I’ve been laughing a bit to myself tonight as I’ve been looking at one of my competitors blog posts on their website. It’s normally very good and informative. The post is about the same subject as this one, that is common problems with ovens. But this latest post is, well funny. Why? Because it looks like it has been written by someone who doesn’t clean ovens, or know anything about the UK market, and some of the references are obscure, for example what is a Baking Element which it refers to that you need to check? I’ve checked on YouTube and it looks like in the US ovens regularly have an element that is in the oven, and at the bottom of the oven and it just hangs there not covered up and this is called a Baking Element. It looks very odd because we don’t have them in the UK like this. For us only some ovens have this sort of element and if it has it it is at the bottom of the oven and it is covered by an enamelled cover so you won’t realise its there; for example in a SMEG 90cm range cooker you’d access it by taking all the oven racks out and then lifting the bottom oven floor plate. In the UK market people would look at you a bit oddly if you said talked about the Baking Element. So this highlights of outsourcing your blog posts to someone else, especially someone who doesn’t live in the UK!
So my post is the same as theirs and is about keeping your oven clean to prevent faults, or asking the question is the fault with your oven caused by it being dirty?
So for me this would mean:
General problems with oven:
1. It doesn’t work.
This could be caused by the fact that it isn’t plugged in!! or connected!! I know pretty obvious but say you’ve moved into a house and the oven is sitting there and you wonder why it isn’t working when you switch it on. The first thing might be that it isn’t connected to any form of fuel. Say the house hasn’t been lived in for a while and the oven was switched off in the past by unplugging it, or maybe the previous owner pushed the oven into the slot without connecting it.
So step one would be to check to see that it is plugged in if it’s electric. If it is check the fuse, as it may have blown. If it is gas you are going to need to get someone who is Gas Safe Certified to connect it and check that it is working correctly. It has to be someone who is qualified. The plugs are usually just normal 13 amp fuses and the socket may be hidden by the cooker itself. The cooker may need pulling out to find it. Be careful of causing damage to any floor coverings – it’s very easy to destroy it and you’ll be liable to re-floor the whole kitchen- for this reason we don’t pull out your cooker and ask you to do it for us.
Next you need to check to see if you are getting any lights on the control panel for an electric oven. If there isn’t any try pressing the ‘hand’ symbol on the clock, or it may be labelled as ‘manual’. This should sort it and the lights should come on, and when you have the oven temperature selected, the fan should spin (if it has one), and the element should heat up in the element, and if the grill is turned on the grill should heat up.
2. No heat to oven.
For this there are two problems. The main element doesn’t work. The timer isn’t set properly.
So first thing would be to set the timer correctly. Then check the main element. Is it getting hot? If not and the fan is spinning then the element needs changing. It’s a straight forward job and you can find an video of how to do it on YouTube.
3. No heat in Grill.
Again check the element. If it doesn’t go red when the grill is set to maximum then it needs replacing. So elements have two sections a dual grill section and a single grill section. The dual grill gives maximum heat. So both would need to work correctly. If not the whole element needs changing.
3. The grill smokes.
This is going to be a cleaning issue and can be solved by getting your oven professionally cleaned, as sometimes the smoke is being caused by dirt being burnt off the roof of the oven. And the two other reasons are a “pooling” of fat on the bottom of the oven, so on the floor, when the oven gets hot this oil starts smoking; I’ve seen this a lot the grease is not burnt on and is runny, and the other reason for smoking is that the grill element has a build up of fat on it and this causes it to smoke when switched on. This just needs burning off. A small piece of grease will mean take about ten seconds to burn off. If the element is coated then it will take 10 minutes or more and the smoke will bellow out of the oven, so you need the window open and be wary of smoke alarms in the immediate vincity. Be careful when doing this as the grease can catch on fire (it’s only happened once in 10 years and instead of burning off, carbonising, and falling off it actually went up in flames). If this happens you need to close the oven door to restrict the oxygen to the fire. Mine went out straight away.
4. The door is making a noise.
Usually the door clunks on closure because the springs have become worn and/or the hinges are out of line. This might be rectified by taking the door off and putting it back on again as the door may not have been put on properly. This can be sorted out when you have your oven cleaned.
5. The fan is making a noise.
if it has just been cleaned then the fan has been put back incorrectly and needs either tightening up or bend back into shape. The other reason is the oven is very dirty and the fan cover has burnt on carbon on it which is catching the fan when it starts spinning, normally on initial switch on of the main oven. Getting the oven professionally cleaned will sort this out.
Graham Rogers Started OvenGleamers as one man in a van in Taunton in 2004. The business grew to a five van operation by 2007. OvenGleamers first franchisee started in October 2010. OvenGleamers Became An Associate Member of British Franchise Association in 2012. Now growing National OvenGleamers Network. OvenGleamers are AGA and Big Cooker Cleaning Specialists. Graham writes on this blog and films videos and has a podcast.