We all put up with different little quirks in our home appliances. Your fridge door might need an extra push to make it seal. Your washer might make a little extra noise. We can even adapt to ovens that don’t quite cook right. When an issue becomes too much to handle, we call for repairs. However, at some point, there is an important line between an appliance that can be repaired and one that needs to be replaced.
This is especially true when it comes to your oven. Ovens are work-horses of the appliance world. A well-built oven can sometimes be repaired for decades and still produce evenly cooked food with reasonably good energy efficiency. However, not all ovens are made perfectly and some models are not built to last. Whether your oven has served many good years or gives out before its time, it is important to know the difference between needing repairs and needing a new oven.
Today, we bring you the top signs that a homeowner might notice to indicate that your oven is on its way out, on its last self-leveling legs, and won’t do much good to keep repairing. Here are the signs that you need a new oven:
Heat Escapes Where It’s Not Supposed To
When your oven heats up, it has a system of mechanisms to ensure the heat goes where it’s supposed to and is regulated throughout the oven. This ensures even heating and efficient use of the heat created. Most ovens have a vent at the top or bottom to release excess heat. You should be able to feel the heat near this vent and, of course, by laying your hand against the oven door (or very near to it).
However, if you feel waves of oven-hot heat rolling out from around the door, underneath the oven, behind the control panel, or somewhere else it shouldn’t be comping from, this is a bad sign. If your oven is no longer insulated inside the inner chamber and if excess heat is escaping, your oven is just about done. You are certainly spending far more on electricity than you ought, and the power bill savings alone can make a new oven installation worthwhile.
Oven Racks are Lopsided or Fall Down
One of the great mysteries of oven repair on the internet is why sometimes the oven racks that came with your oven tend to fall down. After all, weren’t the racks built to fit the oven? Aren’t they the right size. The answer is, most likely, that the racks are still the right size, but the oven isn’t. Flaws in alloy and panel-production can cause the inner chamber of your oven to flex, just like a cheap pan that pops out of shape in the oven. An oven may bow outward, forming more of a bubble-shape inside the cabinet. Needless to say, this slightly pulls the rack-tracks further apart so that suddenly your oven racks don’t fit properly and may start to fall because there is too much space between the tracks.
If your oven has bowed from heat and flawed manufacturing, unfortunately, the only solution is to replace it with an oven that is not flawed. Contact the seller or manufacturer to see if you can acquire a refund or discount for the warped and malformed oven, as this is not its intended performance.
The inside of an oven should not rust, but some do. The inside of an oven should be coated in a finish that is both resistant to extreme temperatures, cleaning products, and the sharpest of scrubbing pads. Some older ovens are not coated in a modern finish, some have had the finish scrubbed away or lost over the years. But when air touches iron, rust occurs. A little rust on the racks or in the chamber won’t hurt your oven, but a lot of rust is a serious problem. Excessive rust means that your oven interior is both losing integrity and likely dropping rust flakes into the food.
You Can’t Keep the Pilot Light Lit
If you have a gas oven, you likely also have a pilot light that ignites the gas each time heating is required. An old pilot light assembly or gas oven design eventually stops working. If you find yourself constantly re-lighting the pilot light before you can cook, this is a sign that your oven has seen the end of its years and it might be time to switch to a newer, electric element oven instead.
Scorching Nearby Surfaces
A very bad sign for misbehaving, deteriorating, and poorly installed ovens are nearby scorched surfaces. Look for slowly spreading circles of pale, scorchy brown on countertops or a circle of peeling or yellowed paint on nearby cabinets. This is an indication that the oven heat is escaping the inner chamber of the oven and actively damaging nearby surfaces. No oven should do this, and it’s time for a new one, properly installed and insulated.
Constantly Repairing Your Oven
The more often you have to repair an appliance, the more likely that it is about to give out. Older appliances are, understandably, full of equally old components. Each component has a slightly different lifespan but, over a few years, and the outdated appliance will see most of its systems fail in sequence. If your oven needs repair after repair, then invest your repair funds into a new oven with all-new working parts, instead.
Practical Repairs Don’t Fix the Problem
Another clear sign is that when you do perform a repair, your problems aren’t over. Replacing one faulty component may reveal another faulty component, and so on down the line. If practical repairs don’t work, then you’re looking at a system that is already failed or on the brink of failure.
Heating Unevenly When the Elements are Fine
The usual cause of uneven heating is damaged or old elements. However, if your elements are glowing evenly throughout and your oven is properly calibrated and leveled, then your food should cook evenly. If it isn’t cooking evenly, then your oven may have other heat regulation problems that make the entire unit worth less than buying a new oven that doesn’t need extensive insulation and repairs.
Oven Becomes Impossible to Clean
Last but not least, watch out for ovens that can no longer be cleaned. The self-cleaning function on an oven is meant to burn everything inside to dust so it can be easily cleaned out. If your oven is dirty with food drips and aerated grime and the self-clean function doesn’t work anymore (and you can’t scrub out the scorchy grime) then it’s probably time to invest in an oven where all the features work correctly.
—Is your oven on its last legs? Would you like to consult on the state and performance of your oven or the right choice for a new oven installation? Contact us today, we’d be happy to help.