Built In Oven Troubleshooting Guide

3 built in appliances lined up

A troubleshooting guide for your built-in oven.

If you’re experiencing a problem with your oven, it can be tricky to figure out what the cause is. In this guide, we discuss common oven problems, and things you can do to find out what’s causing them. This will help you to find the route of the problem quicker! Luckily, most ovens can be fixed with a replacement of the faulty part/s.

You must never attempt to carry out any replacements yourself. Doing so is incredibly dangerous and will likely void your warranty. You must enlist the help of a certified professional.

11 Common Oven Problems and How to Troubleshoot Them

1. Oven Not Heating Up (Or Oven Not Turning On)

One of the most obvious problems you may encounter is your oven not heating up. There are a few possible causes for this, so it’s important to check each one to determine the cause.


First, if you have an electric oven, check for obvious problems with the power connection. This includes damages to the wire or a damaged outlet. If you notice any damage, call an electrician – do not try and fix the problem yourself!

Check your circuit breaker. A circuit breaker may have tripped, stopping your oven from receiving power. If it has tripped, switch it back to “on” and check to see if your oven is now working.

Next, you should check if your oven’s fuse has blown. This is a safety device that stops your oven from overheating. You can use a multimeter to check if your fuse is still working. If not, you’ll need to replace it.

Door Seal

A faulty oven door seal can also cause your oven to not heat properly. This happens when the seal, otherwise known as an oven gasket, it damaged or has a gap. You may be able to visibly see any gaps or damage. If not, check if you can feel hot air escaping around the door when you turn it on.


A broken thermostat can prevent your oven from heating up. You can check to see if your oven thermostat is working by placing a multimeter on it. If it measures at zero or close to, it’s working. If it doesn’t provide a reading, your thermostat is broken and will need replacing.

Gas Ovens

If you have a gas oven,  check if the igniter is glowing brightly. If it isn’t lighting the gas after 90 seconds, it likely needs to be replaced.

Electric Ovens

If you have an electric oven, you may have a faulty heating element. This can be checked with a multimeter to see if it’s working properly.

Finally, other issues may be present such as a need to calibrate your oven or burnt-out internal elements.

2. Uneven Cooking

An oven with uneven cooking often indicates a problem. There may be a simple fix, such as cleaning or removing trays to improve heat circulation. You should also ensure that the oven door is kept closed during cooking, and the oven seal isn’t damaged.

If the problem persists, follow these troubleshooting steps to determine the problem:

Check that the oven fan is working properly. The most obvious sign of a faulty oven fan is loud noises such as grinding, screeching, or clunking.

Next, check to see if the heating element is working (if your oven is electric). A multimeter can be used to check functionality.

After a while, your oven may become uncalibrated. To recalibrate your oven you can use an oven thermometer to check if the temperature settings are correct. 

Finally, a broken temperature sensor can cause uneven cooking in electric ovens. Ensure that your sensor is at a 90° angle and look for any obvious signs of damage.

3. Tripping Circuit Breaker

Is the circuit breaker tripping every time you turn on your oven? Try these troubleshooting steps to find the cause:

Try turning the circuit break off and on again – it may fix the problem!

If not, try unplugging something else. You may have too many electrical items connected to the same circuit.

Check if the circuit breaker trips when you turn on other large appliances in the same circuit. If it does, your circuit breaker itself may be faulty and need replacing. You may also have outdated wiring that needs to be replaced.

Check your oven for a blown bulb, broken heating element, or other faulty elements. These may be drawing more power than usual, tripping the system.

4. Oven Door Not Closing

If your oven door isn’t closing properly, the hinges may be loose or have become unaligned. This may be something that you’re able to fix yourself. First, use a screwdriver to tighten any screws. If this doesn’t fix it, remove the door following any instructions in your user manual. You can then clean the door and the connections and grease the moving parts. Once you reinstall the door on your oven, it should close properly. If not, you’ll need to call out a professional.

5. Defective Fan Motor

Signs of a defective fan motor include making high-pitched or unusual sounds or running slowly. This results in the oven being unable to heat efficiently. If your fan motor isn’t working as it should, it will need to be replaced.

6. Faulty Oven Seal

A faulty oven seal, otherwise known as an oven gasket, will allow heat to escape. This leads to inefficient cooking, or the melting of your control knobs. To check if your oven seal is damaged, first view it for visible cracks or gaps. If you’re unable to find anything wrong on first inspection, close the oven door and turn it on. Feel around the oven to see if you can feel any warm air escaping. If you do, this means that there’s a gap. Any faulty oven seals should be replaced.

Oven seal peeling off

7. Oven Clock Not Working

If you oven clock isn’t displaying the right time after being set, something may be wrong. The most common reason it displays the wrong time is because it hasn’t been changed to reflect daylight saving times. If this is the case, you can just update the time. 

The clock itself may need to be repaired or replaced. If the clock isn’t set, it could be due to a power surge.

