Turning on a gas oven emits a flame that cooks your food – but is there a right color for that flame? While a blue flame is a healthy color for a gas oven, a yellow flame or an orange flame may signal a problem. The good news is there is usually a simple reason why your oven flame is yellow.
Your oven flame is probably yellow because the burner is not getting enough air due to poor positioning. Without enough air, the gas cannot combust properly. A yellow oven flame is not necessarily dangerous, but the risk of carbon monoxide emission does increase.
This article will discuss why oven flame color matters and diagnose why an oven flame might be yellow. It will explain when a changed oven flame color can be dangerous, and when it is likely a quick fix. Finally, it will provide tangible solutions to help you know what to do if your oven flame is yellow when it should be blue.
Oven Flame Color – Does It Matter?
If you have a gas oven as I do, you probably don’t think much about the flame that emits when you turn on the burners. You simply turn the knob to select your desired heat, and you begin cooking. You don’t think about what’s happening when you turn the knob, but the process is intricate.
For an oven to work and cook your food evenly and thoroughly, a few key things need to happen correctly. Fuel gas must first mix with an oxidizer. The mix must then ignite and combust. When it does, voila! You have a flame!
What color that flame is matters, too. The flame color emitted from your oven signals either a healthy functioning stove or a stove in possible need of repair. An improperly functioning oven can lead to higher gas bills. It can lower the cooking temperature, which can leave food undercooked or cooked improperly. In some cases, it can even signal a dangerous leak.
Let’s take a look at the possible flame colors you might see when turning on your oven or stove and dive in a bit deeper into what you should look for and what each of the oven flame colors signal.
A blue oven flame indicates your oven is functioning properly. Here’s what that means:
- All parts are likely in the correct place, and cooking can continue without pause.
- Gas and oxygen are being released from the burner in appropriate amounts when the flame is blue.
Yellow Flame/Orange Flame
A yellow oven flame, or an orange oven flame, both indicate a problem with your stove’s functionality. There isn’t a single reason for this, but with a bit of detective work, you can quickly determine the cause of your yellow oven flame. Here’s what to check:
- Dirty burners – stoves get dirty quickly, especially if you cook a lot. When food debris or grease spills, the food or oil can clog the burners. This may result in a yellow or orange flame.
- The wrong Orpheus – If your flame is yellow, it’s important to know whether your stove uses liquid propane or natural gas. The Orpheus your oven uses depends on it. Using the wrong Orpheus for your oven may impact your oven’s flame color.
- Gas pressure regulator valve was not chained over – This, as well as making sure the spud is properly adjusted, can also impact the flame color emitting from your oven.
- Carbon Monoxide buildup – a bit scarier than the other causes, carbon monoxide buildup can also cause a yellow or orange flame. Buildup occurs when the oven is not getting the proper amount of air to combust properly. Because carbon monoxide does not emit a smell, it can be difficult to know when this is a factor unless you have a carbon monoxide detector installed nearby.
To see more causes and fixes from Point and Click Appliance Repair, take a look at the video below:
What to Do if Your Oven Flame Is Yellow
If your oven flame is yellow, you need not worry. You do, however, need to be proactive. You will want to take a few steps right away because, as we mentioned above, the only healthy oven flame is blue. Though most causes are not dangerous, some are.
Make Sure Your Burner Portholes Are Clean
An oven that gets a lot of use is bound to collect debris. But the burners need to be free of dirt and food in order to function properly.
When food or grease spills into the burner grooves, it can change the flame color. You can usually fix this quickly using a small, sharp utensil to clean out any hard to get debris. After you’ve done that, getting into the habit of wiping down your cooled burners after cooking, may be beneficial to keep your oven flame working properly.
A quick tip: Be sure to place the burner parts back in the proper position after you’ve cleaned them. Even a small misalignment can affect the gas color emitted from your range.
Double Check Your Parts and Adjustments
Sometimes, a yellow flame is simply the result of incorrect or misadjusted oven parts. Knowing whether your oven uses propane or natural gas can help you determine if your oven is using the correct Orpheus. If not, a replacement may be warranted.
Checking the oven’s gas pressure regulator and the spud can help you catch any misalignments that might be affecting your oven’s gas color.
You can check these items yourself, but it is often best to call a skilled professional in ovens and gas appliances if you suspect a misadjusted or missing oven part.
Test for Carbon Monoxide Issues
A carbon monoxide leak can be dangerous – even deadly. Since you can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, Jordan from Point and Click Appliance Repair recommend having carbon monoxide detectors installed around your home to detect any potential issues. If you suspect this may be a reason for your oven flame being yellow, call a professional who can help you diagnose and then fix the problem.
Here’s a plug-in option from First Alert to make carbon monoxide detection easy:
I recommend the FIRST ALERT Carbon Monoxide Alarm if you want an affordable and effective carbon monoxide detector.
A properly working oven can keep baking and cooking for years – sometimes, even decades! Though it’s not always instinctive to pay close attention to your oven’s flame color, it’s important to help you gauge whether your flame is working properly. A yellow flame might look pretty, but it signals a problem with the functionality of your oven.
By double-checking your burner adjustment, making sure your oven parts are correct and correctly placed, and checking for any carbon monoxide leaks, you can ensure your oven flame is the correct color. A healthy oven flame is a blue flame.
If you are wondering if you can leave your oven on overnight, the answer is yes, but it is never recommended, especially if you leave it unattended. Leaving an oven on overnight is dangerous if you’re asleep and no one watches it. No one will be able to prevent any risk or danger from happening.
Finally, if your meal needs to be prepared for over 12 hours, never leave it unsupervised. Every oven, whether electric or gas, may be left open if you watch what you’re cooking. To prevent any risk or danger, turn your ovens off after any dish is ready to serve.