Built In Oven Troubleshooting

A row of built in appliances (ovens and a coffee machine) in a white kitchen, with a breakfast bar.

Even with the most loving care and attention, you’ll sometimes run into an issue with any kitchen appliance and built-in ovens are no different.

But that doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to struggle. At Appliance City, we’re proud to stock household appliances that enhance your daily life. We also believe in good maintenance and fixing issues as they come to elongate the lifetime of your appliances.

To help, we’ve put together this guide, which includes information on measuring your cabinetry for a new built-in oven and answered some common questions on how to tackle potential problems you may face over the years following installation.


About Appliance City

Appliance City has spent the last 35 years building their brand into one of the UK’s largest independent appliance retailers.

We only stock items from brands we know and trust and are always on hand with no obligation help and advice should you need it.

Let’s start our troubleshooting guide with how to measure your kitchen cabinet space in anticipation of a new built-in oven:

How Do You Measure for a Built-In Oven?

The place your new built-in oven is going to be installed is called a cavity. Usually, they are fitted within kitchen cabinetry.

Before you can even start shopping, you need to know how much space you have available. That will dictate the size of the built-in oven you can shop for.

The great news is that this is a pretty straightforward process, especially if you’re replacing an older model. Here’s what you do:

1) Measure the height and width of the existing unit. (Note that the lip of the oven which is used to fasten it to the furniture is normally a centimetre or two wide).

2) Measure the cavity itself. You may need to pull your oven out slightly for this. If so, we recommend asking someone to help to prevent any incidents or damage to your built-in oven. To get the oven out of position, unscrew it from the cabinet and slowly pull it out slightly, but not completely.

3) Take measurements from left to right and up and down on both sides of the cavity (so you’d measure the width at the top of the cavity and the bottom and vice versa for the height).

4) If there is a slight difference in the two values, use the smallest measurement as your point of reference.

5) You can now restore the oven to its original position and screw it back into place if you had to move it.

You now have accurate measurements of the cavity and can use this to inform your purchase. If you need help choosing from the wide range of models available, you may find our built-in oven buying guide helpful.

How To Remove a Built-In Oven

If you are replacing your oven, you will need to remove the old model from the wall safely. Here’s a quick and easy step-by-step guide:

1) 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.

2) 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.

3) 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.

4) 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.

5) 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?

Woman holding different wires

When it comes to installing a gas oven, this should only be carried out by a certified Gas Safe Engineer. You may be able to install an electric oven yourself, but we also suggest you request the assistance of a qualified electrician.

With that in mind, we’re providing the following information to help you understand the process for when a professional technician is fitting your built-in oven on your behalf.

So, when your built-in oven arrives, this is what the installation process will look like:

1) The person carrying out the installation will carefully remove the packaging and may check that it is working properly.

2) They will then insert the new built-in oven into the cavity and connect it to the fuel source.

3) Finally, they will mount screws onto the lip (on the face of the oven) and drill these in to keep it firmly in position. They may also use mounting screws on the inside wall for additional security if the model allows.

Once this has been done, all that’s left is for you to give your new built-in oven a quick clean and it’s ready to go!

Now that your brand new built-in oven has been safely installed, we’ve collated answers to some common oven problems you may experience over the years to help you face them head-on:

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 your oven is not level, then the heat will be incorrectly distributed resulting in an uneven cook.

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

With that in mind, it’s important to check the oven is level as it is being installed and afterwards. It’s a really quick and straightforward process. Here’s how:

Spirit level

How Do You Level A Built-In Oven?

Whilst range cookers have adjustable legs that are used to change the level of the cooker, for a built-in oven, its level depends entirely on the cavity. Before installing the built-in oven, use a spirit level to determine this.

Run the spirit level along the width, depth and diagonally across the bottom of the housing (cabinet). If it is not level, you will have to place some wooden boards or a similar object to make sure that it is.

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

Why Does My Oven Need To Be Preheated?

You’ve probably noticed that most cooking instructions require you to preheat your oven – but what is preheating and why is it so important?

Putting your food in and timing the cooking duration without preheating can result in undercooked or soggy food, so it’s important to preheat your oven every time it is used.

When you first turn your built-in 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.

Why Won’t My Oven Heat Up?

One of the most common causes of a built-in oven not heating up is a faulty igniter or heating element depending on what fuel your oven runs off.

If you have a built-in gas oven, it will be the gas igniter that’s causing a problem.

If you own an electric oven, it will be the heating element that may need replacing.

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.

Orange casserole dish being placed in oven

Why Does My Cooker Keep 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.

How Do I Know if My Oven Thermostat is Broken?

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.

One clue that your oven thermometer is broken will be if the indicator light doesn’t switch on, or off when the set temperature is reached. Alternatively, if the thermostat light is staying on all the time, this suggests that the problem lies not with your thermometer, but with your heating element.

Why is My Fan Oven Rattling?

Unusual noises coming from any kitchen appliance always feel worrisome. If you’re hearing a rattling noise emanating from your oven it will likely be due to the oven fan motor, the cooling fan motor, or some internal bearings wearing out.

To diagnose the problem, you’ll need to either contact your oven manufacturer or call an engineer to come and investigate.

Why is My Built-In Oven Smoking When Turned On?

The most common cause of smoke coming out of your oven is food residue and spillages from previous cooks starting to burn.

This is why it’s vital to not only clean your oven regularly 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.

Is it Worth Repairing a Built-In Oven?

When you consider the cost of a brand new built-in oven and the current economic situation, it’s more than worth fixing any problems that you can to elongate the life cycle of your oven.

However, if your oven is old and the problems are extensive, you may be better off upgrading to a new model with new features for an even better cooking experience.

An additional consideration is the energy rating of your old model. Upgrading to an A-A++ energy-rated oven could reduce your energy consumption and energy bills.

Cinnamon buns being taken out of the oven

What is the Life Expectancy of a Built-In Oven?

The average built-in oven is set to last for 10-15 years, so if your oven is still considered to be young, you may want to look into troubleshooting and repairing. If it is reaching ‘old age’ then it may be worth shopping for a new one.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace an Oven?

Upgrading your built-in oven doesn’t have to cost the earth, especially when you shop with us. We have models that start at £329 going up to £3,399 – so whatever your budget, there will be something for you.

Further Reading

Hopefully, this has addressed any queries you may have about your built-in oven. They’re a great way of saving space in your kitchen or maintaining the integrity of your kitchen’s design. Browse from our full range of built-in ovens here, including our outstanding selection supplied by Miele. For more great cooking appliances like our bright, colourful and powerful selection of range cookers, head over to our cooking section. For more helpful guides on built-in ovens, see here:

Buying an Electric Oven

Buying a Gas Oven

Buying a Steam Oven

How to Clean an Oven

Buying a Built-In Oven

Built-In Oven Measurement Guide