Oven On The Fritz: Keep Your Oven And Stove Top At Tip-Top

Let’s face it: appliances were made to malfunction, by their very nature. They were designed to be problematic from the first stages of planning and manufacturing. Why do I say this? Because no electrical appliance is perfect. It’s true that some of them survive for many years without breaking down, even with no regular maintenance. Alas, those will also follow suit, and eventually be faced with an issue which causes the appliance to stop working.

With an appliance like a cooking or baking oven, whose main function is heating up to a specific temperature, most of the issues relate in some way to the heating elements. But these elements are not the source of all issues. Our oven is an electrical appliance, digital in most cases, and as such, has several factors involved in it’s proper function.

In most cases, when an appliance decides to stop working, the problem is discovered when attempting to use the appliance – something which causes a lot of frustration. Whether it is prior to the arrival of guests for the Shabbat, or the preparations of a simple weekday lunch – when the oven is on the fritz, it is annoying. Even though you know it will happen sometime – for it has to happen at some point – nothing truly prepares us for the moment where we slide that lasagna in – one which we labored over for the past 20 minutes – and the oven nonchalantly lets us know that it is on strike.

What To do?

What to do?

Well, before anything can be done, you must identify and isolate the source of the issue. This is not something which can be done in every case, but one way to start is from the socket. In other words: is the oven even getting power? Check the plugs, sockets, and cables. Remember to completely stop the flow of electricity to the oven, while you check the state of the socket, plug, and power cable.

In the event that the oven is getting power, but it is still not functioning, it is could be an issue with the oven’s internal timer. Attempt to reset the timer to zero, and check if the oven is functioning properly. If there is still an issue, it can be assumed that the problems are originating from the heating elements. Taking care of the heating elements requires the expertise of an oven technician. Remember that not all technicians are the same. Some only specialize in certain makes and models of oven.

Common Issues

Common Issues

The digital control panel – the electronic card is malfunctioning. Many times, it will be necessary to replace the entire card, but only a technician will be able to say if that is the case. The card controls a wide ranges of functions, and in most – if not all – cases, the oven will not work without a proper card.

The mechanical control panel – buttons and dials are components which regularly receive some amounts of pressure, making them susceptible to breakage and other issues. Most of the time, these issues are relatively simple, and it is possible to fix them without calling in help.

These types of mechanical issues are common in every appliance. There are several solutions which can be applied from playing around with the button or pushing it back in place, to using the oven without the button. As long as you are able to make contact with the electronic component beneath the button or dial there’s no need for the physical button or its plastic tip. That being said, the oven will definitely look less pleasing to the eye, with a button or dial missing.

Rubber gasket – known also as a door sealer. The rubber gasket has a very important role, since it prevents heat from escaping the oven. When the gasket is malfunctioning, it opens the door to a variety of issues with safety, electricity, and health. When the gasket is loose or lost, you should act immediately in order to get it fixed, either fixing or exchanging the existing gasket. Sometimes this can be a DIY job, and sometimes it will be necessary to involve an oven tech. Even though the gasket may sound like a relatively negligible piece of hardware, it’s effect on the oven is very great.

Spark generator –  this is a component which belongs to the stove and not the oven, but it is still a very common issue, which is why it’s on this list. It’s another example of a component which is somewhat negligible on the one hand, but very useful on the other. The most common issue with an electronic spark is some kind of wetness penetrating the system. Mostly, it’s the result of over-eager cleaning, and all you can do is wait for it to dry. In more complex cases, it may be necessary to replace the entire system.

Heating elements – now we arrive at the most common issue of them all, which is a busted or malfunctioning heating element. In a standard oven, there are three heating elements: upper, lower, and turbo. It’s important to understand that modern ovens have a higher rate of wear. This means that the heating elements will need to be replaced more frequently than with older ovens.


Buy a brand new one

So let’s say there’s an issue, and you’re deliberating whether to fix the oven or buy a brand new one. It all depends on your specific circumstances. If we are talking about a low-quality, low-cost oven, it could be worth it to invest in a newer model. If it is a more expensive oven, it may be more worth it to get it fixed. Again, it all has to do with your particular situation and your budget. An oven is an appliance which can cost a lot of money, and it’s best to make a decision which will benefit you in the long run.

Before calling a technician, it is recommended that you have the following information in front of you: make, model, and general description of the problem. It is best not to call a random technician. As with any field and industry, there are more professional workers than others. For you to be satisfied with your technician, make sure he has experience with ovens made by that manufacturer.

In most cases, any oven trouble can be addressed and fixed on the spot, assuming the tech has brought the right parts for the job. Pay attention, and don’t be fooled, conned, or pressured by anyone.

If problems are caused by a faulty digital control card, certain parts will have to be taken to a lab. In other cases, it is rare that the appliance will have to be moved from the premises. Remember: not everything which a technician says is automatically correct. Some are only looking for a way to make some money at your expense.

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