One issue that you might experience with a GE oven is its buttons not working. Unresponsive buttons will prevent you from using the oven at all, even if all of its components are in excellent working order.
When troubleshooting a GE oven with unresponsive buttons, start by confirming it has incoming power and that the Child Lock feature isn’t active. Once you rule those out as a root cause, check for a loose or damaged ribbon cable or a faulty control board. You can firmly push a loose cable into place, but a damaged cable or faulty control board will require replacements.
This problem is frustrating, but you can resolve it without taking too much time. Keep reading this guide to learn how!
No Incoming Power
What’s happening: When you push the buttons on your GE ovens but get no response, first check that the oven is receiving incoming power. It’s the quickest thing to check, which is why you should do it before troubleshooting anything else.
If your GE oven isn’t receiving any power, there are three possibilities:
- First, the oven’s plug isn’t in the wall socket.
- Second, the dedicated circuit breaker for the oven is turned off.
- Third, the oven’s fuse has blown, cutting its electrical circuit.
Any of the 3 issues above could prevent the oven from receiving power. As a result, the appliance won’t respond when you push its buttons.
How to resolve it: You can fix this issue by checking the oven’s plug. Put the plug into the wall socket and push it all the way in to receive power.
Then, check that the circuit breaker is in the ON position. You’ll find the circuit breaker in your household’s main electrical box.
Lastly, check that the oven’s fuse isn’t blown. If it is, you’ll have to replace it with a new one so the oven can receive power and respond when you press its buttons.
Child Lock Is Active
What it is: GE ovens also come with a Child Lock feature. Unfortunately, most buttons on the oven’s control panel will not work when the feature is on.
That’s because Child Lock is a protective feature that prevents children from operating the oven when it’s active. By disabling most of the buttons, children can press the buttons without any response from the oven.
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What’s happening: When you find that the oven will turn on but doesn’t respond to your button pushes, the Child Lock feature is likely active. As a result, nothing happens when you try to input new settings to the oven.
How to resolve it: You can solve this problem quickly with a straightforward solution. All you have to do is disable the Child Lock feature. That will make all the buttons work again.
Loose or Damaged Ribbon Cable
What it is: When you push buttons on the control panel, it sends electrical signals to various oven components to carry out your instructions. The control panel sends those signals through several connectors, including wires and a ribbon cable.
The cable consists of several electrical wires with insulation. As the name suggests, the cables are arranged flat and resemble a ribbon.
What’s happening: Suppose your GE oven turns on, but some or all buttons fail to respond when you push them on the control panel. In that case, the issue is likely with the ribbon cable inside.
Firstly, it’s likely that the ribbon cable has come loose. Even though the cable has connectors that clip into place, they can still come loose after being in use for many years.
That will result in electrical signals failing to travel through the cable. As a result, the oven is unresponsive when you push buttons.
Besides that, it’s also possible for the ribbon cable to suffer damage. For example, a short circuit will cause parts of the cable to overheat and burn or melt. That damage will also cause the buttons to become unresponsive.
How to resolve it: You must take a close look at the ribbon cable to fix this problem. You must disconnect the oven from its power supply and shut off its circuit breaker for your safety.
Then, you must open the control panel to check the cable. The solution will depend on the condition of the ribbon cable. So:
- If the ribbon cable is in good condition but has come loose, you’ll have to push it firmly into place again.
- If the ribbon cable is melted, burnt, or damaged in any way, you must remove and replace it with a new one.
Faulty Main Control Board
What it is: The main control board acts as the brain of your GE oven. In most cases, the main control board and control panel combine into one piece. However, it’s also possible that the two are separate components.
In either case, the main control board consists of a printed circuit board (PCB) that carries plenty of electrical and electronic components.
When you push a button on your GE oven’s control panel, the main control board and its components will send electrical signals to control the oven’s components.
What’s happening: Your oven’s main control board can fail due to an electrical fault. For example, a short circuit or power surge could damage some or all of the components on the board.
Although it’s less likely, it’s also possible that excess heat from the oven reaches the main control board. That will also cause the board to overheat and fail as a result.
When any of that happens, some or all of the buttons on the control panel won’t work. Or, the buttons will respond incorrectly when you push them, doing something you didn’t want it to do.
How to resolve it: Unfortunately, the main control board is not a repairable part of your GE oven. So once you confirm that this is the root cause of your problem, you’ll have to replace it with a new one.
The main control board is one of the costliest parts to replace in an oven. That’s why it should always be the last thing you check in your troubleshooting process.
As you saw above, GE ovens often combine the control panel and main control board into one component.
So, besides getting a new main control board, you’ll be pleased to know that you’re also getting new buttons and a new overlay as well in the same package.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some other helpful answers that will help you troubleshoot your GE oven when the buttons stop working:
Is There A Reset Button On My GE Oven?
No, there is no dedicated reset button on your GE oven. So, you’ll have to reset it manually by cycling its power. That means to turn the oven off and on again.
Besides that, some models will also have a button sequence you can press to reset the appliance. You must refer to the user manual for information on how to do that, as it’s unique to your oven model.
How Do I Reset My GE Oven Control Panel?
The quickest way to reset your GE oven control panel is to completely disconnect it from all power. Take its plug out from the wall socket or shut off the dedicated circuit breaker.
Once you disconnect the oven, leave it alone for at least 60 seconds. Any leftover electricity in the oven will dissipate during that time, resetting the appliance and its components.
After that time passes, you can reconnect the oven and use it normally again.
What Are The Lock Controls On A GE Oven?
Some GE ranges have a Lock Controls feature that disables the oven control panel while allowing you to use the surface burners. Despite that, the Cancel/Off button will still function even when the Lock Controls feature is enabled.
How Do You Unlock The Child Lock On A GE Oven?
You can enable and disable the Child Lock feature on a GE oven by pressing and holding the button for 3 seconds.