Making holiday cooking worry-free: 5 tips to help your oven perform like new

Filed Under Oven Repair

Oven igniterEvery year thousands of holiday meals are needlessly stressful because of unidentified problems with the oven; from incorrect temperatures, to uneven cooking. Most common problems with an oven can be easily fixed by the owner at a minimal cost. Taking the time now for preventative maintenance can help ensure the only thing you have to worry about with holiday cooking is if you remembered the cranberry sauce!

5 MOST COMMON OVEN PROBLEMS

INCORRECT OVEN TEMPERATURE
If your oven temperature is off, the most likely cause is a bad oven sensor. The sensor is mounted to the back wall inside the oven cavity and looks like a metal rod about 3-6 inches long and 1/4 inch thick. Replacing the sensor is easy. Two screws hold it to the back wall and there is a quick disconnect harness plug on the other side. Make sure not to lose the other end of the harness behind the wall. Another possible cause is the oven control board – a simple but somewhat more expensive repair.

BAKING TAKES TOO LONG (GAS OVENS)
This typically happens due to a weak oven igniter. The igniter comes on several times during the baking cycle to fire up the oven burner. If the igniter is too weak, it won’t start up every time. Replacing an oven igniter is simple and inexpensive. A new oven igniter typically costs around $40-$50 and usually takes about 15-30 minutes to replace.

UNEVEN COOKING
This is not so much a technical problem and usually occurs when people fail to properly preheat the oven prior to baking. Check your oven use and care manual for instructions on how to preheat your oven.

TIP: After your oven tells you it is done preheating, let it preheat for another 5 to 7 minutes. Here’s why: The oven sensor heats up and signals the oven to shut off the preheat cycle. The oven inner walls however are still not hot enough and will keep on absorbing the heat, thus lowering the temperature inside the oven. By preheating the oven for an extra 5 minutes you will help keep the heat inside the oven nice and even.

OVEN IS FLASHING AN ERROR CODE
Error codes help identify the problem, which of course makes the repair easier. The F3 code, for example, usually means the oven sensor is bad. For a comprehensive list of error codes and their explanation visit our Error Code Guide.

BRAND SPECIFIC PROBLEMS
Most Whirlpool and KitchenAid oven models made within the past ten years or so incorporate a thermal fuse, located on the back wall of the oven. When the fuse fails, the oven control board will continue to function and will even let you turn on the bake cycle. Of course, the oven itself won’t function at all. The fuse is inexpensive; however this repair usually requires removing the oven from the cabinet which is not a simple task.

TIP: Do not use the self cleaning cycle on or before a major holiday like Thanksgiving. The oven may overheat and damage a key component such as the fuse or the main control board.

If you have a GE oven displaying an F7 code, this usually indicates that the touch pad, also called membrane switch, is bad and needs to be replaced. Replacing the touch pad is pretty straight forward and normally takes about 30 minutes or less.

For more information and repair tips visit the experts at our Appliance Repair Forum.

Preventative maintenance is not only easy to do, but can mean the difference between an expensive service call and a wonderful holiday dinner.

* Always disconnect power and turn off gas to the appliance before attempting any repairs.

Do you have a Thanksgiving cooking horror story to share? Let us know in the Forum!

Next in the series: Tips for keeping your refrigerator cool


Comments

8 Responses to “Making holiday cooking worry-free: 5 tips to help your oven perform like new”

  1. judycongdon on November 14th, 2007 10:18 pm

    I have a Litton Generation II combo oven and microwave. I need to clean the oven and I can’t remember how. This is no joke! Thanks for you help

  2. The “Comforts of Home” Holiday Contest! : AppliancePartsPros.com Repair Blog on November 16th, 2007 5:12 am

    […] The holidays are a wonderful time to reconnect with friends and family, but they can also be needlessly stressful due to unidentified problems with the oven; from incorrect temperatures, to uneven cooking. This does not need to be the case with some easy preventative maintenance. Taking the time now can mean the difference between an expensive service call, and a wonderful holiday dinner. For expert tips, take a look at our previous post - Making holiday cooking worry-free: 5 tips to help your oven perform like new. […]

  3. Hugh Bolsby on December 22nd, 2007 9:22 am

    I have a Kitchen Aid Stove Model YKESC307W8 The Hidden Bake Element had burn’t out so it was replaced, now the Bake Elment Does not Come On at all No Power Coming From The Bake Relay on the Power Board #9782437 is this the only Possible reason for the Bake Element Not Working ?

  4. Art Berviller on February 29th, 2008 3:30 pm

    oven burrner will not lite

  5. BILL STARKEY on March 13th, 2008 6:56 pm

    HI, CAN YOU PLEASE HELP ME WITH MY OVEN PROBLEM,
    IT IS A WHIRLPOOL MODEL-SF302BEGX,
    SERIAL NUMBER IS RK2116488
    DEFECT- TURN OVEN ON, NO GAS SMELL, AND NO IGNITION.
    ALL 4 TOP BURNERS OPERATE FINE YOU HEAR THE IGNIGHTERS AND THEN THEY ALL FLAME.
    THE OVEN HAS NO SMELL OF GAS, AND NO IGNITION,
    PLEASE HELP,

    THANK YOU, RESPECTFULLY BILL STARKEY.

    PLEASE E-MAIL ME AT THE ADDRESS ABOVE

  6. Kevan on May 27th, 2008 7:36 pm

    i have just recieved a Model # FGF326ASF and the stove top lites ok but the bottum does not. The heating element glows red but oven does not lite.

  7. Frank Morgan on July 16th, 2008 12:23 pm

    Hi,

    I ordered an round igniter p/n GEH WB2X9154 & installed it & it only works on broil not bake. I called appliancepros & they sent me out another one & stated this manufacture has know defect in this igniter. It too only works on broil not bake. Any sugestions. Thank You! Frank

  8. eve deitz on July 21st, 2008 2:07 pm

    I can’t believe I found the solution to my problem right here! My oven doesn’t always heat up, or heats slowly and I can smell gas.We opened the bottom and the starter glows but doesn’t always light the oven.Looking at parts I thought it was the pressure regulator the valve oven or spark modoule.I’m relieved to know it’s just the igniter which we can order and change ourselves.As we cannot afford a new stove.This stove is 9 years old and we are both disabled. Thank you so much!!!!!!!!If we cannot put it in maybe a friend can help.

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