8. Oven Keeps Sparking

If you hear a continuous clicking noise and your built-in gas oven keeps sparking, the problem could be as simple as your ignition dial sticking.

This will be causing your oven to continuously try to light, using unnecessary fuel and potentially creating a fire risk. Give your dials a really thorough clean to prevent them from sticking.

If this doesn’t work, please call a Gas Safe Engineer to come out to resolve the issue for you.

It’s vital that you never try to fix a built-in gas oven yourself unless you are a Gas Safe certified professional.

9. Broken Thermostat

Cooking at the correct temperature is vital to creating delicious dishes. The wrong temperature could result in overcooked or undercooked, inedible food.

So, if your oven thermometer is broken, you won’t know if you’re cooking at the desired temperature and the oven won’t regulate the heat correctly.

How do you know if your oven thermostat is broken? One clue that your oven thermometer is broken will be if the indicator light doesn’t switch on, or it doesn’t switch off when the set temperature is reached. Alternatively, if the thermostat light stays on all the time the problem may not lie with your thermometer, but with your heating element.

10. Built-In Oven is Smoking When Turned On

The most common cause of smoke coming out of your oven is burning food residue and spillages. This is why it’s vital to not only regularly clean your oven, but to also carry out a periodic deep clean.

If your oven continues to smoke following this, you should call out an engineer to check that everything is working as it should be and identify the underlying cause.

11. Abnormal Smell From Oven

If you smell sulfur, or something like rotten eggs or rotten cabbage, you may have a gas leak. You and all other housemembers and pets should leave the house immediately. Call 0800 111 999 for advice. 

If your oven is brand new, you’re most likely smelling the new oven smell. To get rid of this, set your oven to 200°C for 30 minutes. During this time, you may want to turn on your extraction fan and open the windows.

Another cause of unusual smells if due to a build up of charred food. Giving your oven a good clean may fix your smell problem. If your oven has a self-cleaning function, run this cycle to assist in the process.

Oven maintenance

As mentioned above, you may experience problems with your oven if it not well maintained. This involves regular cleaning, and inspecting various elements to ensure it is working as it should.

How Do You Level A Built-In Oven?

Because built-in ovens don’t have adjustable legs, their level depends on the cavity. Therefore, before installing your built-in oven use a spirit level to ensure the cavity is level.

To do this, place the spirit level along the width, depth, and diagonally across the bottom of the housing. This will give you a good reading of how level the cabinet is. If you find it’s not level, you can fix it by installing wooden boards or something similar.

If you already have a built-in oven that you are replacing and haven’t experienced any problems previously, you should be good to go. Nonetheless, it doesn’t hurt to double-check.

Holding up a yellow spirit level in front of blue background

What Happens If An Oven Is Not Level?

Ovens need to be level (also known as balanced) to ensure the oven is heating correctly. If not, the heat will be incorrectly distributed, which results in an uneven cook.

Furthermore, if you’re cooking a dish containing liquid, an unbalanced oven will cause the liquid to lean to one side of the pot or casserole dish. This may result in some of the uncovered meat or vegetables being overcooked.

How To Remove a Built-In Oven

Before replacing your oven, you will first need to remove the old model. Here’s a quick and easy step-by-step guide:

  • Ensure the power to the built-in oven is switched off. Not just at the wall, but at the fuse too. If you’re removing an electric oven, make sure it has been switched off at the wall and unplugged. If you’re uninstalling a gas oven, make sure the supply has been turned off.
  • Check the face of your old built-in oven to see if it has been secured in place with mounting screws. If it has, remove these. There may be additional screws within the cavity (the inside walls of the oven) that need to be removed too, depending on the model.
  • Lay out something in front of the wall for you to put the oven down onto to protect your floor. You may want to lay something padded down just in case you lose your grip and the oven falls.
  • Slowly pull the old oven out of the cavity. Please ask somebody to help you with this step, as it will be incredibly heavy – built-in ovens can weigh 80 kilograms or more! Edge it out from the cabinet slowly.
  • Recycle your old unwanted oven. Some councils will do this for free. If that’s not possible, we can take ownership of your old oven when we deliver your new one and recycle it on your behalf. You can find more information about this service here.

You’re now ready to have your new built-in oven installed by a professional.


  • How Do You Wire a Built-In Oven?

For your safety, its recommended to either have an electrician or a Gas Safe Engineer wire your oven. Doing it yourself can be dangerous. It can also invalidate your warranty if something goes wrong.

  • Why Does My Oven Need To Be Preheated?

Cooking your food for the recommended time without first preheating your oven can result in undercooked or soggy food. It’s therefore important to preheat your oven every time it is used.

When you first turn your oven on it will be cold, and will take time to reach the required temperature. The hotter the temperature, the longer it will take the oven to reach it. Preheating your oven involves setting the temperature and leaving your oven to achieve this before placing your food inside.

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