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GE Oven Won’t Self Clean? Here’s Why (+ How to Fix)

If your GE oven won’t self-clean, the most common reasons are:

  • A high temperature.
  • A faulty door lock or sensor.
  • A malfunctioning control board.
  • A blown thermal fuse.

To resolve this problem, you should troubleshoot the issue to determine the cause and replace any damaged components. Our recommended approach is to identify the root cause of the problem and then repair or replace the faulty parts as needed. By doing so, you’ll be able to get your GE oven self-cleaning once again.

Having a self-cleaning (auto-clean) GE oven model is supposed to be the ultimate time-saver. True to form, nearly two-thirds of 40,000 oven users in Consumer Report’s 2020 Range Reliability and Satisfaction Survey said it’s an essential feature they want in their next range.

But it becomes frustrating when this feature develops a problem, especially in GE models. In my workshop, I often fix GE ovens – mostly ones with self-cleaning feature issues. A peculiar case was with the GE 4132990 Self-Clean Oven model.

I’ve put this article together to save you time and stress. I’ll hold your hand and walk you through the possible reasons why your GE oven isn’t self-cleaning, along with surefire troubleshooting tips you can try to fix the problem.

GE oven self clean instructions

I wrote below the older general electric self cleaning oven instructions:

  1. Remove all cookware and racks from the oven.
  2. Wipe up any spills or food debris from the bottom of the oven.
  3. Close the oven door.
  4. Turn the oven to the self-clean setting.
  5. The oven will automatically lock when the self-cleaning cycle begins.
  6. The self-cleaning cycle will take between 1.5 and 3 hours, depending on the amount of soil.
  7. Once the self-cleaning cycle is complete, the oven will turn off and the lock will release.
  8. Allow the oven to cool completely before opening the door.
  9. Wipe down the inside of the oven with a damp cloth.

Normally the ge profile self cleaning oven instructions above will fix your issue. If not, continue to read to see others’ options for your ge steam clean oven instructions.

GE Oven Won’t Self Clean – 6 causes and fixes.

There are six likely reasons your GE oven won’t self-clean:

  1. The oven needs a reset
  2. The oven temperature is too high
  3. Control Board is damaged due to overheating
  4. The oven controls are not set properly
  5. You are operating a double-wall oven
  6. A tripped thermal fuse

I’ll show you how these issues can make your oven not self-clean. I’ll also give you a solution for each of the issues.

Your Oven Needs a Reset

As with many home appliances we use daily, there may have been a communication or control issue between the oven’s various components. As mundane as this troubleshooting sounds, it may be the one-stop solution to why your GE oven won’t perform the self-cleaning function because it will clear out issues with the oven’s operation.

This is probably the first thing that has come to your mind when you realize your oven failed to self-clean, but it’s worth the shot. In this case, the issue is as clear as the solution.

Solution

The solution is to do a simple reset of your oven. How do I reset my self-cleaning oven? Follow these steps:

Step 1: Turn off the oven (ensure it’s not currently running a cycle)

Step 2: If your GE oven is a plug-in model, unplug it. If it’s a built-in model, locate the circuit breaker for the oven and switch it off.

Step 3: Wait for at least five minutes

Step 4: Plug the oven back in (or turn on the circuit breaker)

Step 5: Turn on the oven to see if the issue has been resolved.

Remember that some GE oven models may require you to hold down a specific button(s) while turning off and on the power.

If the reset troubleshooting doesn’t work, then it could be that your oven has high temps causing the self-cleaning feature not to work properly.

The Oven Temperature is Too High

If your GE oven just completed a bake or broil cycle and hasn’t yet cooled to room temperature, it won’t initiate a self-clean cycle under high temperatures.

During the self-clean process, GE ovens heat up to about 880°F (471°C). Setting such high temperatures for an already hot range isn’t supported by the unit’s system.

Solution

To fix a GE oven temperature that’s too high, leave your GE oven to cool to room temperature before initiating a self-clean cycle.

Meanwhile, if your GE oven vents too much heat, there’s a problem beyond what you see on the surface.

