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GE Oven Not Heating Up? Here’s Why (+ How to Fix)

GE ovens are some of the most popular and reliable kitchen appliances available. However, they can experience heating issues through wear and tear, and you need to fix them whenever they appear.

If your GE oven isn’t heating up, it’s likely due to one of these explanations:

  1. Malfunctioning heating elements
  2. Thermostat issues
  3. Low gas flow
  4. Control board problems
  5. Damaged control membrane
  6. Broken ignitor
  7. Blown thermal fuse
  8. Faulty circuit breaker
  9. Worn oven seals

In this post, I’ll break down everything you need to know about why your GE oven isn’t heating up, what you can do about it, and whether or not it needs to be replaced. I’ll also provide some useful prevention tips.

1. Malfunctioning Heating Elements

Every electric oven has heating elements. One element sits at the bottom and one at the top. The top element is made for broiling, while the bottom is for baking.

If either of the heating elements breaks, malfunctions, or is misaligned, it won’t work properly. It’s important to inspect and clean your GE oven’s heating elements when they look dirty.

The primary causes of a damaged heating element include the following:

  • Rust or corrosion
  • Food drippings that clog and cover the elements
  • Electrical shortages that blow the fuse
  • Direct damage that breaks or fractures one of the heating elements
  • Choosing the wrong heating element (size, location, make, and model)

How To Fix

Replace your heating element using these steps:

  1. Turn off the oven and its circuit breaker.
  2. Open the oven door, remove the grates, and unscrew the broken element at the top or bottom of the oven.
  3. Loosen the two wires behind the element, ensuring they stay on opposite sides.
  4. Place the new element in the oven, lining it through the wire mounting bracket.
  5. Connect the old wires to the new element, secure the bracket to the back of the oven, and close the oven door.

If you prefer a video tutorial, view this guide on YouTube:

2. Broken Thermostat

According to the GE Appliances repair website, a broken thermostat is one of the leading causes of an oven that won’t get hot.

The thermostat has a sensor inside of the oven that detects the temperature. Without the sensor, the thermostat is useless. It shouldn’t be touching the interior wall since it’s not designed for direct heat.

If your thermostat doesn’t have enough electricity, has loose wires, or has a broken temperature sensor, it won’t get hot enough. You can max out the oven, and nothing will change.

The good news is that inspecting and replacing the thermostat is one of the quickest and easiest ways to fix this common, frustrating problem.

How To Fix

Here’s how you can replace a broken thermostat on a GE oven:

  1. Turn off the circuit breaker and test the thermostat with a multimeter to ensure it’s off (the thermostat is on the control board).
  2. Open the rear of the oven, then disconnect the wires going to the thermostat from the control board.
  3. Unscrew the thermostat’s sensor inside of the oven (it should be on the left or right).
  4. Wire the new thermostat to the old wires, then attach the new sensor inside of the oven (make sure it doesn’t touch the wall or it’ll burn).
  5. Replace the oven’s rear panel and close the oven door, then check if the thermostat adjusts the oven’s temperature.

3. Not Enough Gas Flow

Gas flow is crucial for all gas ovens. If your GE oven isn’t getting enough fuel, it won’t have anything to burn and won’t be able to raise the temperature. Your oven will reach a low warmth and eventually drop to the ambient room temperature.

The gas in your oven can be limited by these three factors:

  1. Utility company issues (unpaid bills, location restrictions, broken pipes in the ground, etc.)
  2. Gas leaks in the oven, walls, or ground (keep a detector in the house to know if there’s a gas leak since they’re quite hazardous)
  3. Clogs or closed valves (look for ball valves and other valves with handles that can direct the gas flow)

How To Fix

If you think your oven doesn’t have enough gas going to it, you should turn off the oven right away, as gas leaks are incredibly dangerous.

Once the gas is off, look for a valve with a knob or handle on the galvanized gas line. Open it a little bit more if it’s closed or narrow to improve the gas flow.

If this process doesn’t work, it’s best to hire a professional. Gas lines can leak, preventing your GE oven from getting enough fuel. They can also cause fires, gas inhalation, and stains.

An expert can diagnose the problem and replace any broken pipes and unions without causing further damage. If you’d like an expert’s help, you can get free oven repair quotes from appliance experts near you by filling out the form below.

4. Control Board Errors

GE ovens contain control boards that connect all of the electrical components. They’re attached to thermostats, heating elements, membrane switches, digital displays, and more.

If anything goes wrong with the control board, you’ll notice a host of errors. Some of these problems could include a lack of heating.

The control board can be broken from improper installation or abrupt movements. However, all oven control boards have an expiration date. If your control board is beyond the warranty period, there’s a chance it could have loose wires, low electricity, and so on.

Once you fix the control board, everything else can heat properly.

How To Fix

Your GE oven’s control board is located behind the rear panel or the faceplate behind the membrane buttons. Once you find it, follow the instructions below.

  1. Cut the power to the oven at the circuit breaker.
  2. Remove the appropriate panel to reveal the control board.
  3. Label each wire with a specific color or a piece of tape labeled with which part it goes to.
  4. Carefully remove each wire from the control board, ensuring the numerous wires don’t get tangled.
  5. Place the new control board in its place, then attach each wire to the same spot they went to on the previous control board.

