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How to Fix a Stove

Fixing a cook stove, oven, or range can be a chore if you don’t know what to do. Before you can begin to fix your appliance, you must first understand how it I designed to work. Below we have explained the inner-workings of an electric stove, gas stove, range, cooktops, and ovens. We also present common problems that may arise with these appliances, and how to fix them.

Understanding how your stove works

Gas or propane stoves, allow fuel to enter the appliance through the primary fuel line to your home. It is then, filtered through an air chamber where it mixes with oxygen. Then, it is released from the fuel hole when you turn the stove on, to light it. Once the flame appears, you can control the temperature with the same knob or buttons. The higher you turn the knob, the more the flame is fueled, and the higher the temperature gets.

There are two types of gas stoves; one that has a manual ignition, and the other has an electric ignitor. The manual igniting stoves have a tiny flame that is constantly on, inside the stove. That flame is what ignites the fire you cook with when the stove is turned on. The stoves that have electric ignitors, only require fuel once you turn the knob on; then you hear a clicking sound, and the cooking flame appears.

Electric ranges and cooktops heat your food through metal coils, either on top of the stove commonly called a surface element or just below the surface. When the dial is turned on, electricity heats the metal coils. The stove is noticeably ready to be used when the coils or the cooktop turns bright red. You can set the temperature of the coils, by turning the knob to the right.

There is the short version of, how stoves work. Let’s check out what can go wrong, and how to fix problems when they arise.

Fixing an electric stove

You will want to have these tools handy: A multimeter used for testing the electrical current, and a multi-head screwdriver.

Think safety first. Before working with any electrical appliance; be safe and turn off the power at the fuse box, or flip the breaker that feeds electric to the stove.

Electric burner problems

If you have a coil-top stove and one of the burners quit working; remove it, and put one of the other coils in its place. If a different coil works, then you will need to buy a new burner coil to replace the one that doesn’t work.  If the replacement burner doesn’t work, then the problem could be a connection in the burner socket. If the connection prongs look burnt out, then the coil may not be receiving power from the socket.

A bad infinite switch

A bad infinite switch can also cause a burner to malfunction. The infinite switch is the second thing you check; the coil is working, and receiving electrical current. The infinite switch is the device that heats the coil to your desired temperature when you turn the knob. Before you check the infinite switch, make sure to unplug the stove. Remove the back panel of the stove. The infinite switch is located close to the H1,2,3 and 4 terminals. Set your multimeter on RX-1 and place the probe over each terminal. If the multimeter doesn’t register an electrical current with one of the terminals, then the terminal needs replaced. If the infinite switch seems to be fine, then there may not be proper electrical current to the switch. In this case, you should consult an Appliance Expert.

Problems with an electric oven

The most common problems that occur with electric ovens are, oven not cooking evenly, or not heating up at all. Other problems include control knobs not setting the heat to desired settings, faulty interior light, or problems with the door not shutting properly.

Electric oven broiler elements

Safety first: Before testing your broiler elements, make sure to unplug the stove or turn the power off at the main breaker.

Most electric ovens have an upper, and lower broiler element; if one of these elements has issues or quits, it can cause your food to cook unevenly, or not at all. Testing the broiler elements of your oven is a lot like testing the burners on the surface of the electric stove. First, you remove the broiler element that isn’t working properly and set it aside, then remove the one that is working. Place the one that is working in the slot where the non-working broiler element existed. If it heats up, then you will need to buy another broiler element to replace the non-working one. Another way to test the elements is to hold the multimeter over the broiler element that has problems; if there is not electrical current showing on the multimeter, then the element needs to be replaced.

Temperature control sensor

If you have checked and replaced faulty elements, and the oven still isn’t working properly; there may be a problem with the temperature control sensor. The sensor can be found in the upper left-hand corner of the oven. Using the multimeter, check the temperature of the room. After you detect the room temperature, hold the multimeter over the control sensor. If the multimeter does not change readings, then the sensor is bad and needs to be replaced. This test requires the power to be turned off to the stove; so, unplug the stove, or turn off the electric at the breaker box.

Fixing a gas stove

Often, repairing a gas range can be accomplished without turning off the fuel line to the stove. But, always make sure all control knobs are safely turned to the off position, you smell around the stove to make sure you cannot detect any gas fumes. If the control knobs will not turn off all the way, the pull the range out and turn the gas off at the shut-off valve. You can also shut off the gas at the gas main, located outside your home.

When a gas stove is having problems, it is often nothing a deep cleaning won’t fix. However, sometimes there is a little more to it. Below we have listed a few of the most common problems, and tips to helping you fix them.

Burners won't light

Many Appliance Experts say that the most common problem with gas stoves is, that the burners won't light. To expose the ignitor assembly, you must lift the lid to the gas range.

Clean the burner, ignitor assembly, and the catch pan. You will need a small cleaner brush or toothbrush. On some models, you may be able to remove the ignitor assembly to clean it. Put the assembly back into place, shut the lid and try lighting the burner. If it lights, you have fixed the problem. If it doesn’t light, check to make sure there is gas running to the stove.

Spark ignition system. If the burner still isn’t lighting, you may have a problem with the spark ignitor. To check this, lift the lid, and pull the controller knob off the control to the burner that is having problems. Beyond the controller knob, is the spark ignitor. It has a plastic cover that indicates what it is. If the wires that are running into the plastic piece, seem worn or corroded, the wires will need to be replaced.

Gas oven troubles

The tips we are about to review are for troubleshooting and fixing a gas oven that’s ignitions system is location under the cooktop lid.

Check the fuses. To check the fuses, open your cooktop and find the ignition system. Using your multimeter, check the fuses. If any one of them doesn’t register with the multimeter, then it needs to be replaced.

Check your oven timer. Sometimes the oven timer is set wrong; this can prevent the oven from staying on long enough, or stop it from coming on at all. Make sure it is set at the correct time, then try to turn on the oven.

Is the stove plugged in? It sounds too simple, but sometimes people forget that newer gas stoves require an electrical current, for the ignitors to work.

Is the oven’s pilot light lite? There is a pan at the bottom of most ovens; you will lift this pan to find the pilot light. If the pilot light is out, use a small cleaning brush to give it a careful cleaning. Once it is clean, you can relight the pilot flame.

Making sure to get the right parts to fix your stove

Before going to the store to buy stove parts, there is some information you should write down to take with you. Make sure to write down the brand name of your stove, as well as the make and model number. This will give the alliance Expert the information they need to assist you in your purchase. 

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