Ovens are one of the most essential appliances in your home. What Sunday roast would be complete without perfectly crisp potatoes or beautifully succulent meat or fish?
If your oven breaks down, what’s the best course of action to take? Should you repair the damage, replace your oven, or resign yourself to a life of microwave-ready meals? Here is our guide to what you should do if you are having issues with your oven.
An oven is one of those appliances that people rarely think about replacing unless they are having serious difficulties cooking. In fact, ovens are most commonly replaced only when a homeowner is having their entire kitchen refurbished.
Much of the time these ovens still function perfectly well, and they are only removed to fit a new model more in keeping with the new colour schemes or décor styles. It could be that you are looking to purchase a large under-worktop oven for your traditional home, or an eye-level built-in oven with glass and metal touches for more contemporary designs.
If you’re not planning on any remodelling in the near future, it is recommended that you don’t simply wait until your oven has stopped working entirely to buy a new one. On average, ovens should last between ten and fifteen years before needing to be replaced.
That’s because efficiency and performance can deteriorate over time and other sudden faults may cause your oven to just stop working at any time. If your oven is out of warranty when this happens, it could cost you a great deal of money to get it fixed fast.
Ovens are built to last; but no appliance keeps working forever. Because our ovens are often in frequent use, usually for up to an hour a day, general wear and tear of heating elements and moving parts is to be expected.
The first thing to consider when your oven stops working is whether the issue may be due to a fault in the mechanisms or if there could be a simpler answer. As with all appliances in your home, your oven needs to be looked after properly in order to keep running properly.
That means regular and in-depth cleaning to remove any grease, food spillages, and other detritus that may be collecting in your oven and replacing filters are recommended. Ensuring your oven is perfectly clean and preventing build-ups means it is far less likely to encounter serious problems further down the line.
Before attempting to diagnose a problem with your oven, first establish whether it is powered by gas or electricity. This will help you when working out which parts are likely the source of your troubles.
Here are some of the most common faults you may be experiencing.
If there is no power going to your oven, you should first check that it is definitely switched on at the mains. Then you should ensure a fuse has not blown either at the mains or within the socket itself. Where possible, resetting your consumer unit to “on” should resolve the problem. If this does not work, you should speak to an electrician.
In some cases, if you have an electric oven with a digital timer, the issue could be as simple as the timer being stuck in automatic.
This can be due to a number of issues within your oven. For example, if the thermostat has tripped, you can simply try turning the oven off until completely cool and trying again.
If your digital timer is on automatic or your clock time is not set, this can also prevent your oven from heating properly. Make sure your timer is changed to manual and your clock is set.
There may also be issues with the heating element or you may have a faulty control thermostat. In either case, contact a qualified repairer.
If your grill overheats, it can trip the thermal cut-out within your oven; stopping it from heating to dangerous levels. That is why it is essential you leave the oven door open at least a few inches when grilling.
If you have a fan oven, you may need to replace these fans at various points over the years. In some cases, you may be able to hear if a fan has become jammed, which can indicate dirt or grease within the motor. In any case, you should check and clean the fan and contact a qualified repairer.
If your oven door will not shut or keeps popping open, there could be an issue with either the hinge spring, the latch, or the rubber seal that runs around the door edge. These can be replaced by either an expert repairer or DIYed.
This is a rather easy fault as you just need to replace the oven light bulb.
Sparks or burning smell from oven
This is a sign that there may be loose connections or poor contacts within your oven which can be incredibly dangerous. Turn off your oven immediately and call a qualified repairer.
If you are experiencing persistent problems with your oven, it is likely that an inner part may need to be repaired or replaced.
Smaller jobs like changing a filter, a door hinge, or a switch will generally cost less than £40 to repair and will not take long to complete. Failing igniters, thermostats, and heating elements will cost slightly more to fix. However, if your oven has a broken motor or other large, serious issues, you can expect to pay over £100 to have it repaired.
It is also important that you shop around for the best price on your oven repairs, as prices can vary.
|Type of repair for electric fan oven||Typical quote given||Average price range||Time taken to complete job|
|Supply and fit new element||£87||£83 to £98||30 minutes to an hour|
|Supply and fit new thermostat||£86||£86 to £104||One hour|
While there are many individual components that can often be replaced to restore your oven to perfect working condition, other problems can be more difficult or expensive to repair. In these cases, it may prove more cost and time efficient to simply replace your old oven with a newer model.
If the insides of your appliance have begun to rust, this can result in pieces of corrosive metal coming into contact with your food; potentially creating a choking hazard. This is a clear sign that your oven has reached the end of its lifetime and that it is time for an upgrade.
The glass door on the front of your oven can also become cracked due to physical damage. When this happens, the appliance no longer holds heat the way it is meant to. Your food will take longer to cook properly, and you will spend far more than you should be on your gas or electricity bill. Unless you can find the perfect fit for a replacement and a professional able to fit it, it may be wise to replace the entire oven.
If you decide to replace or upgrade your existing oven, there are a few things you should take into account. Most importantly will be the fuel type most suited to you.
Gas ovens tend to be much cheaper to run day-to-day, so you save on your energy prices. They also give off extra moisture perfect for succulent, traditional cooking. Electric ovens, on the other hand, often deliver better results when it comes to even heat distribution. Since the heat is much drier, electric ovens are often better for baking.