it is not loose or burned out. If the sensor is loose, tighten it. Meanwhile, if it is burned out, it has to be replaced.
  • Before replacing the temperature sensor, inspect all the oven elements and wire first. Make sure that nothing is damaged or worn down.
  • Use a multimeter to test the temperature sensor. Ideally, the resistance values should rise as the oven temperature increases. If it doesn’t, the sensor may not be working properly, requiring a replacement.

3. The Temperature Control Thermostat Is Broken

If your electric oven isn’t heating to the right temperature, the oven thermostat might have malfunctioned. This part is primarily responsible for regulating the electricity that gets delivered to the heating element, helping warm your electric oven. So, if the oven thermostat has gone kaput, your appliance may end up not functioning correctly.

How to know if the temperature control thermostat is working properly:

  • One way to check if the thermostat is functional is with the use of a multimeter. Specifically, you can test if it has proper wire connections. Ideally, it should have a reading of zero or as close to zero as possible. If the thermostat doesn’t display a reading at all, it is most likely broken and will need to be replaced.
  • Another testing method is to use an oven thermometer. Simply place the thermometer inside the oven, and check if the temperature you set is the same as the reading in the thermometer. The temperature reading should also rise as the temperature inside the oven increases. If these two tests check out, the oven thermostat is working as it should.

4. The Oven Needs Calibration

If there is nothing wrong with the temperature control thermostat, then your oven may need to be calibrated. This will enable you to adjust the oven’s temperature settings, ensuring that they remain accurate. You can do the calibration process by yourself, but if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, you can always let an expert repair technician do the job.

How to calibrate your oven:

  • Refer to the owner’s manual to know where to find the calibration dial. It is usually found at the back of the temperature knob or below the small shaft. The manual will also contain instructions about how to calibrate your oven correctly.
  • After locating the calibration dial, you will need to adjust the screw to change or fix the oven temperature. Turning it clockwise will raise the temperature by a few degrees, whereas turning it counterclockwise will lower the temperature. You may need to turn the oven dial a few times to recalibrate your appliance properly. 

Related article: Oven Not Heating: 5 Common Reasons Your Oven Isn’t Heating

Get the Perfect Oven Temperature Every Time

An oven will encounter a wide variety of problems at one point in its lifetime. This rings true whether you own an electric or gas oven or range. And, one of the most common problems is when your oven isn’t heating to the right temperature. As you have seen above, there are some do-it-yourself troubleshooting steps you can try before calling an expert. If you are lucky, you may even be able to address the issue without requiring professional help.

But when in doubt, it is always a good idea to schedule a service call with a reputable appliance repair company. Here at Prime Appliance Repair, we’re more than capable of restoring your faulty oven or range to tip-top shape – wherever you are in the Greater Toronto Area. Contact us today to book an appointment. With our dedicated team of experts, it won’t be long before we fix your oven – and before you can get back to cooking to your heart’s content.

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