Here we are well into Autumn, the grills are getting stored for winter and you’re re-discovering your oven… only to find, to your utter shock and dismay, that your strategy of fixing the oven by ignoring it all summer and using the outside grill exclusively completely failed to fix anything in the oven. So, here, now, are three pearls of wisdom for the most common oven problems.
Gas Oven Doesn’t Bake Fast Enough
When the food takes far too long to finish cooking, you may have a weak bake igniter. “No, I know the ignitor’s good because I saw it glowing.” Oh, please, stop embarrassing yourself and just keep reading… quietly.
Often, you need to replace the igniter even if it seems to glow properly; this condition is often misdiagnosed as a gas valve failure. If you want to know for sure, you’ll need to spend about $100 for a clampon ampmeter, learn how to use it, which means you’ll need to read more *gasp*, understand how gas control circuits work so that you can interpret the current draw measurement of the ignitor. Or you could just use the generally-accepted rule of thumb: the gas should ignite 1 to 3 minutes after the igniter begins glowing. If it takes much longer than this, then your ignitor is bad– come git you one.
For additional potential causes of uneven baking see the range/stove/oven repair help for your specific oven type.
The Broiler in Your Gas Oven Won’t Broil
No broiler flame – This is usually caused by a weak or burned out broiler igniter. Hmm, where have we heard this before… oh yeah, see above; it’s like weird science except there’s really nothing weird about it, pretty straight-forward stuff.
The igniter (bake or broil) is a small, round or rectangular device, about 1 inch by 4 to 8 inches. Look for the igniter near the tube-type device (burner) that the gas flows through before it’s ignited. The burner has small holes on the sides where the gas when ignited forms a long, low flame. If the igniter is weak, if it glows red but doesn’t get hot enough, or if it’s burned out, the gas doesn’t flow to the burner and the burner won’t ignite. If this is the problem, you may need to replace the igniter. You can find a replacement igniter for your oven with the PartDetective.
The Oven Light Doesn’t Work
The interior oven light in most ovens (gas and electric) is a standard 40 watt appliance bulb. Often, to change the bulb, you first need to remove a shield or glass dome. It may help to see a breakdown diagram of your range before proceeding on your repair odyssey. If the bulb isn’t burned out, the problem may be with the switch on the oven door frame. If the switch works poorly, intermittently, or not at all then it’s FUBAR and you will need to replace it— it ain’t repairable, Hoss.