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How to fix an oven or range that won't turn on

Father and son looking inside oven that's not heating up properly

Whether you're roasting a chicken or making a frozen pizza, your oven is an essential part of your kitchen. So if yours won't turn on, you need a quick fix—especially if you plan on cooking dinner.

Don't worry though, Asurion Experts are experienced with repairing all major appliances from all major brands, and can help you get your oven back up and running. Here's their guide to common reasons an oven has trouble turning on and what you can do to fix them.

Why won't my oven turn on?

There are many potential reasons why your oven won't turn on. Common issues include:

  • A damaged broil or bake element.
  • Blown fuses.
  • Issues with the temperature sensor.
  • Electronic control board damage.
  • A blown burner element.
  • Infinite switch issues.
  • Oven igniter malfunction.

We'll walk you through how to check your oven for each of these problems and the steps you need to take to repair your appliance. For any replacement parts needed, you'll want to refer to the oven's manual to ensure you acquire the correct part. If you're not sure where your oven manual is, you can look up the information online using your model number, which is located on a small metal plate or label somewhere on your oven.

Some common places to find your oven model number:

  • On the frame (behind the door)
  • Underneath a cooktop (if it's the kind that lifts up)
  • On the door frame
  • On the inside of the lower storage compartment.

If at any point a repair seems difficult or dangerous, book an oven repair with an Asurion Expert for as soon as same day service.

Broil or bake element

There are two main ways to cook with your oven: bake and broil. The broiler is the heating element at the top of the oven, while the baking one is on the bottom. Ovens generally operate on a broiling or baking setting, though some use alternate ones that heat food from both the top and the bottom.

How to check

Take a look at whether the broil or bake element is damaged. Look for signs of blistering, cracking, or separating. If there are no signs of damage, turn the oven on for a minute or two and check to see whether either element is, in fact, heating up.

How to repair

If it appears that either element is damaged or broken, the easiest fix is to simply replace the element with a new one. These elements are fairly cheap, and can be easily replaced without professional help. First, make sure that the oven is turned off and disconnected from its power source. Then firmly pull out the old element (the motion is a bit like unplugging something), and insert the new one into the burner socket.

Blown fuses

Your oven may have internal fuses that keep it operating safely. Yet these fuses might be improperly installed or can fail.

How to check

Checking for a blown fuse can be dangerous and a job you may want to reach out to an oven repair professional for help with. If you decide to go it alone, first make sure the oven is turned off and disconnected from any power source. Then refer to the oven’s manual or look up the model on the manufacturer’s website to determine where the fuses are located and how to access them. Once you figure that out, remove and inspect the fuses (they’re usually screwed into the oven). Look for a metal connector, or link, at the top of each; if the link is broken, the fuse is blown and not working. If the link is not broken, then the fuse should be operating properly. 

How to repair

If you have a broken fuse, you'll need to replace it. Make sure you buy a fuse with the appropriate rating (check the manual or look up your model number online guidance). Remove the broken fuse and replace it with the new, correct part.

Temperature sensor

This component monitors and regulates your oven's internal temperature. A broken sensor could be the reason why your appliance won't turn on or why you can't get an accurate temperature reading.

How to check

Some modern ovens have a dashboard that will alert you when the temperature sensor is not working properly. If your oven does not have this feature, here's how to manually check the sensor:​

  • First, make sure that the oven is turned off and disconnected from its power source. 
  • Locate and remove the sensor from your oven. In most cases, it will be mounted by two screws on the top left or right corner of the oven (consult the oven's manual or look up the make on the manufacturer's website for guidance). 
  • After unscrewing the sensor, gather and hold the wires so they don't fall behind the unit by using a chip clip or a pair of needle-nose pliers. 
  • Unclip the sensor from the wiring harness by pressing the release tab and pulling the two halves of the plastic wire clip apart. 
  • Once the sensor is free, leave it at room temperature to get a reading with a multimeter (check out our guide for using a multimeter). Consult with the manual to determine what the reading should be.

How to repair

If the temperature sensor isn't giving you the right reading, you'll need to replace it. Refer to the manual, or look up the model number online, for information on the correct replacement part. Temperature sensors are fairly cheap and installation isn't too difficult, so it shouldn't be too tricky to get your oven working again quickly.

Electronic control board

The electronic control board is the dashboard from which you control the oven, turning it on, off, and setting the temperature, among other functions.

How to check

Turn the oven off and disconnect it from its power source. Use the owner's manual to help you locate the control board. Inspect it for signs of damage such as burns, cracks, or missing pieces.

How to repair

If the control board is damaged, you will likely need to purchase a replacement. Consult the owner’s manual to determine the right replacement. Replacing the electronic control board is an advanced repair, so you should contact a local oven repair expert for help.

Blown burner element

The surface burner elements heat the top of your oven range. They may be coiled, solid, or ribboned.

How to check

Make sure your oven is off and disconnected from the power source. Visually inspect the burner element for obvious wear and tear, bubbling, cracking, or burns. You will likely need to remove the top of the oven to properly inspect it.

You can use your multimeter to test for continuity (refer to our how to use a multimeter guide for more info). Consult the owner's manual to determine the accuracy of your readings. Any discontinuity indicates that the burner element is broken.

How to repair

A broken burner element can easily be replaced and usually doesn't require a professional. Consult the owner's manual for help determining what type of replacement is required and how to install it. 

Infinite switch

This component controls the heat settings for the oven’s surface elements. If one oven heating element is not heating up but it appears to be in good condition, then you likely have a broken infinite switch. 

How to check

Make sure that your oven is turned off and disconnected from its power source. Locate and inspect the infinite switch. Most are found by opening the back panel; otherwise, consult the owner’s manual. Inspect the switch and the wires and terminals nearby for visible defects. 

Checking the infinite switch for power issues may require advanced electrical skills, so contact a professional for help. 

How to repair

You can try cleaning, removing, and reinserting the infinite switch, but we recommend you schedule an appointment with an Asurion Expert for help with your oven repair.

Oven igniter

In a gas oven, the igniter is the part that controls the gas valves used to ignite the oven. 

How to check

First make sure the oven is turned off and disconnected from its power source and that you’ve shut off the gas supply (the gas shutoff valve is typically located behind the appliance). Then, remove the racks from the oven. Locate the igniter, which is typically somewhere near the bottom of the oven. In some cases, it may be covered by a panel that you’ll need a screwdriver to remove. Once you find it, gently brush and clean debris off of the igniter with a microfiber cloth or a toothbrush. Use a needle to gently clean any gunk build-up from the pilot hole (check your manual to see where it’s located).  

Once clean, double-check to make sure that the oven is disconnected from its power source. Then hit the ignition switch on your stove and check to see if the igniter sparks. 

How to repair

Cleaning off the igniter can help fix your problem. But if it's visibly damaged or refuses to ignite after cleaning, you'll likely need to replace it and you should book a repair with an appliance expert.

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