Gas ovens are versatile appliances that can cook a wide range of recipes. But, unfortunately, all of them need time to preheat before you can use them, no matter how modern or high-tech your oven might be. But what happens if the oven takes far too long to preheat?
When a gas oven takes forever to preheat, it’s most likely because the oven igniter is not working correctly. Besides that, a defective thermostat, wiring problems, a faulty gas safety valve, or a faulty control board could also cause the same problem. Most of these components will need a replacement if they’re not working correctly anymore.
Troubleshooting your gas oven can be pretty intimidating, but that’s no reason to worry. This guide will clear the air to help you understand what’s causing your problems and how you can fix them.
Why Is My Oven Taking Forever To Preheat?
When a gas oven takes too long to preheat, you can narrow it down to a handful of likely causes. In most cases, you’ll find that a faulty oven igniter is causing this problem.
However, problems at the thermostat, wiring, gas safety valve and even the oven control board can also cause the appliance to heat too slowly.
Let’s take a closer look at each of those components, how they can delay your oven’s preheating, and what you can do to fix them.
Faulty Oven Igniter
What this part does: The igniter is one of the most critical components in your gas oven. It will become hot enough to glow bright orange when it receives electricity. That will trigger the oven to open its gas safety valve while simultaneously igniting the gas that comes out.
As you can see, the igniter is responsible for kickstarting the heat generation process inside your gas oven.
What’s likely happening: When your oven takes too long to preheat, that means something is preventing it from generating heat at a standard rate. The most likely cause is a faulty oven igniter that isn’t becoming hot enough.
Gas oven igniters typically last 4-5 years. If your oven is older than that, you can expect a fault to develop in the igniter sooner or later.
That fault will set off a chain reaction. First, the igniter fails to reach its optimal temperature. Then, the gas safety valve will not open as fully as it should.
Lastly, the oven will generate little heat, delaying the preheating process.
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How you can fix it: You can fix this problem by replacing the faulty igniter. Firstly, disconnect the oven from its power source. Then, remove all the racks inside the oven compartment.
You’ll find the igniter at the bottom of your gas oven, under the bottom panel. Once you do, disconnect its electrical connectors and unthread its screws to remove it.
That will allow you to mount the new igniter in its place. Make sure you replace the electrical connectors firmly, so they don’t come loose later.
Defective Temperature Sensor
What this part does: The next part to troubleshoot is the thermostat. Its job is to continually sense how hot the oven is so that the appliance can raise or lower its temperature as needed.
The thermostat is in the shape of a short metal rod that you’ll find on the oven’s back panel. Manufacturers typically place it closer to one of the top corners.
What’s likely happening: In this case, the most reasonable explanation is that the thermostat has become defective. That means the thermostat mistakenly thinks your oven is already hot, even though it’s not.
As a result, the defective thermostat will prevent the oven from raising its temperature as fast as it should, thereby delaying the preheating process.
How you can fix it: Unfortunately, the thermostat is another component that’s not repairable. So, you’ll have to replace it with a new one.
Thankfully, the replacement process is pretty straightforward. First, remove the screws holding the thermostat against the oven’s back panel.
As you pull it out, do so gently. There’s a wire leading into the oven’s back panel that you’ll need to remove from the electrical connector inside.
What’s likely happening: As you troubleshoot the igniter and the thermostat as described above, you should also look closely at the wires that connect to them. In some cases, the component might work perfectly fine, but it’s the wiring that has problems.
For example, the wiring might be loose, damaged, or burnt.
Remember: the igniter and thermostat are both inside the oven compartment, and they’re exposed to lots of heat each time you use the appliance. So any little exposure of those wires to heat could cause them to burn.
How you can fix it: If the components work alright, but the wires are damaged, you’ll only have to focus on the wires. For example, you’ll have to replace burnt wires or splice any broken ones.
Some wire connections might also be loose, in which case you’ll just have to tighten them firmly.
Faulty Gas Safety Valve
What this part does: As mentioned in the beginning, the gas safety valve works alongside the igniter. When the igniter generates enough heat, the gas valve will open and allow gas into the oven to ignite and generate heat.
This valve protects the oven’s safety by restricting gas when the oven isn’t running hot.
What’s likely happening: After ruling out the first 3 reasons above, you’ll have to troubleshoot the gas safety valve. There could be a mechanical or electrical fault that prevents it from opening and supplying gas to the oven normally.
Without enough gas, the oven cannot preheat as fast as usual.
How you can fix it: The gas safety valve is relatively expensive to replace compared to many other oven components. So, you’ll want to test it with a multimeter to make sure it’s the root cause.
Once you are sure that the gas safety valve is to blame, you’ll have to replace it with a new one. Since the valve relates directly to the oven’s gas system, it’s always best to hire a qualified technician to replace it for you.
Failed Oven Control Board
What this part does: Some brands and models rely on an oven control board. That is a printed circuit board (PCB) that coordinates all of the oven’s functions, including the parts mentioned above (i.e., the gas safety valve, the igniter, and more).
What’s likely happening: A failed oven control board is the least likely reason on this list. Still, if you can’t find the solution after troubleshooting everything else, the control board may have failed.
When that happens, your gas oven’s functions will not work correctly. That will likely lead to the oven taking too long to preheat, as well.
How you can fix it: You can’t repair a failed oven control board, so the only solution is to replace it. First, locate and identify the control board on your gas oven.
Then, disconnect the many wires attached to it before removing the board entirely. You can then install the new board in its place and reconnect the wires the same way as before.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Still a bit confused about troubleshooting your gas oven? Don’t worry. Here are a few additional questions and answers to help you.
Do Gas Ovens Need To Preheat?
Yes, all ovens need to preheat before cooking food inside them. So, it’s not practical to cook food inside your oven if it takes too long to preheat.
How Long Does It Take A Gas Oven To Preheat To 350?
It’ll typically take a gas oven between 8 and 10 minutes to preheat to 350. So, you can use that timeframe as a benchmark to know if your oven is taking too long to preheat.
How Do I Know When My Gas Oven Is Preheated?
Different gas oven brands and models will use unique indicators to let you know the oven is preheated. For example, some will display a notification on the digital display, while others might rely on a light to tell you instead.
Can I Replace A Gas Oven Igniter?
Yes, you can replace a gas oven igniter. It’s a fairly straightforward process that doesn’t take too long. You’ll find the igniter at the bottom of your oven compartment, under the bottom panel. First, disconnect its wire connections and unthread the screws holding it in place. Then, reinstall the new igniter the same way.
How Do I Know If My Oven Igniter Is Broken?
You’ll know the oven igniter is broken if it doesn’t glow as brightly as it usually does when you turn the oven on. A softer-than-usual glow means that the igniter is failing, while one that doesn’t turn on at all has already failed and requires a replacement.