Troubleshooting your kitchen stove is not as difficult as it may seem. The only thing to consider is the type of oven you have --- gas or electric. If your oven won't work or the burners won't turn on, there are different ways to tackle the situation depending on the model you own.
If you own an electric range and the oven will not heat, make sure you have not blown a fuse. Consult the appliance manual for the exact location of each oven component. In most oven models, the fuse can be found by opening the back of the oven or lifting the top of the stove where the burners are located. Always cut the power to the appliance before checking the fuse.
If the fuse checks out, the oven may have a faulty heating element. The heating element is a U-shaped metal piece found at the bottom of the oven. The element is held in place by two screws at the back of the oven. Remove the screws and any brackets and pull the piece forward. Next, undo any wires attached to the element. To test the heating element, connect two probes from a multimeter. A multimeter measures the amount of voltage in a component. The heating element should have about 10 to 40 ohms. If this reading is not achieved, replace the heating element.
For most gas ovens, a device called a glowbar typically lights the oven burners. Unplug the range and locate your oven glowbar. On most models, it will be on the bottom of the oven at the rear. Use a multimeter and attach it to the glowbar's leads. The meter should have a moderate resistance reading. If not, replace the glowbar.
If one cooktop burner is not working on your electric range, make sure the burner is tightly secured into the receptacle. If that doesn't work, pull out the burner element and hook the probes of the multimeter to the burner's terminals. For a single-coil burner, the meter should read between 10 and 70 ohms, while a double-coil element will display partial resistance. Replace the burner if you do not get these readings.
If none of the burners are working, check for a faulty power cord. Next, inspect the terminal block. This device, found at the back of the stove, connects the power cord to the appliance's internal wiring. Turn the power off at the service panel and check to make sure that the three wires connected into the terminal are not damaged. Next, take your multimeter probes and connect them to the outer prongs of the stove's power cord. Then use a jumper wire to connect the two outer cords on the terminal block. Check for a reading and then connect the jumper wire to one of the inside wires and one outside wire. If the wires are working, you should get a zero ohm reading.
For a gas range with cooktop problems, consult your appliance guide on relighting the pilot light.
Most stoves, no matter if they are gas or electric, have various kinds of electronic controls, such as the clock or oven timer. If your digital clock is out or not responding, there could be a blown fuse or a faulty clock.
To reach the fuse, cut the power and either open the top of the stove or go in through the back panel. This will depend on the make and model of your stove. If the fuse checks out, the digital clock and timer is most likely malfunctioning. To replace the device, it will again depend on the make and model. In some models, the actual control panel at the top of the stove will open, while in other models, you must go through the back panel. Once you have reached the clock, disconnect any leads and unscrew the device itself from the panel. In some models, you may need to depress slide clips and pull through the front control panel.
Some digital clocks and timers can be expensive to replace. Find out if your range is still under warranty.
- Chilton Large Appliance Repair and Maintenance, Gene B. Williams, 1986
- If It's Broke, Fix It; Dan and Judy Ramsey; 2003
- New Fix-It-Yourself Manual; Reader's Digest; 1998
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