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GE Oven Not Holding Temperature? Top 4 Causes (+ Fixes)

The question “Why is my GE oven not holding temperature?” is common on online forums. Of course, it is frustrating to place your food in an oven, only to find that the oven isn’t maintaining the set temperature. Wondering why this would happen?

Your GE oven is not holding temperature because of one of these 4 reasons: 

  • The oven was not preheated
  • The oven is set to the convection mode
  • The oven thermostat needs calibrating
  • The oven bake element has malfunctioned

This article explains these GE oven issues and gives you a quick fix for each.

The Oven Was Not Preheated

Preheating is important, especially when baking at temperatures beyond 275°, since most baked foods have a short baking time. Lack of preheating could mean the temperature is not at the required range when you expect it to be, giving you the impression that the oven is not holding temperature.

How To Fix 

Allow your GE oven to preheat before baking. Some range and wall ovens have light or audible signals to alert you when to add the food. Depending on your model, you will notice one of these preheat signals notifying you when to start baking:

  1. A preheat signal when the oven is at the set temperature: Mostly found on models with a preheat indicator light and on some models with a preheat tone or beep. The preheat signal comes at approximately 10-20 minutes.
  2. A preheat signal when the oven is hot enough to add food but not yet at the set temperature: Mostly an audible signal in newer models. The preheat signal comes in about 7-12 minutes.

Adding the food before these temperatures are reached means your set temperature is not obtained at the start of baking. As a result, the real baking time will be behind your recipe set-time throughout the baking process.

The Oven Is Set to the Convection Mode

GE gas, electric, wall, or profile gas ovens with a convection baking mode also have an Auto Recipe Conversion (Convection Conversion) that will automatically alter the set temperature 25° lower. This adjustment ensures better cooking outcomes. 

The oven makes this adjustment because convection baking has drier and evenly distributed heat, meaning your food cooks faster, and the cooking time is reduced by 25%.

Checking your oven and noticing that the temperature is 25° lower will give you the impression that your GE oven is not holding temperature.

How To Fix

Using the convection baking mode is really not a problem. The problem comes if you are not aware that your oven will be automatically adjusted if you set it in this mode.

If you think the automatic 25° adjustment on your GE oven is affecting your cooking, carefully study your recipe temperatures and timings the first few times. You can then determine if you need to adjust your oven temperature settings to a higher range so that the 25% reduction brings the heat back to where you need it.

The Oven Thermostat Needs Calibrating

The heat elements will cycle on and off for both gas and electric ovens to ensure the set temperature is maintained during the bake cycle. If the temperature goes below the set range, the oven will turn on to raise the temperature and turn off when the set temperature is surpassed. 

Taking your oven temperature during the fall or rise moments could make you think your oven is not holding temperature. Oven cycling can vary by a 70° range (+35° or -35°). 

However, if you strictly follow your recipe temperature and times and your oven has temperature issues, you’ll need to run the “Biscuit test” (Oven Temperature Bake Test). If the test produces overcooked or undercooked biscuits, you need to calibrate your oven thermostat. 

How To Fix

Follow these instructions to calibrate your GE oven thermostat:

  1. Find the Broil and Bake buttons on your oven’s control panel and press them simultaneously for 2 seconds. The display will show ‘SF’.
  2. Press the Bake button to display a two-digit number.
  3. Adjust your oven temperature accordingly by pressing the plus (+) or minus (-) buttons. Do this until you have the number of degrees you need to reduce or raise the temperature. Every press counts for 1° and can go up to a minus or plus 35°.
  4. Once you have the required temperature increment, press the START button to go back to Home on the control panel.
  5. Resume oven usage.

You can check a visual demonstration of these steps in this YouTube video: 

Alternatively, check the “Adjust the Oven Thermostat – Do It Yourself” section of your GE oven Owner’s Manual. Here you’ll find instructions on calibrating your oven thermostat specific to your model.

In GE gas ovens, calibrating the oven control adjusts the oven sensor working. 

The Oven Bake Element Has Malfunctioned

If you have a Broil and Bake GE oven model, both the bake and broil elements are heated during baking. The broil element cycles to provide heat from the top but has a lower wattage, which is why it won’t be glowing. 

A GE electric oven that’s not holding temperature may have a malfunctioned bake element but a functional broil element. If this is the case, the bake element will not be glowing red when you use the bake cycle. 

Since the broil element is working at a lower temperature, your oven’s set temperature will not be reached. You need to check the bake element for damage and replace it if needed.

How To Fix

Follow these steps to inspect and replace a damaged GE oven bake element:

  1. Turn off the power to your oven and unplug. Alternatively, switch off the circuit breaker or the fuse supplying power to the oven.
  2. Remove the oven racks. 
  3. Find the bake element at the bottom of the oven. The element is attached to the back wall of the oven. If your oven’s bake element is hidden, lift the lower panel to reveal it.
  4. Assess the bake element for breaks or cracks. If present, you need to replace the bake element.
  5. Use a screwdriver to remove the two screws holding the element to the back of the oven wall.
  6. Remove the wires from the element. Watch that the wires do not sink back behind the oven wall.
  7. Order a correct GE bake element for your oven model and replace the damaged one.
  8. Resume oven operation once you’ve replaced the element.

This GE Appliances YouTube video gives you a visual demonstration of these steps: 

If none of these issues is the reason your GE oven is not holding temperature, seek help with GE Product Support.

Additional GE Oven Resources

If you have any other issues with your GE oven, our other GE oven troubleshooting articles may be able to help:

Author

  • Steve Rajeckas

    Steve Rajeckas is an HVAC hobbyist with an avid interest in learning innovative ways to keep rooms, buildings, and everything else at the optimal temperature. When he's not working on new posts for Temperature Master, he can be found reading books or exploring the outdoors.

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