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"The gas burner won't light, what steps should I take?"
First make sure that gas is reaching the burners. If only one of several isn't lighting, but the others are, you know it's a problem with the individual burner.
Most of the time, issues with individual burners are resolved by either cleaning, adjusting, or replacing parts. Try these steps:
Check the Burner's Parts and Alignment
Ovens and individual burners sometimes get bumped, causing individual parts like burner caps or burner heads to come out of alignment. This can prevent a burner from lighting properly. Inspect all the visible parts to make sure everything looks OK, and ensure that all the pieces are properly seated and aligned.
Clean the Burner
With the stove off, remove the burner heads and caps. Scrub each part to clean away any grease and food build-up. Use a pin or paperclip to clean the small holes that flames come through, if any of the holes are clogged. Check the owner's manual if you have any question about cleaning the burners.
Check the Ignitor
You should be able to hear a clicking sound when the gas is turned on. Also, you should be able to see the ignitor generating sparks that normally light the gas. If you can't hear the ignitor clicking, or you can't see sparks, inspect the ignitor more closely to see if any food or debris could be preventing ignition, and gently remove any foreign material.
If none of those steps work, it's time to call a local service pro.
"My gas oven won't heat, what should I do?"
Safety first: if you smell gas when the oven is off, shut off the gas line and call the gas company immediately.
If you're satisfied that there's no gas leak, check to be sure that gas and electricity are reaching the oven: start a burner on the stove to check for gas, and make sure the oven is plugged in and turned on.
Having ruled out possible gas or electrical supply issues, other causes for this problem include: a failed or failing ignitor, bake/broil elements, bake/broil spark electrodes, a thermal fuse, a wiring problem, or, a failed relay board.
If you're a DIY'er, check the ignitor. Review the owner's manual, then: turn off the circuit breaker, remove the plate inside the oven that covers the ignitor and heating elements, check to see that if ignitor is working; ignitors can partially fail, or fail completely, if the ignitor is not glowing, or only glows dimly, you will need to replace it.
If the ignitor is not the problem, or DIY is not your cup of tea, contact a local appliance professional.
"My oven isn't heating to the right temperature, how do I fix it?"
This issue can be hard to diagnose because there are so many possible causes. First, here are some quick things to check or consider:
Make sure you are pre-heating.
When food goes in too soon, ovens can seem to be under-heating and food doesn't come out as intended. Don't put food in to bake until the pre-heating level is reached. Make sure that no unneeded elements are impairing heating and heat flow.
For example some cooks leave baking pans or sheets of aluminum foil in the oven when backing, not realizing the negative effect this can have on performance.
If you have a convection oven, know which setting you're at.
Convection baking heats food faster than standard baking, so don't let an unintended convection setting surprise you by overcooking your food. Conversely, if you expected fast cooking on a standard setting, you'll be disappointed at the results.
A new oven will usually cook hotter and more efficiently than an old one.
Don't judge the new oven by the old one's performance.
If your oven is consistently too hot or too cool, but not by much…
Make a mental adjustment and account for the difference with a higher or lower temperature setting to offset the issue. A simple but effective hack!
Adjust the ovens' thermostat.
Many ovens offer the ability to adjust the thermostat. If you think your oven doesn't know what temperature it's cooking at, check the manual and make an adjustment.
Aside from the possible remedies above, other potential problems include: a bad temperature sensor, a bad heating element, a failing or failed control panel.
If you can't track down and fix the problem yourself, or you're not a DIY'er, call an oven expert.
"How do I fix a gas oven that won’t turn on?"
Gas ovens get their heating supply via gas, but rely on electrical power to manage and ignite the oven. Assuming you've confirmed that the oven is getting power, reasons for an over not starting up include: a failed or failing ignitor or igniting electrode, a loose wire or burnt wire, a bad thermostat, a bad control panel.
Skilled DIY'ers can check some of these issues by removing the panel that covered the ignitor and checking the ignitor/electrode, and wiring, and replacing any faulty components. Bad thermostats can be checked with a multimeter.
If you're not a DIY'er or just want help, contact a knowledgeable local appliance repair pro with expertise in oven repair.
"Should I repair or replace my gas oven/stove?"
If the cost of repair exceeds half the cost of a new gas oven, you may be better off replacing.
Ovens typically last anywhere from 10-20 years. If yours is getting up there in age, that's an additional reason to consider replacement. However, if the oven seems sturdy and you're happy with it, and the repair is isolated (e.g., a new ignitor switch), then by all means get it repaired.
Not everything is about cost or age … style matters too! If you've been thinking about getting a new, more contemporary oven anyway, or your current oven lacks features you want or need, now might be a good time to make the move.
New appliances are generally much more efficient, which saves not only energy but cost. Some local utility companies will pay to take your old appliance, and/or, give you a rebate on a new one. Check with your utility company to see what's possible.