There are some jobs that should only be undertaken by a professional. Major repairs to your cooker fall into that bracket There are however minor fixes and maintenance tasks that any competent person can do. Follow these tips and you’ll reduce the chances of calling a service engineer without cause, or ending up needing expensive oven repairs that could have been avoided.
Change the oven’s interior light
Make sure there’s no power supply to the cooker first of course…you’ll do this by disconnecting the plug from the wall, or by switching off the appropriate switch at your consumer unit. The bulb is generally protected by a small glass dome and located near the upper justify or right side of the inside of the oven. Remove the glass cover, change the bulb and restore the power supply. If you still have no light you may need to get a service engineer to look at the oven.
Check the oven temperature
It’s easy enough to check if your oven is getting to and maintaining the correct temperature. Buy a decent glass bulb oven thermometer to do this, a cheap one from a local store might not be that accurate. Put the thermometer in the oven, set the temperature and wait around 20 minutes to see if the oven is heating correctly. A range of plus or minus 5 degrees Celsius falls within the normal range.
You might need to get the thermostat replaced, but it’s worth checking to see if your oven has a calibration dial that you can work on yourself. If the possibility for owner calibration exists you’ll find instruction in your owner’s manual, or by looking up your make and model on the manufacturer’s website.
Check oven door gaskets
These maintain the seal around the oven door and it’s not unusual for them to become worn, leading to an imperfect seal and loss of heat. Changing gaskets is often a fairly simple job and doesn’t require you to work on any of the electrical components of your oven.
Keep control panels and knobs clean
Strictly speaking this is more cleaning than maintenance but it’s amazing how much better you’ll feel about your oven if you keep it looking smart.
Replace broken or illegible knobs
Using non abrasive cleansers on in the first place should stop the stencilling on control buttons from being worn away, but if you can’t read the numbers it makes it harder to cook, while damaged knobs are a great place for grease and germs to hide. Replacing control knobs is easy and you should be able to source the components online.
Never run a self cleaning cycle just before an important occasion
The high temperatures required for self-cleaning puts a lot of stress on oven components and it’s not unknown for this to lead to failures. Run self-clean cycles early enough to have time to arrange oven repairs before the big day, or hold off and do it afterwards. This is especially important if your big occasion is a country wide event. Trying to trace down a service engineer a few days before Christmas could prove tricky.
If in doubt – call an engineer
Don’t try to work beyond your competencies, you might end up damaging your oven, or put yourself in danger. If in doubt, call an expert. Diagnostic visits aren’t that expensive and many of the most common repairs are quick and simple. A professional service engineer will carry the most often needed components and may jobs can be done on the spot in a single visit.