Few things are more spooky than a home appliance that turns on by itself. While that might be the stuff of horror movies, it can be a reality when it comes to gas ovens. Even though it’s unlikely, gas ovens are known to turn on themselves.
A gas oven can turn on by itself if there’s a fault with the temperature sensor, control panel, main control board, or electrical wiring.
Keep reading as we help you uncover what causes this problem and how it can be fixed.
Why Does My Gas Oven Turn On By Itself?
The most likely reasons your gas oven turns on by itself are a problematic temperature sensor, faulty control panel or program selector, stuck relay on the main control board, or wiring and electrical problems.
Tip: Before Troubleshooting Or Repairing Your Gas Oven
Like most people, you’re probably keen on getting started right away. However, there are a few safety precautions you should take first.
For starters, always disconnect the oven from its electrical power supply. Then, shut off its gas supply as well. Doing both of these things will reduce your risk of injury and electrocution.
Also, be sure to keep your user manual or tech sheet nearby for easy reference.
Now that you’re prepared let’s look at the most likely reasons your gas oven turns on by itself.
Problematic Temperature Sensor
What it is: Gas ovens come equipped with a temperature sensor. You’ll find it attached to the back wall, typically at the upper-left or upper-right corners. The sensor looks like a short metal rod that sticks out into the oven compartment.
The temperature sensor continuously measures how hot the oven is at any given time. That data triggers the oven to heat up or cool down as needed.
How it fails: Normally, the temperature sensor will not work while the oven is turned off. However, a faulty sensor will continue measuring the temperature and mistakenly think it should trigger the oven to turn on.
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As a result, your oven will turn on by itself even when you don’t want it to.
How to fix it: Faulty temperature sensors must be replaced, as they’re not the kind of components that can be repaired. So, once the oven is cooled down and safety precautions have been taken, open the oven and locate the temperature sensor.
Next, unthread any screws holding it in place and disconnect the wire connector when you pull the sensor out.
Then, simply attach the wire connector to a new sensor and mount it onto the same part of your oven’s compartment.
Faulty Control Panel or Program Selector
What it is: Like all ovens, your gas oven model also has a control panel or program selector on its front panel. This is the part of your gas oven with knobs or other controls used to input your settings, such as your desired temperature and cooking duration.
How it fails: As you might imagine, the control panel is the part you touch with your fingers the most. Quite often, your fingers might be covered in oil, grease, or other food particles that can get stuck on the control panel.
Over an extended period, all of that oil and bits can get trapped in small nooks and crannies of the control panel, especially if the control panel is never cleaned. Unfortunately, that can cause the control panel to malfunction and turn the oven on without any input from you.
How to fix it: Firstly, you must clean your control panel thoroughly. On gas oven models with knobs, you can remove the knobs and clean any oil or dirt accumulated behind them. Some models might only have touch-sensitive buttons, which you can wipe away with a cloth.
However, if the problem is so severe that cleaning makes no difference, then you’ll have to replace the affected knob, program selector, or the entire control panel.
Stuck Relay on Main Control Board
What it is: The main control board is a printed circuit board (PCB) with plenty of tiny components on them. Some of those components are relays, which send electrical power to different oven parts at the correct times.
Because the main control board is responsible for coordinating all of the oven’s different parts, it’s often seen as the appliance’s ‘brain’.
How it fails: As mentioned before, relays on the main control board send power to components to turn on and work. Unfortunately, those relays can get stuck and power the oven even when you’re not around.
A faulty relay on the main control board can happen for several reasons. For example, an electrical fault like a power surge or short circuit could cause the relay to get stuck. Besides that, excess moisture and heat can also create a problematic relay.
How to fix it: Even though only one or a few relays might cause this problem, you must replace the entire main control board with a new one.
That process involves removing the panels on your oven to access the main control board housing. Once there, you can disconnect all of the wire harnesses attached to it and free the board.
Next, you’ll mount a new central control board in the same housing. Lastly, reconnect all of the wire harnesses the same way as before.
Wiring Or Other Electrical Problems
What it is: When troubleshooting problems with your gas oven, you should also pay close attention to its electrical wiring. Not only is there plenty of wiring inside of the appliance itself, but there’s also wiring connecting the oven to your household power supply.
In some cases, that wiring leads to a plug that connects to a nearby wall socket. However, some ovens are hardwired into the home. That means the oven has a wire that runs straight to the main electrical box and has a dedicated circuit breaker.
How it fails: Wiring problems can be caused by electrical faults. In turn, problematic wiring can cause other electrical faults, too. Common examples of these faults include power surges, short circuits, damaged wiring, and more.
Even though your oven relies on gas, it’s still an electrically powered appliance. So, electrical faults can cause it to turn on by itself.
How to fix it: Troubleshooting and fixing wiring or electrical problems are not safe as a DIY task. Instead, you must have a qualified technician diagnose the wiring inside the oven. If the problem is beyond the oven (i.e. the power supply or your household electrical system), then you’ll need to call a qualified electrician instead.
Is It Normal For A Gas Oven To Turn On And Off?
No, it’s not normal for a gas oven to turn on and off by itself. But, when this happens, it’s a crystal clear sign that your gas oven is experiencing a problem. So, you must troubleshoot and resolve the problem as soon as possible.
Suppose you decide to call a technician to fix it for you. While waiting for them to arrive, be sure to shut off the gas and electricity supply to the oven for safety reasons.
Is A Gas Oven Supposed To Have Flames?
Yes, gas ovens are supposed to have flames. Your gas oven works by igniting the gas and lighting flames to generate the heat you need to prepare your meals. But, of course, those flames are controlled and restricted to only certain parts of your oven, such as the bottom of the compartment.
Are You Supposed To Smell Gas When Using A Gas Oven?
Yes, it’s normal to experience a gas smell when you turn on your gas oven. The smell might linger for a few seconds but should go away as the gas is burned completely.
However, if you smell gas while the oven is off, or if that smell is a lot stronger than you think it should be, then you may have a gas leak.
Will A Carbon Monoxide Detector Detect A Gas Leak?
Unfortunately, no. A carbon monoxide detector will not detect a gas leak. That’s because carbon monoxide and natural gas are detected differently.
The good news is that you can purchase a natural gas detector as a standalone device. Better yet, there are plenty of combination detectors that sense both carbon monoxide and natural gas using the same unit.
How Do I Know If My Gas Oven Is Leaking?
Here are three common signs that suggest your gas oven is leaking:
- Noise: When your oven is turned off, no sounds should come from it. If you hear a whistling or hissing noise, that’s a sign that gas is leaking from the oven.
- Smell: Leaking gas smells like sulfur or rotten eggs. These odours are intentionally added to the gas so you’ll be able to smell when there’s a leak.
- Color: When your oven is on, its flames should burn blue. However, red or orange flames signify that some of that gas is leaking elsewhere.