5 Reasons Your Oven Won’t Heat

5 Reasons Your Oven Won’t Heat

Is your oven not heating up? If your oven won’t heat, it’s pretty much useless to you. No kitchen is complete without a working oven in which to make tasty meals, healthy snacks, and other food for your busy and active family. Although we sometimes feel like no one eats around the table anymore, the truth is that most Americans still gather for a meal each and every day.

If you’ve stuck with a broken oven that won’t heat, it can be tricky to diagnose the problem. There are many reasons why your oven may be malfunctioning, but there are five common issues frequently seen in modern home ovens.

Read on in this guide for more information on the five reasons why your oven won’t heat up.

5 Reasons Your Oven Won't Heat

Safety First

Whenever you work on any appliance, in any capacity, it’s important to follow a few safety precautions along the way.

  • Always unplug the appliance before working on it
  • When moving the appliance, make sure that you don’t inadvertently disturb any connections, cords, or hoses
  • Always wear appropriate clothing when working on an appliance (protective footwear, long sleeves, etc.)
  • If an appliance is too heavy for you to move or lift, get someone to help
  • Turn off any water supply to the appliance
  • Turn off any gas supply to the appliance
  • Don’t be afraid to seek professional help from an appliance technician if you’re over your head
  1. Problems with Heating elements

When you’re faced with an oven that won’t heat, the most common issue to cause this is failing heating elements. An electric oven has two elements: one on the top (for baking), and one on the bottom (for broiling).

  • If the elements are not glowing hot red during use, they’re probably broken or damaged.
  • You can check your elements for signs of damage by looking for cracking, discoloration, or blistering. Blackened portions or portions that look gray can be signs of breakage as well.
  • If your elements are not glowing when in use, or they appear to be broken, replacing them is the first step you should try to get your oven heating up properly again. Make sure you follow your owner’s manual specifications for removing and replacing the element, and always use an identical element as the one you removed.
  1. Temperature Sensor Is Broken

Many electrical ovens use a temperature sensor to constantly monitor the temperature of the oven when it is in use. This functions as an important safety feature and a way to report the temperature so that it can be seen on the display by the user. If the temperature sensor is bad, it may cause the oven not to heat up at all, as it thinks the oven is in an error state.

  • If you suspect that your sensor may be bad open the cabinet of your oven and locate it using your owner’s manual, if you need help finding it.
  • Visually inspect the sensor and the area around the sensor for signs of damage.
  • You should also Inspect surrounding wiring and connections, as well.
  • If the sensor seems to be okay after a visual inspection, you may want to move on to other diagnostic steps.
  • If you feel comfortable, you can also try testing the sensor using a multimeter or similar tool, but this step may be best left up to professionals.
  1. Gas Oven’s Ignitor Is Malfunctioning

If your oven is gas operated and it won’t heat up at all, a common cause is the gas ignitor.

  • Open your oven’s cabinet and locate the spark ignitor using your owner’s manual, if you’re not sure where it is.
  • Check that the oven’s ignitor is clean of any built-up residue or grime. If the ignitor appears clean you should also check the wires and connections for signs of damage.
  • If you can’t detect any problem signs through a visual inspection, it’s time to use a tool such as a multimeter to test for continuity through the oven’s ignitor. If you’re not comfortable working with such a tool, it may be time to call in a professional service technician.
  1. Your Oven Needs Calibration

If the oven is not heating up to the proper temperature during use, or even not heating up at all, it could be a calibration issue with your appliance. You can easily check the status of your calibration dial if you think that this could be the problem.

  • Many ovens have a calibration dial on the back of the temperature knob, or down at the bottom of the shaft that connects to the knob to the rest of the oven cabinet.
  • There is usually an adjustment screw on the dial that you can use to fine-tune your oven’s temperature.
  • To increase the temperature, simply turn the screw counterclockwise.
  • To decrease the temperature, simply turn the screw clockwise.
  1. Oven Relay is Broken

A fifth and final problem that can cause an oven not to heat is malfunctioning or bad relays. If your oven is equipped with more than one element, then it is also equipped with oven relays. These oven relays can burn out and fail over time through continued use. While you can check on these relays visually by finding their location in your owner’s manual, they can be quite difficult to repair or replace. If the oven relays appear to be worn out or damaged, it may be time to call in a professional appliance service technician.

Need Some More Help?

We hope that this guide has offered all of the help and information you need to diagnose and fix your appliance problem. If not, don’t be discouraged. Home appliances are sophisticated machines, and it can be tough to understand and solve many of the problems that can occur over time. If you still need help, consider contacting a local appliance repair technician for more assistance. A professional technician skilled in oven repair will be able to diagnose and fix your problem in no time flat.