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

An electric oven’s faulty element or a gas oven’s malfunctioning igniter are the two most frequent causes of an oven not heating up. The best solution for an igniter or element issue is to replace it. 

You can either do it yourself using the instructions in your oven’s manual or hire a professional to do it for you. If you repair the oven, do it safely by turning off the power supply and removing the plug from the wall before you begin.

The average lifespan of an electric oven is 13 years, and 15 years for a gas oven, depending on usage. My mother got her gas oven 35 years ago as a wedding present, and it’s going strong to this day.

Your oven will malfunction at some point during its lifetime. Some components will wear out and require replacement. The other causes of your oven’s inability to heat up include relays, a bad thermostat, and a defective temperature sensor. Relays are electronically controlled switches that regulate the transfer of high-voltage power onto the heating elements in your oven.

In this article, I will help you troubleshoot why your oven isn’t heating up and suggest practical step-by-step solutions to fixing the problem. I will also answer some frequently asked questions about ovens.

oven not heating?

Troubleshooting Why Your Oven Is Not Heating Up

It is crucial to know whether your oven is convection or conventional since slight variations may affect how it heats up. A traditional or regular oven has heating elements at the top and bottom of the cavity. 

A convection oven has a fan, exhaust system, and heating elements. The fan helps circulate hot air in the oven cavity.

Why Is Your Electric Oven Not Heating Up

You can troubleshoot why your electric oven is not heating up by checking the following.

  • Electrical issues: Ensure your breaker has not tripped and your outlet works. You can test your outlet by plugging in a different appliance and see if it lights up.
  • Oven parts: Your oven parts are the heating elements, temperature sensor, and thermostat.
  • Check if your oven is displaying error codes. Use your manual to clear the error codes.

 Here are some common error codes for a few brands and how to fix them.

Brand Door error codeTemperature error codeSensor error codeControl board error codeSolution
WhirlpoolF5-E0   F5-E1F3:E2  F3:E3F3-E0   F3-E1F1
F2-E5
F2-E0  F2-E6
Reset the oven by switching off the power at the breaker and restart it after a few minutes.
SamsungE-0E  FLE-0A E-08
E24
E-54
SE
cE-56
E-55
Reset the oven by switching off the power at the breaker and restart it after a few minutes.
Frigidaire/GEF8F2
F3 F4F0
F1
F5
F6
Reset the oven by switching off the power at the breaker and restart it after a few minutes.

You can also perform these actions:

  • Clean the oven; dirt may cause some sensors to malfunction.
  • Check to see if the door shuts securely.
  • Check and adjust oven settings.
  • Reset the oven.

Always refer to your manual. If the problem persists, contact the after-sales department of your brand or seek help from a qualified technician.

Malfunctioning Heating Element

An oven consists of two heating elements, a broil element typically situated at the top of the oven cavity, and can reach temperatures between 500 to 550 °F. A bake element is the primary heat source. It sits at the base of the oven cavity.

To check whether both elements work, turn on the oven and select the pre-heat function. Both elements should glow red if they are in good working order.

You can also perform a continuity test using a multimeter on your elements to see if they work correctly. Electricity should flow from one terminal of the element to the other terminal for your element to work. 

A multimeter test will show whether the flow is uninterrupted. A reading of 0 to 1.0 ohms shows perfect continuity.  A  signal loss of less than 50 ohms is within acceptable levels. A value above 50 ohms indicates a faulty element. 

Defective Temperature Sensor

In electronic models, the sensor is located at the back wall of the oven. Usually, it’s encased in a mounting plate that looks like a small flat pin protruding from the back of the oven. On some oven models, you may find the sensor at the side. Refer to your manual to locate the sensor in your oven.

The function of the temperature sensor is to read the temperature in the oven cavity. Once the oven reaches the set temperature, it signals the thermostat to switch off power going to the heating elements. This process continues throughout the cooking process. Regular on-and-off switching maintains the desired temperature in your oven. 

The temperature sensor should not be in contact with anything in the oven interior. If the sensor touches any part of the oven, it results in an incorrect temperature reading. If your sensor gives an inaccurate temperature reading, your oven will overheat, underheat or not heat up at all.

I can’t emphasize this enough, make sure your sensor does not touch anything in your oven. If it does, move it away.

Use the resistance setting on your multimeter to check whether the sensor is functional. The multimeter should show a resistance value between 1,100 –1,200 ohms. A reading above or below these values indicates a faulty sensor. You must replace the sensor if it is defective. 

