Common Oven And Cooker Problems
The oven does not heat up
If the fan is running and the thermostat light comes on but you get no heat (or just the thermostat light on in non-fan ovens and cookers) then the probability is that the fan element or oven elements have failed. These are usually fairly straightforward to test for continuity and to replace, however safety must be observed.
The other suspect with this sort of fault can be the main oven changeover switch. The normal arrangement is to have a changeover switch, sometimes called a “commutator”, to select the various oven functions with the thermostat mounted on the back on cheaper models and a separate thermostat, often also regulating the grill temperature, on more expensive models or those with more features.
The safety thermostats or, on some models, a thermal fuse can also cause this failure although if they have failed there is normally a reason such as a faulty thermostat or poor ventilation.
It is also possible that a thermostat failure can cause this fault although this is rare.
Fan oven element
Oven changeover switch
Thermal fuse/s or safety thermostats
The oven overheats and burns everything
Normally this is a simple thermostat failure which would manifest itself as this symptom.
When replacing thermostats be careful with the ““phial”, this is the long “sensor” that has the temperature probe on it which is inserted into the oven cavity. You must not kink or break that phial as if you do you will have broken the part and it is rendered useless. The phial is filled with a gas which expands and contracts thereby operating the on/off action of the thermostat.
The oven door isn’t closing properly
Normally this will be faulty hinges or the hinge runners.
For the most part what will happen is that the hinge runners, NOT the hinges, will go faulty usually the little rollers will fail, causing the door hinges to run off true. This in turn places strain on the hinges that they were not designed to cope with and they will then fail, often snapping.
Most repairers will advise strongly that both hinges are replaced, both rollers or runners replaced, or a set of each at the same time. Replacing one is a false economy as 99.99% of the time if one has gone the other is sure to follow very soon.
Door hinge rollers/runners
The oven door fell off!
See previous, there is really no other reason or cause.
The units are burning at either side of the oven or cooker
Under normal circumstance this will be caused by a faulty door seal where the oven or cooker is a few years old or possibly by the door not sealing correctly due to faulty hinges or runners/rollers, see above.
On newer appliances that have not been installed too long (months, not years) it will almost certainly be either poor installation with inadequate ventilation, not enough space allowed between the oven front and the adjacent cupboard doors or poor quality kitchen cabinetry in general. It is virtually unheard of for this to be caused by a fault with the appliance, other than physical damage causing the door to not seal correctly, where there is no fault with the thermostat.
So for older appliances:
Oven or cooker door seal faulty
Oven or cooker door hinges faulty
Oven door hinge rollers/runners
Possible oven thermostat fault
For new machines:
Physical damage to oven (transit damage)
Inadequate spacing between oven and cupboard doors
Poor kitchen doors that cannot withstand temperatures of 100?C Possible thermostat fault
The oven door or knobs are too hot
In essence, when installed correctly, the chances of the oven not meeting BS Standard is almost impossible so much so that we have only come across such an instance once or twice in tens of thousands tested over the years. The accepted solution is that replacing with a superior model fitted with better cooling ability or with a cooling fan (many cheaper models, especially contract ranges) as many do not have these fitted as standard to reduce costs.
The oven or cooker cuts out after it’s been on for a while
This is an overheating problem which can be caused by the main oven thermostat or a faulty safety thermostat that will be causing the problem. It can also be caused by a failure of the cooling fan, where fitted, but usually these go noisy before failing, only rarely do they go open circuit.
Safety thermostats are used to prevent the oven or cooker overheating and causing physical damage and are usually mounted on the outside of the actual oven cavity. They can be hard to find as all too often they are buried in the insulation surrounding the oven cavity if the wires are not evident and easily seen.
Main oven thermostat
Faulty oven safety thermostat
Faulty oven cooling fan motor
Poor installation, ventilation issue
The oven or cooker is noisy
Noise from the oven is limited to being produced by the moving parts so the fan motor and cooling fan motor are the most obvious causes where fitted. When new it is not uncommon for a cooling fan motor especially to be misaligned or damaged giving off a screeching sound as the blades catch the casing.
On older ovens and cookers a bearing failure in either motor will cause this issue and, in the case of fan motors, if the fault is not rectified reasonably quickly the fan element may fail as well as the motor turns slower than it should allowing the fan element to overheat. In some cases the fan blades may even “clip” the element, again leading to its premature failure.
It is worth noting that some rattling type noises can be caused by loose screws, faulty hinges etc.
Fan oven motor failure
Oven cooling fan motor failure
Why does a fan run after I switch the oven off?
This is a cool down period and can vary massively from appliance to appliance and even from kitchen to kitchen as it is dependent on the temperature that the machine was run at, the insulation (how good it is) and the ventilation of the cabinets in which the oven or cooker is housed. It is not uncommon for a cooling fan to run on for half an hour or more after the oven is switched off and this is perfectly normal.
How do I clean the oven?
Refer to the user guide for instructions on removing the door and door glasses
Do not use abrasive cleaners where there is stenciled lettering or legends
For oven interiors, but not self cleaning panels, Fairy Power Spray is excellent
To clean inside the door, between the glass, disassembly of the door is usually required
Knobs usually “pull off” for cleaning, gently prise if required
Do not clean panels with wire wool or “Brillo” pads as you will damage the surfaces
Do not use any chemical cleaners on self cleaning panels, you will ruin them