How often do you slide your roast, pizza, or casserole in the oven, set the temperature, and turn it on to bake? It feels so easy that surely anyone could do it, right? Well, they can, as long as the oven heats up. What happens when the oven doesn't heat? What could be wrong?
If your oven isn't heating up, the problem may be with the electric oven ignitor. Those very words sound a little daunting and dangerous, but not to worry: with a few tools from the electrical toolbox and a little patience, you can change it yourself and save a little money.
If you smell gas inside the oven when you open it, turn off the gas valve and open the windows to ventilate the area. Call a plumber or appliance technician to look at the oven; do not attempt to fix it yourself.
If there is a strong smell of gas in the kitchen or anywhere else in the house, get everyone out of the house immediately. Call 911 from outside the house.
Before You Begin
This fix is an easy one but work carefully. Hiring a certified appliance repair person is always recommended when replacing mechanical parts on an appliance, especially if you feel out of your depth.
It's also important to check your warranty information first. If your oven is still under warranty, attempting a DIY repair may invalidate it. In that case, it pays to call the pros.
As with any electrical project, always disconnect the power to the appliance that you will be working on. To do this, either unplug the appliance's cord from the wall or turn off the circuit breaker or fuse that supplies the power to the circuit. Use a circuit tester to double-check that the circuit is off.
Equipment / Tools
- Circuit tester
- Screwdriver or nut driver
- New ignitor
- Ceramic wire nuts (as needed)
Access the Ignitor
Once you are sure the power is off, open the oven door and remove the oven racks to allow access to the base plate. Remove the two screws holding the base cover on. They are located at the rear of the oven plate. Pull the oven plate out and you'll be able to see the ignitor.
Remove the Old Ignitor
Locate the ignitor and observe carefully how it is situated. You will install the new ignitor in exactly the same way.
Unplug the two wires (or wire harness) connected to the ignitor. If the ignitor wires are joined to the appliance wires with wire nuts, untwist the wire nuts to free the wires. Remove the two screws that hold the ignitor in place and pull the ignitor from the oven.
Install the New Ignitor
Position the new ignitor in place, just like the old one. Handle the ignitor very carefully; it is fragile, and if it chips or cracks, you can't use it. Secure the ignitor with the two screws. Plug the wires or harness into the ignitor. If yours has wire nuts, connect the wires using new ceramic wire nuts.
Do not use plastic wire nuts, which would melt in the oven—this job should use ceramic wire nuts only.
Reassemble the Oven
Replace the cover plate on the bottom of the oven and secure it with the two screws at the rear of the plate. Install the oven racks. Now you are ready to test the oven's operation.
Test the Oven
Turn on the power to the circuit feeding the oven or plug the cord in. Set the oven to heat to make sure it ignites immediately and warms up normally.