If your oven won't get up to temperature or leaves your food
half-cooked, it's likely that either the thermostat needs to be adjusted
or one of the elements has gone bad. Both fixes take little more than a
screwdriver and a few minutes of your time.
Things You'll Need:
Replacement Oven Element
Masking Tape And Pen
Nut Driver And Socket
Phillips And Flathead Screwdrivers
Testing and adjusting the thermostat
Place an oven thermometer inside the oven and shut the door.
Turn on the oven, set it for 350°F (180°C)
and let it heat for 30 minutes.
Check the thermometer. Most thermostats are accurate to
within 25°F (14°C). If yours is off by more than
50°F (28°C), the thermostat is bad and you will need to
have a professional replace it. If your thermostat is off by less than
50°F (28°C), adjust the thermostat.
Locate the adjustment screw. On some thermostats, the
adjustment screw is on the back of the thermostat knob; on others it's
inside the thermostat shaft.
To make a temperature adjustment on the back of a knob,
remove the knob and loosen the retaining screws on the back, using a
Phillips screwdriver. Turn the center disk toward "Hotter" or "Raise" to
increase the temperature, or toward "Cooler" or "Lower" to decrease the
temperature. Tighten the screws, reinstall the knob and test the oven.
Readjust the knob if necessary.
To make a temperature adjustment inside the shaft, remove the
knob and slip a thin flathead screwdriver into the knob until it
engages the adjustment screw in the bottom. Turn the screwdriver
clockwise to raise the temperature, counterclockwise to lower it. Each
quarter-turn will move the temperature about 25°F
(14°C). When you're done, reinstall the knob and test the oven.
Readjust the temperature if necessary.
Replacing a faulty element
Identify the bad element. Set the oven to broil and check the
upper element. Then turn it to bake and check the lower one. Both
elements should turn bright orange if they're operating correctly. If
one is cold, it needs to be replaced. If they both seem to heat up, look
for signs that one is damaged. It may appear to be melted in one spot,
or one spot may not turn as bright a color as other parts.
Turn off power to the oven at the circuit-breaker panel,
leave the oven door open, and let the oven sit until the elements are
cool to the touch.
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Loosen the bad element. Use a screwdriver or a nut driver and
socket to remove the screws that hold the element-support bracket to
the oven's back wall. Slip the element out of the brackets that hold it
in place, and pull it forward until you can access the wiring (see
Disconnect the wiring. Wrap each wire with masking tape, and
label them so you can install the new element correctly. Then unscrew
the element from its wiring.
Take the element to an appliance store and buy a replacement.
Install the new element. Screw the element to its wiring,
slip the element into its brackets, and screw the element-support
bracket to the back of the oven.
Turn on the power and test the new element.
if you hear an unusual buzzing noise, the magnetron (the component that
actually generates the microwaves) or other electronic module may be
broken. This is not easily fixed; contact a service technician.
- If you find it hard to reach to the
back of the oven, lift off the oven door.
still won't work? Ask a professional to check the oven-door safety
switch. A faulty switch can prevent the oven from heating.
- Microwave ovens are high in voltage and can seriously shock you, even
after you've unplugged them. Do not open the microwave cabinet or other
sealed areas; contact a service technician or consider buying a new