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A reader emailed us this question: “Why is my oven not getting up to temperature?”
Now, if your oven is taking hours to get heated up, it isn’t normal and it can be super annoying because you cannot bake your favorite recipes.
The best news is that you and the anonymous reader who sent us the above question can easily remedy the problem yourselves (ovens are, in general, designed to be extremely serviceable so you don’t always need an appliance repairman)
Read on to find out what could be causing the issue and the fixes we recommend:
Why is my oven not getting up to temperature?
Well, do this: Ensure you have actually set correct temp. Also, check if you could have a defective thermostat. After that, check if gas supply is ok(gas units). It could even be due to hurried preheating time (allow it enough pre-heating time).
Read on for a detailed troubleshooting guide
Why is my oven not getting up to temperature? Fixes you should try if your oven is not hitting the temperature you set it to
Why is my gas oven not getting up to temperature?
For gas stoves:
If you own a gas stove, quite a few things could be causing the issue.
Here they are and what to do depending on what you discover:
A dirty burner
The burner might have become extremely dirty so you need to clean it thoroughly- see how to clean the burners on gas stoves.
I should add that for gas stoves, the culprit very often turns out to be clogged burners so start there.
Another common reason why it won’t heat up to the right temp is the igniter so double check it- It could be broken.
The fact is igniter will weaken over time- you can test it with a multimeter(for continuity) before exchanging it.
Low gas pressure
Next, there’s a chance that the gas pressure is low- either at the regulator or from outside.
So, how do you check?
Now, the easiest way to check if it’s a low gas pressure fault is to view the flame- just turn your oven on and observe the flame.
How is the flame?
The thing is if it seems good but it is shutting off and relighting frequently, then you are probably looking at a bad sensor.
And don’t forget that there might be a defective temp sensor shutting off the oven.
On a positive note, replacing the temp sensor is typically quick and easy so it’s a fix you can still do yourself.
For gas ovens, there might some sort of a check valve (near its gas source).
Basically, this valve is designed to stop unregulated flow thus if you turn gas on too quickly, it places itself into a restricted flow position causing the oven to take forever to heat up.
In other words, you can view it as a kind of a circuit breaker for gas.
Luckily, there is likely to be a way of resetting it (check your owners manual for instructions if you can’t recall how)
Otherwise, when it comes to gas, you’re better off reaching out to a repairman.
Why is my electric oven not getting up to temperature?
For electric stoves:
On the other hand, if it is electric, I suggest you take a look at the following:
The heating element
The most probable culprit when an oven is not heating up to your desired temp is the heating element – it could be bad which means you could need to get a replacement.
The best part?
Heating elements are, for the most part, very easy to swap out and inexpensive.
How to test the heating element
Below is how to test the part..
The easiest test is to turn your oven on and set it to 450° then look at its heating element.
If you notice it glowing red and then dimming and then glowing red and dimming once more, then you likely have a damaged sensor and you need to have it checked.
But if it does not get red but it warms up, it is highly possible that the element is bad.
So type your oven’s model number on Google and see if you’ll be lucky to get the exact part # for the replacement heating element.
After that, go to the manufacturer’s website or sites like Amazon and order it.
You can watch some YouTube videos on changing your specific oven’s heating element(search on YouTube).
If you own an electric oven, I would next recommend you check the wiring.
Again loose connections on the wires are very easy to notice and fix.
In fact, you will likely find a super detailed wiring diagram on the back (of your oven).
So get a Phillips head screwdriver or your tamper-proof screw bit set then get to work- check everywhere and disconnect and reconnect the wires (there are several harnesses and connectors so check all).
Also, replace any wire that appears burnt.
Try to see if it will heat up faster once you’re sure that you have re-hooked everything up correctly.
Quick Tip: Take pictures of the whole wiring (and everything else) using your phone before you take the oven apart. You should especially be sure to capture the colors (and how they line up) because you do not want to swap any wires when reconnecting.
Why is my oven not getting up to temperature? -Other potential fixes
You can as well try the following solutions if you are not yet lucky:
Reset the breaker
For electric units, try to flip its circuit breaker(off then back on). This occasionally helps.
Besides, a bad breaker can lead to the problem so read the voltage -at the breaker- and see if you have proper voltage across both legs(Mine needs 110-125 volts on each leg then 220-250v across both).
In simple terms, if you are failing to get enough power -out of the breaker- then it could be a breaker defect.
Do call an electrician, if this is not something you feel confident enough to attempt.
Motherboard could be fried
You need to test it (Watch this) before going ahead to buy a replacement.
Why is my oven not getting up to temperature? -Final words
If you’re in a rental, landlords are required by the law (in many states) to replace/repair it once you request.
So inform your landlord that your oven is slow to heat or is not heating at all and request he fixes it.
Now, If your landlord takes forever to act, you can look for a good replacement on craigslist(or similar sites) and have it installed (or you could do it yourself) for a credit when you’re paying your next rent.
An appliance repairman will be your last resort if nothing has worked and you live in your own home.