If this doesn’t solve the issue, you may be dealing with a little more technical issue.

Damaged Control Board

Another common culprit behind the GE oven self-cleaning feature failing to work is when the control board of the appliance is damaged due to overheating. Since the control board is responsible for making a lot of components in your oven work, the self-cleaning function might have been compromised.

One of the telltale signs that this is the actual problem is when, along with the failing self-cleaning feature, the display panel no longer works properly, and temperatures measure inaccurately. But I recommend you use a multimeter to rule out this suspicion (I used the TIS 258 multimeter. It’s a good all-rounder option and sells for below $30).

Solution

Step 1: Access the control board of the oven (check your manual if necessary)

Step 2: Use a multimeter to check it for continuity.

Step 3: If the test shows no continuity, you must replace the control board.

Step 4: In such a case, you first disassemble the oven, then unplug it and unscrew it from the oven before replacing it with a new one.

Step 5: Finding the correct replacement part is the tricky part. You can consult a technician if you aren’t confident doing this alone.

If you read the multimeter test and it doesn’t show continuity, the problem is elsewhere. A good place to look at is the oven controls.

The Oven Controls Are Not Set Properly

The correct self-clean settings must be followed for GE ovens with mechanical timers and electronic controls. Otherwise, the oven will not start the auto-clean cycle.

Solution

You should follow the details in your GE oven user’s manual to set a self-clean cycle. The process may vary depending on whether your oven has electronic or mechanical controls.

Generally, here’s what you should do to set the auto-clean cycle for the different models.

For GE Ovens With Mechanical Controls :

Step 1: Prepare the oven for self-clean by removing racks, liners, cookware, and heavy dirt deposits.

Step 2: If your oven window door has a shield, slide the shield to close before closing the door.

Step 3: Press the latch release long enough to slide the latch to “Clean.”

Step 4: Set the “Oven Set” and “Oven Temperature” knobs to “Clean.” If your model’s knob doesn’t have “Clean,” you can set it to any temperature.

Step 5: Press and rotate the “Stop” dial 2 – 3 hours ahead. You can vary the cleaning time depending on how dirty your oven is. The “Clean Light” should turn on when the cleaning cycle starts. Likewise, the “Lock Light” should go on half an hour or so into the cleaning cycle.

For GE Ovens With Electronic Controls:

Step 1: Get the oven ready for self-clean by removing liners, cookware, racks, and heavy dirt deposits. You may leave the racks in the oven if they’re labeled “Never-Scrub” (“Self-Clean”).

Below is a YouTube video that illustrates this:

Step 2: Press the “Self-clean” pad once to set a 4-hour self-clean cycle or twice for a 3-hour cycle. You can adjust the time between 3 and 5 hours depending on how much cleaning is needed. Use the number pads to enter an alternative clean time manually.

Step 3: Hit the “Start” button to initiate the self-clean cycle. The GE oven door will lock automatically, and the clean time will display on the panel.

This quick GE Appliances video can help you make out the differences in oven controls for setting a self-clean process:

You Are Operating a Double-Wall Oven

If you have a double wall oven, you can only run the self-clean cycle on one oven at a time. This could make you think the other part of the GE oven won’t self-clean.

Solution

The functioning of the self-clean cycle on a GE double wall oven depends on whether your oven operates with the same controls for both ovens or has separate controls for the upper and bottom ovens.

If Your GE Double Wall Oven Has the Same Controls for Both Ovens:

Step 1: Press the “Self-Clean” pad.

Step 2: Hit the “Start” pad. The upper oven will run the self-clean cycle first, followed by the bottom oven.

Step 3: If Your GE Double Oven Has Separate Controls for the Upper and Lower Ovens

Step 4: Select the “Lower Oven” or “Upper Oven” pad, depending on which one you want to clean.

Step 5: Press the “Self-Clean” pad.

Step 6: Press “Start.”

PS: For ovens with separate controls, you can set the self-clean cycles for both the upper and lower ovens at the same time. The ovens will self-clean in the order you set them.

