Appliance tip of the week...
Oven Won't Turn on

The part(s) or condition(s) listed below for the symptom Oven won't turn on are ordered from most likely to least likely to occur. Check or test each item, starting with the items at the top of the page.

Bake Element

When the bake element is heating properly, it glows red hot. If the element does not glow red, this indicates that the element is not heating. Often, if the heating element has burned out, it will be visibly damaged. Inspect the heating element for holes or blisters. To determine if the bake element has burned out, use a multimeter to test the element for continuity. If the bake element does not have continuity, replace it.

Igniter

The igniter is the most commonly defective part for a gas oven that won't turn on. The igniter has two main functions. First, the igniter draws electrical current through the oven safety valve to open it. Second, the igniter gets hot enough to glow and ignite the gas in the burner assembly. If the igniter gets weak, it will fail to open the safety valve correctly. If the valve does not open, the oven will not heat. To determine if the igniter is defective, observe the igniter when the oven is on. If the igniter glows for more than 90 seconds without igniting the gas flame, this indicates that the igniter is too weak to open the valve. If the igniter is weak, replace it. If the igniter does not glow at all, use a multimeter to test the igniter for continuity. If the igniter does not have continuity, replace it.

Bake or Broil Spark Electrode

For bake & broil burner ignition an oven burner spark electrode is used to ignite the gas. The electrode is a device that sits right next to the burner. It functions like a spark plug. As power is applied to it a spark jumps from the spark electrode tip to the to the electrode shield, igniting the gas. If the electrode is broken or worn out the spark may not occur. Visually inspect the electrode assembly for cracks in the porcelain housing or damage to the electrode tip itself. Be aware that a proper ground and the correct polarity of the incoming voltage to the range is necessary for the electrode control to sense the presence of a flame once the burner is ignited. If the burner goes off after ignition check for proper ground and the correct polarity at the wall outlet.

Broil Element

When the broil element is heating properly, it glows red hot. If the element does not glow red, this indicates that the element is not heating. Often, if the broil element has burned out, it will be visibly damaged. Inspect the broil element for holes or blisters. To determine if the broil element has burned out, use a multimeter to test the element for continuity. If the broil element does not have continuity, replace it.

Incoming Power Problem

Electric ovens require 240 volts of alternating current. Gas ovens require 120 volts. If an oven won't turn on there could be an incoming power problem. To determine if the electrical outlet is providing sufficient voltage, use a multimeter to test the incoming power at the wall socket.

Thermal Fuse

The thermal fuse trips if the oven overheats. If the thermal fuse has blown, the oven will not turn on. However, this is not a common occurrence. To determine if the thermal fuse is at fault, use a multimeter to test the fuse for continuity. If the thermal fuse does not have continuity, replace it. The thermal fuse cannot be reset—if the fuse has blown, you must replace it.

Loose or Burnt Wire Connection

One of the wires that supply power to the oven element or igniter might be burnt out. These wires commonly burn out near the heat source. To determine if a wire has burned out, inspect the wires leading to the element or igniter. If a wire is burned out, it will often be visibly burnt.

Relay Board

Some ovens are equipped with a relay board. The relay board has several relays which control the voltage to the heating element. If one or more of the relays on the relay board fails, the oven won’t heat. However, this rarely occurs. Before replacing the relay board, first check all of the heating components in the oven. If none of the heating components are defective, the relay board might be at fault. If the relay board is defective, replace it.

Oven Control Board

The oven control board has relays that send voltage to the bake and broil circuits according to the user settings and sensor input. If the control board is defective, it may not send voltage to the heating components. However, this is rarely the case. Before replacing the control board, first test all of the heating components. If you determine that all of the heating components are working properly, replace the oven control board. Since it’s not easy to test the oven control board, you will have to replace the control board if you suspect it is defective.

Safety Valve

The gas oven safety valve works with the oven igniter to provide gas to the burner. If the safety valve fails, the oven won’t heat. However, this is rarely the cause. Before replacing the safety valve, first test all of the more commonly defective oven components, particularly the igniter. If all of the other heating components are working properly, use a multimeter to test the safety valve for continuity. If the safety valve does not have continuity, replace it.

Temperature Control Thermostat

The temperature control thermostat monitors the temperature inside the oven and cycles on the heat when the oven temperature gets too low. If the temperature control thermostat fails, the oven won’t turn on. However, this is not very common. Before replacing the oven thermostat, first check more commonly defective components—specifically the igniter and the bake and broil elements. If these components are not defective, the temperature control thermostat might be at fault. The temperature control thermostat cannot easily be tested. If you suspect the thermostat is defective, replace it.

Valve and Pressure Regulator

The valve and pressure regulator might be at fault. However, this is almost never the case. The valve and pressure regulator is frequently misdiagnosed—before replacing the valve and pressure regulator, first check all of other components in this troubleshooting guide.

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