3 Tips to Diagnose a Broken Oven or Stove

When oven trouble derails weeknight dinner plans, follow these tips to find the source of the problem. Then you can decide whether it's a fix you're comfortable to do yourself or one best solved by a quick and painless visit from a professional.

By Natalie Hoke for Puls | Updated Aug 26, 2019 11:46 AM

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Try Diagnosing Oven Troubles Before Calling a Pro

Photo: istockphoto.com

Nothing derails dinner prep quite like when you find yourself faced with a broken oven or stove that won’t heat to the temperature you need. But before you panic over the price tag of a repair (or even a replacement), know that there are a few steps you can take on your own before inviting in a trained professional.

Resolving the temperature problem as quickly as possible means first figuring out the root of the problem. Ahead, you’ll find three steps to diagnose a stove or oven on your own—and when to seek the help of an appliance repair professional.

1. Check The Power

Sometimes, the problem is the simplest kind. Start with these two power considerations, as they could solve your problem quite quickly and easily.

First, see if your oven and stove have proper access to power. Take a look at the outlet in which it’s plugged to see if there are any issues there. Try plugging another appliance into the outlet to see if the problem is with the outlet or the oven itself. If the test appliance works, skip ahead to one of the next sections; but if the other electronic still does not turn on properly, check your house’s fuse box to see if the power has been shut off somehow.

Another common issue is that your oven’s clock is flashing, but the rest of the oven is working fine. This typically occurs after your power has gone out and indicates that the clock needs to be reset, which can be done easily on your own. Review your oven’s manual, which will have clear instructions on how to reset it. If you’ve misplaced the manual, you should be able to find and download it online.

2. Examine the Terminal Block

Your oven’s terminal block is a little black box located in the bottom corner on the back of the oven, unreachable unless you pull your oven out from the wall. Here, the cord exits the appliance to reach the wall. Do unplug your stove, then carefully unscrew all the screws on the terminal block to look for any signs of damage or burning—this tends to happen if the cables on your terminal block aren’t screwed in tightly enough.

If the terminal block shows signs of damage, this could be the source of your oven- or stove-related issues. Fortunately, a terminal block can be easily replaced. For this, we’d highly recommend using a trained professional, as the process can be a bit trickier and riskier for even a savvy DIYer to complete.


Try Diagnosing Oven Troubles Before Calling a Pro

Photo: istockphoto.com

3. Inspect the Heating Element and Thermostat

One of the most common complaints about these kitchen appliances is that the oven isn’t heating properly. Typically, this relates to either a problem with your oven’s heating element or with its thermostat. The heating elements are the (often coiled up) parts that turn red as your oven heats up, and the thermostat is the knob you adjust your oven’s temperature.

Unfortunately, especially if your oven’s on the older side, these parts can get damaged over the years due to natural wear and tear and require replacement by professionals.

Test the heating elements by turning on your oven as you would normally and checking to see if they’re glowing red after 10 minutes or so. If they’re not, they’ll need to be replaced.

You can tell if there’s an issue with your oven’s thermostat by watching the light that turns on to indicate when your oven is hot (assuming that have a light like this on your model). If the light never turns on, even after waiting for a half-hour or so, chances are your thermostat is in need of replacement.



Call in a Technician from Puls to Repair an Oven or Stove

Photo: puls.com

Look to Puls for All Your Oven or Stove Repair Needs

At the end of the day, it’s always best to have a trained professional come diagnose and repair your oven to proper working condition. And whether you’re stumped by an oven-related issue or you simply don’t have the energy (or ability) to tackle it on your own, Puls is here to help. The company’s skilled oven and stove repair technicians can come to you as soon as the same day to figure out the exact issue at hand for just $79—a fee that is waived entirely if you move forward with the recommended repair. Plus, all repairs come backed by a 90-day guarantee on parts and labor, so you can have peace of mind long after the technician leaves. Book an appointment with their skilled repair experts now, and you could be on your way to an oven or stove that’s working like new in no time.


A version of this article first appeared on Puls. This content has been brought to you by Puls. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.