A Tripped Thermal Fuse

If you’ve reset the oven, allowed it to cool off from high temperature, inspected the control, and set the oven controls properly, and the oven still won’t work, the next component to check is the thermal fuse.

Remember that the self-cleaning cycle heats the oven to a high temperature. To this effect, the thermal fuse might have tripped to protect your safety, thereby turning off all electricity to the oven and making it stop operating. Another way you can be sure it’s a thermal fuse problem is when the display on your oven works, but the oven’s heating element does not.

This all points to the effect of GE oven overheating.

Solution

The approach to solving a thermal-fuse-tripped problem for a GE oven that won’t self-clean is by diagnosing the status of the thermal fuse.

Step 1: Access the back of the oven and locate the fuse (check your manual if necessary).

Step 2: Use a multimeter to check it for continuity. If the thermal fuse has tripped, then it won’t have continuity.

Step 3: You’ll have to replace the thermal fuse if it has tripped.

If your self-cleaning oven still won’t work, then it’s time to take a few steps backwards and give a birds-eye view on the board. Are you turning on the self-clean feature on your oven properly?

How Do I Turn on Self-Clean on My GE Oven?

First, remove all racks and accessories from the oven to turn on self-clean on your GE oven. Afterwards, you close the oven door and press the “Self Clean” button on the control panel.

Use the “+” and “-” buttons to set the self-clean cycle duration, typically 2-4 hours.

Press the “Start” button to begin the self-clean cycle.

The oven door will automatically lock, and the oven will heat up to approximately 900 degrees Fahrenheit.

After the self-clean cycle is complete, wait for the oven to cool down and the door to unlock before opening the door.

What to Do if Your GE Oven Doesn’t Have a Self-Clean Option

GE ovens with no self-clean option require frequent wiping with mild soap and water (particularly after cooking meat). This will prolong the time between when you need major cleanings.

Most modern GE ovens come with a self-clean option as a standard feature. However, Manual Clean ovens do not have self-clean or steam-clean features, so they require cleaning by hand.

A good example is the GE oven Model: JBS60DKWW. Soap, water, and a scouring pad in these ovens will help clean light food soils. Conversely, tougher soils require a commercial oven cleaner in a standard clean oven.

The ultimate rule is to follow the instructions on your oven’s label.

Can You Clean the GE Self-Cleaning Oven Manually?

Yes, you can clean a GE self-cleaning oven manually if the self-clean feature isn’t working or if you prefer to clean it manually. Simply follow the same steps for cleaning an oven without the self-clean feature, but omit the baking soda paste step.

How Do You Clean a GE Oven Without a Self-Clean Feature?

To clean a GE oven without self-clean, mix baking soda and water to form a paste then apply it to the interior, let it sit for 30 mins, scrub it off, clean the racks in soapy water, rinse them and dry them. Here’s a step-by-step process:

Step 1: Turn off the oven and let it cool completely.

Step 2: Remove the racks and soak them in hot, soapy water.

Step 3: Mix baking soda and water to paste, then apply to the oven’s interior.

Step 4: Let the paste sit for at least 30 minutes.

Step 5: Scrub the paste off using a non-abrasive sponge or cloth and warm water.

Step 6: Rinse the sponge or cloth frequently to remove any residue.

Step 7: Once the interior is clean, remove the racks from the sink and scrub them with a non-abrasive sponge or brush.

Remember to rinse the racks thoroughly and dry them before replacing them in the oven.

Conclusion

Issues with the door lock mechanism, temperature sensor, or control panel can all prevent the self-clean cycle from operating correctly in GE ovens.

In a nutshell, you should first identify the root cause by thoroughly inspecting your oven. Then, depending on the issue, you can either replace the malfunctioning part or recalibrate it to restore your oven’s functionality.

By taking the time to understand the root cause, you can save time and money in the long run and prevent future issues from arising.

Note that the troubleshooting tips I’ve shared in this article apply to all popular GE ovens, including model numbers ranging from the 4132990 to ABS300J1WW and JBP24WB4WW.

So go forth, oven technicians, and may your self-clean cycles be swift and successful.

