Troubleshooting Why Your Oven Won’t Heat

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It’s happened to all of us. You get home from work, starving, and you discover your oven won’t heat. Don’t panic – there are a few troubleshooting steps to try and fix the problem. Your oven’s heating element might be burned out, or there could be an issue with the igniter or thermostat. You can save time and money by troubleshooting the problem yourself before calling a repair technician.

How to Troubleshoot Why Your Oven Won’t Heat

If your oven won’t heat, first make sure your oven is getting power.

  • If it is an electric oven, ensure the breaker hasn’t been tripped.
  • If you have a gas oven, ensure the gas source is working.

Burned Out Bake Element

A faulty bake element is one of the most common reasons an oven won’t heat up. The bake element supplies heat for baking purposes and is located along the bottom of the oven.

If you have noticed sparking from your oven’s bake element, disconnect it from power immediately. Examine your bake element. If you see any charring, blistering, or discoloration, this is likely the culprit and will need to be replaced.


In a gas oven, an igniter draws electricity through the safety valve to open it, and once the igniter is hot enough, it will ignite the gas in the burner. A faulty igniter may fail to open the safety valve, and if the safety valve doesn’t open, the oven won’t heat.

To determine whether or not the igniter is faulty, inspect the igniter while the oven is on. If the igniter glows for longer than a minute or two without igniting the gas flame, the igniter is most likely faulty. If the igniter doesn’t glow at all, test it for continuity with a multimeter.

Faulty Temperature Sensor

If there’s no damage to the bake element, determine if the temperature sensor is working correctly. You probably won’t see any visible damage, but a failing temperature sensor won’t provide an accurate temperature reading.

Testing the temperature sensor can vary depending on the model of the oven, so check your Owner’s Manual for instructions on how to test it. You can also test the temperature sensor for continuity with a multimeter.

oven won't heat

 Oven Calibration

If the issue isn’t with the temperature sensor, your oven may need to be calibrated. It’s a fairly simple process that you can do yourself. Refer to your Owner’s Manual to find the calibration dial on your oven.

Once you locate the calibration dial, turn the screw clockwise to raise the temperature or counterclockwise to lower the temperature. Each turn will change the temperature by a few degrees.

Thermal Fuse

The thermal fuse may be tripped if your oven is still not heating after calibration. The thermal fuse is a safety feature that shuts off power to the oven if the temperature gets too hot.

You can determine if the thermal fuse is the issue with a multimeter to test for continuity. The thermal fuse will need to be replaced if there is no continuity.

If you are still experiencing issues with your oven, watch the video below for steps to troubleshoot why your oven won’t heat or call the oven repair experts at Tiger Mechanical. We’ll get your oven up and running in time for dinner! 

Having quite the opposite problem? Find out why your electric oven overheats here.

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