Faulty Thermostat

The thermostat is a switch that regulates oven heating elements. It works together with the temperature sensor. Once the heat sensor indicates the oven has reached a set temperature, it triggers the thermostat to switch off power going to the heating elements.

If your oven takes too long to get the desired temperature or food is not cooked evenly, your thermostat may be faulty. 

To test your thermostat, remove it and then use a multimeter to determine its resistance. The ohms setting is a Ω symbol found on most modern multimeters. 

The multimeter should show a reading of 1,000–1,100 ohms of resistance at room temperature. A reading above or below this range indicates that your thermostat is broken, and you must buy a new one.

An oven thermometer is a quicker but less accurate way of testing your thermostat. You put the thermometer into the oven and then compare the temperature with that on the oven digital readout. 

If there is a difference of more than 10°, your thermostat is broken and needs to be replaced.

Malfunctioning Relays

The oven relay board has several relays that control the power reaching the heating elements. Relays also ensure that the heating elements are safely isolated from the power line when the oven is off. If one or more relays fail, your oven will not heat up.

If you suspect your oven relays are not working, I suggest you call a qualified technician to look into it. 

Faulty Oven Fan (Convection Oven)

In a convection oven, a fan distributes heat in your oven for even faster cooking. The fan sits at the top back of your oven. 

A fan may fail to function due to a loose fan blade or a faulty motor. A motor problem will result in the fan not rotating. A loose fan blade causes weird noises in your oven. 

Can you still use your oven with a faulty fan? The answer is no. Convection ovens work with a fan. If the fan stops working, there is a high risk that the element will overheat and stop working. 

If your oven fan is broken or the motor is no longer working, you must replace them. Spare parts suppliers usually sell the fan, motor, and lock nut together, but you can find them as separate parts. 

Check out the YouTube video from the channel eSpares showing how to replace and fit an oven fan motor. The video recommends replacing the fan, motor, and lock simultaneously.

Faulty Igniter (Gas Oven)

In gas ovens, an igniter produces a spark that ignites the gas fueling the oven.

A faulty igniter can cause poor air-fuel mixture and leaves a gas smell when your oven is running. A defective igniter can fail to create the spark that lights up the gas resulting in your oven not heating up. 

Most oven igniters use hot-surface ignition, making it tough to clean without damaging or breaking the igniter. In most cases, it’s best to just replace the igniter.

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03/04/2024 10:24 am GMT

Faulty Wiring

An oven requires 240v of alternating current running through two legs, each carrying 120V. If one line of voltage is interrupted due to a tripped breaker or a blown thermal fuse, your oven won’t heat up.

A thermal fuse is a safety feature that blows if the oven overheats. A blown fuse will cause the oven not to heat up. You should replace the blown fuse so that the flow of electric current to the heating elements is not interrupted.

Loose or burnt wiring can also result in your oven not heating up. Check to see if all wiring is secure and shows no discoloration that may indicate burnt wire. 

The broil element’s power supply wires will likely burn near the heat source and appear visibly damaged.

Use a multimeter for a continuity test to test whether your fuse is good. To do the test, set the multimeter to the continuity setting. 

Place each of the multimeter probes onto the fuse terminals. If the fuse is good, you will hear a beeping sound. The lack of sound indicates a faulty fuse. It means that you should replace the fuse. 

Conclusion

An oven is the cornerstone of any kitchen. If it is not heating up, it will disrupt your cooking and affect the quality of meals you can provide. 

Your oven must always be clean as dirt may impede the working of some parts, like igniters for gas ovens. A faulty heating element is the most common cause of your oven not heating up.

It is possible to troubleshoot and resolve some problems that may be causing your oven not to heat up. However, you must do so safely by switching off the power before you start. 

If you can’t identify the problem with your oven, call a qualified oven technician to check and fix the problem. Your oven manual can help you troubleshoot and has the contact details for after-sales support services, so keep it safe. 

FAQs

Can I use my oven even though the fan is not working? 

No. Convection ovens should work with a fan. The fan distributes heat evenly in the oven cavity. Using your oven without a fan will lead to overheating, improperly cooked food, and cause damage to other oven parts.

Where can I get replacement parts for my oven?  

Check your oven manual for after-sales support details, or contact the manufacturers of your oven brand. Make sure to use approved replacement parts for your oven model.

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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