PS: If you’re unsure about any step or not confident in handling the components of your oven, you can schedule an appointment with GE Appliances Factory Service or read through the GE oven self-cleaning troubleshooting guidelines.

FAQs

What are the possible reasons why my oven is not heating up?

There could be a few reasons causing this issue. Let’s go through some common possibilities that you can check:

  1. Power supply issues: First, ensure your oven is properly plugged in, and the circuit breaker or fuse hasn’t tripped. Confirming that the power supply is reaching your oven is a good idea.
  2. Heating element problems: In electric ovens, heating elements generate heat. Look at the heating element for any visible signs of damage, like breaks or blisters. If it seems damaged, it may need to be replaced.
  3. Gas supply problems: If your oven runs on gas, ensure that the gas supply is turned on and working correctly. You can check other gas appliances in your home to see if they’re functioning properly, which will help determine if there’s an issue with the gas supply itself.
  4. Igniter malfunction: Gas ovens use an igniter to ignite the gas and create heat. Check the igniter for any signs of wear or damage. If it’s not functioning properly, it may need to be replaced.
  5. Control panel issues: Sometimes, the control panel or thermostat may malfunction, preventing the oven from reaching the desired temperature. Double-check the temperature settings on the control panel and see if they respond correctly. Refer to your oven’s user manual for instructions on resetting or calibrating the thermostat.
  6. Faulty wiring or electronic components: Examine the wiring connections and components within the oven for any signs of damage or lost connections. If you’re uncomfortable working with electrical components, it’s best to seek help from a professional for such repairs.

How can I troubleshoot a non-heating oven?

Certainly! Here are some troubleshooting steps you can follow to address a non-heating oven issue:

  1. Check the power supply: Ensure your oven is securely plugged into a functioning power outlet. Check if any circuit breakers or fuses related to the oven are tripped or blown. Reset the breaker or replace the fuse if necessary.
  2. Verify the temperature settings: Double-check the temperature settings on your oven’s control panel. Make sure they are set correctly and at the desired temperature. Accidental adjustments or incorrect settings can prevent the oven from heating up.
  3. Test the oven’s heating elements: Check the heating elements if you have an electric oven. Start by visually inspecting them for any signs of damage or burning. If you notice any issues, such as visible breaks or blisters, the heating element may need to be replaced. Using a multimeter to check if the heating elements function properly, you can also perform a continuity test.
  4. Examine the gas supply (for gas ovens): If you have a gas oven, ensure the gas supply is turned on, and the valve leading to the oven is fully open. If you suspect a gas supply issue, contact your gas utility provider or a professional technician to examine and address the problem.
  5. Inspect the igniter (for gas ovens): Gas ovens use an igniter to ignite the gas and create heat. Check if the igniter is glowing when the oven is turned on. It might be faulty and require replacement if it doesn’t glow or appears damaged.
  6. Check the oven’s thermostat: A malfunctioning thermostat can prevent the oven from reaching the desired temperature. Use an oven thermometer to compare the temperature inside the oven with the temperature on the control panel. The thermostat may need calibration or replacement if there is a significant discrepancy.
  7. Review the user manual: Consult your oven’s user manual for specific troubleshooting steps and information related to your model. It may provide additional guidance or troubleshooting tips for your oven’s make and model.

How much does it cost to repair an oven that is not heating up?

The cost of repairing an oven that is not heating can vary depending on several factors, including the nature of the problem, the specific make and model of the oven, and your location. Additionally, service fees and labor costs may differ between technicians and service providers.

In general, minor issues like replacing a faulty heating element or igniter can range from $50 to $200, including parts and labor. However, the cost can increase significantly if the problem is more complex and requires extensive repairs or component replacements.

It’s worth noting that some oven repairs may be covered under warranty, especially if the oven is relatively new. If your oven is still within the warranty period, it’s advisable to check with the manufacturer or refer to your warranty documentation to determine if the repair costs can be partially or fully covered.

To get an accurate estimate for repairing your specific oven, it’s best to contact local appliance repair technicians or service providers. They can assess the issue and provide a more precise cost estimate based on the necessary repairs and your specific circumstances.

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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