An electric oven is designed to heat to the temperature that you’ve set. Still, a malfunctioning component can cause it to overheat and cause itself damage (while ruining your cooking!).
The top five reasons for an overheating electric oven are a blocked vent, food stains and grime on the temperature sensor, grounded heating element, failed temperature sensor or faulty main control board. Of course, it is possible to fix any of those causes yourself, assuming you have the correct replacement parts and tools. Still, hiring a qualified technician will save you time and stress.
In this guide, we’ll explore the top five reasons why your electric oven is overheating. But before that, let’s take a look at a few valuable tips to consider before you begin troubleshooting or repairing the appliance.
Useful Tips For Troubleshooting Your Electric Oven
No matter what brand or model your electric oven might be, here are some quickfire tips to remember before you begin troubleshooting the appliance:
- Disconnect: Always disconnect the electric oven from its power source before you start working on it. Doing this will protect you from injury and electrocution.
- That means pulling the plug out of the wall socket or shutting off the dedicated circuit breaker if it’s a hardwired oven.
- Get The Manual: All electric ovens tend to have similar components. However, their designs can vary between models and brands. So, before you begin any troubleshooting, always keep your user manual and technical sheet nearby. They will act as quick references to help you locate and identify parts of your oven.
- Cool Down: Suppose you just used your oven, and it’s still hot inside. In that case, always give your oven enough time to cool down inside and out before you try to troubleshoot it. Even if you think the appliance is cool on the exterior, some parts you touch inside might still be red hot.
- As a rule of thumb, let the oven cool down for at least 45 minutes before you work on it.
5 Reasons Why Your Electric Oven Is Overheating
Now that we’re ready to troubleshoot your oven, let’s look at the most likely causes for the overheating. They include a blocked vent, food stains and grime, a grounded heating element, a failed temperature sensor, and a faulty main control board.
How it happens: All electric ovens have vents that help to optimize airflow inside the appliance. But, more importantly, those vents allow air to escape so that the pressure inside doesn’t get dangerously high.
There are several ways that the vents can get blocked. For example, the oven might be placed against a wall or other object, stopping air from escaping the vents.
Besides that, the vents might be blocked with dust or even burnt food bits built up over time.
When the vent is blocked, it prevents the air inside from flowing optimally. As a result, the oven becomes much hotter than it should be.
How to fix it: Firstly, locate the vents on your electric oven. Then, ensure that none of them is blocked by other objects or the oven’s placement near walls and other vertical surfaces.
Once the oven has cooled down, you can clean any blockages off the vent using a brush.
Grounded Heating Element
What it is: The heating element inside the oven is responsible for generating the heat necessary to cook your meals. It consists of an electrical conductor with high resistance. So, when electricity flows through it, it will generate heat as needed by the oven.
Depending on your oven brand and model, there might be more than one heating element, typically one for broiling and baking.
How it fails: As an electrical conductor, the heating element should not contact any other metal surfaces. However, if its protective housing has broken and the live wire touches another metal part, it’ll generate heat even when it shouldn’t.
As a result, your electric oven gets too hot.
How to fix it: The solution to this problem is to replace the heating element with a new one. Unfortunately, if it is grounding out, the protective housing is broken and can’t be repaired. So, the heating element must be removed by detaching it from the oven and then plugging in a new one.
Failed Temperature Sensor
What it is: Inside your electric oven is a sensor that continuously measures the temperature inside. When it senses that the oven isn’t hot enough, it’ll turn on the heating element. But once the oven reaches your set temperature, it’ll trigger the element to turn off until it’s needed again.
How it fails: The temperature sensor expands and repeatedly contracts every time you use the oven. Unfortunately, that repetitive process can cause the sensor to fail and measure temperature incorrectly.
In this case, the failed temperature sensor mistakenly thinks that the oven isn’t hot enough. So, it keeps the heating element on for too long, causing the oven to overheat.
How to fix it: A failed temperature sensor must be replaced with a new one. In most cases, you’ll find it mounted inside the oven towards the back, at one of the top corners.
To replace it, unthread the mounting screws holding it in place. Then, pull the sensor out and disconnect its wire harness.
Next, connect the wire harness to the new sensor. Lastly, screw the new temperature sensor into place.
Food Stains And Grime
How it happens: Even though the temperature sensor might be causing your oven to overheat, the sensor itself might still be working correctly. However, if the sensor is covered in food stains and grime, that will prevent it from measuring the oven’s temperature accurately.
As a result, the sensor will underestimate the temperature and cause the oven to overheat.
How to fix it: If this is the case, all you have to do is clean the temperature sensor thoroughly with a damp piece of cloth.
Faulty Main Control Board
What it is: The main control board is a printed circuit board (PCB) that controls all of your oven’s functions. On it, you’ll find plenty of tiny components that send electrical signals and power to the oven’s many parts.
How it fails: Some of the relays or other electrical parts on the PCB can fail from general wear. However, excess heat from the oven could also damage the board, which prevents it from working correctly. As a result, the temperature sensor and heating element might malfunction, leading to the oven overheating.
How to fix it: The main control board cannot be repaired, so it must be replaced. Firstly, you must remove the oven’s panels to access the board’s housing. Then, you’ll have to disconnect the wire harnesses attached to it and free the board.
Next, mount the new board in its place before reattaching all the wire harnesses the same way as before.
Finally, replace all of the panels that you removed earlier.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some other FAQs related to your oven overheating.
Can You Repair An Oven Yourself?
Yes, you can repair your overheating electric oven by yourself. However, to do that, you must first source the correct replacement parts and ensure that you have essential tools like screwdrivers.
However, if you feel unsure about repairing your oven yourself, it’s always best to hire a qualified technician.
Is It Worth Getting An Oven Repaired?
Yes, in most cases, it’s worth repairing your overheating oven. That’s especially true if the oven is relatively new and still has many good years left ahead.
However, if your oven is already very old and the repairs are expensive, then you’ll be better off investing in a new model.
How Long Should An Oven Last?
With proper maintenance, you can expect an electric oven to last more than ten years.