5. Damaged Control Membrane

If your GE oven has a membrane on the front, it could be disconnected or broken. The membrane is a thin layer of buttons that typically feel like plastic. They can also create a touchscreen space for heating your oven and setting timers. If the membrane is non-responsive, it won’t keep the oven warm.

Control membranes can be damaged when you move the oven, loosen the wires, or during a power outage. If a fuse blows, the membrane might be irrecoverable, and you’ll have to get a new GE oven membrane.

Fortunately, you can quickly replace the membrane with the step-by-step details mentioned below.

How To Fix

To replace a damaged membrane, try this method:

  1. Peel or unscrew the membrane, depending on the oven’s model.
  2. Place a new membrane where the old one was, ensuring all of the wires overlap the appropriate buttons.
  3. If necessary, connect the old wires to the new membrane, then test if each of the buttons works.

6. Ignitor Issues

Every gas oven has ignitors to catch the fuel and ignite a flame. If the ignitor is damaged or broken, it can’t heat the oven.

So, what sort of ignitor issues might you encounter?

  • Clogged ignitors block the gas flow and can’t light.
  • Warped or misaligned ignitors spark in the wrong direction, missing the gas.
  • Loose or broken ignitors are common since they’re small and fragile.

If your GE oven has a broken ignitor, it’s important to turn it off and wait until it’s replaced. Turning on the oven can fill the room with dangerous gas. If you smell gas or the ignitor clicks more than a few times when you turn on the oven, turn it off and open a couple of nearby windows.

How To Fix

When an oven’s ignitor breaks or faces the wrong direction, it needs to be replaced. To replace an ignitor, try this procedure:

  1. Turn off the electricity and gas going to the oven.
  2. Remove the bottom panel from the GE oven, then open the oven door.
  3. Locate the ignitor cover plate in the back of the oven, then slide it open and disconnect the ignitor’s wires.
  4. Follow the wires to the ignitor and unscrew it, removing it from the oven.
  5. Replace the old ignitor with the new one, connecting it to the old wires and mounting bracket.
  6. Seal the bottom panel, close the oven, and test your work.

Here’s an in-depth guide to replacing your GE oven’s ignitor:

7. Faulty Thermal Fuse

A-Tech Appliance explains the thermal fuse is added to prevent the oven from overheating. When it gets too hot, the fuse flips and turns off the oven.

This is a common problem for GE ovens that are maxed out for too long. Check the user’s manual to know how hot your oven can get before the thermal fuse is triggered.

Unfortunately, a faulty fuse, control board, or thermostat can also trigger the thermal fuse.

If any of these components send incorrect signals, the fuse thinks it’s hotter than it is. Check your oven’s temperature if it turns off randomly. It typically happens once the oven gets warmer than the kitchen’s room temperature.

How To Fix

If your oven’s thermal fuse is broken, simply locate the fuse behind or underneath the oven’s interior panel (check the user’s manual to locate the fuse for your model). Unscrew the old fuse and screw in the like-for-like fuse with the manufacturer’s part number. Make sure the electricity is off while performing this process.

8. Blown Circuit Breaker

Ovens demand quite a bit of electricity and gas, depending on the make and model. If your circuit breaker is old or overloaded, it’ll trip and turn off the oven.

This issue might occur every time you use the oven or only a few times. If you can’t heat the oven, inspect the circuit breaker to see if it’s flipped between on and off.

Blown circuit breakers are common for kitchen appliances because they’re oven overused. Most circuit breakers are designed for general purposes or dedicated circuits.

Your oven should be on a dedicated circuit. If it’s plugged into a general-purpose circuit breaker, the oven will flip the breaker or blow a fuse almost every time you increase the temperature.

How To Fix

Go to the breaker box and try this process:

  1. Flip the breaker off.
  2. Pull the breaker out of its slot, then replace the wires connected to it.
  3. Place a new breaker with the same voltage and amperage rating in its spot.
  4. Connect the old wires to the new breaker, then flip the breaker on to check if it provides power to the oven.

9. Worn Oven Door Seals

Oven door seals insulate the appliance, preventing hot air from leaving and cold air from entering. However, a broken or loose seal won’t keep in enough heat. The loss of warmth prevents your oven from reaching the desired temperature. You’ll notice the room feels significantly hotter than usual.

Some ovens come with sensors that turn off the oven if the seals are broken. This safety feature keeps your kitchen at a normal temperature and prevents your oven from wasting electricity, gas, and time. Look for the door seal and other insulation in the oven if the sensor keeps triggering.

How To Fix

Inspect your oven’s seals every few months to see if they’re loose or falling off. If the door’s seal isn’t tightened, remove it by unscrewing the door’s screws and pulling off the seal. Contact the manufacturer for the corresponding part number to ensure you get the correct seal. Choosing a seal with the wrong dimensions won’t provide adequate insulation.

Line the door with the new seal, then connect the screws back over the frame. Close the oven door to ensure there’s a tight seal, then you should be good to go! If your oven seal still falls off or doesn’t work, you might need to contact the manufacturer for a warranty replacement.