Sometimes, it can seem as if appliances have a mind of their own, choosing to give up exactly when it’s the most inconvenient. The holidays, when families use their ovens for everything from huge turkeys to cakes and goodies, for instance, is when ranges usually choose to call it a day. Appliance repair techs tend to be busiest in these months.
If it’s an important day in the kitchen and you find that your range is acting up, then, you’ll want a few quick ideas to turn to. Waiting for a tech to turn up may not be an option.
Restarting isn’t just for computers
Restarting or resetting a range involves turning off the circuit breaker that supplies power to it or simply unplugging it. You need keep it off its power for about 20 minutes. When you turn it back on, in many cases, you will find that it works like always. Unless your range is very old, it contains a little chip that can freeze up just as any phone or computer can. Restarting can help reset the range’s internal computer, and unfreeze things.
If the temperature in the oven is unreliable
The oven uses a thermostat to make sure that the temperature stays where you set it. If you begin to suspect that your oven isn’t keeping the right temperature, though, you can take a quick look to see if there is anything wrong with the thermostat. The thermostat sensor could be loose, or something could be in contact with it. Make sure that the thermostat is free of obstruction and that it is properly set. This can turn things around quickly.
If the flame on the gas stove top is weak
If you find that the gas flame is visibly weak, or if food on one side of a burner doesn’t cook well, you should suspect clogged gas ports on the burner. You can use a toothpick or needle to pass through each hole in the burner, and clean it. If it’s the entire burner that has a weak flame, there could be a clog in the gas nozzle. You’ll need a very fine needle for it.
Finally, if your range has been around for a while and is increasingly unreliable, consider getting an electric one the next time. Electric ranges have fewer parts than gas ranges, and are more reliable.