Ovens have been around for hundreds of years, and one thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that they’re incredibly temperamental! To make sure you’re never left wondering why your oven turns off by itself for no apparent reason, we’ve put together this handy guide looking at some of the most common causes. There are common reasons that this could happen. If you find yourself experiencing any of these issues, do not use the oven until the issue is resolved.
Ovens that shut off suddenly need your attention. They can shut down for a range of reasons, but all of them require your immediate attention. Common reasons include blocked ventilation or problems with temperature or heating elements, as well as electrical or control board issues.
Oven Turns Off By Itself – Troubleshoot and Diagnosis
While every reason isn’t necessarily the same, these are some of the most common causes for an oven turning off by itself.
1. Blocked Ventilation Or Faulty Cooling Fan
Every part of a modern oven is designed with the safety of food and people in mind. Improved ventilation systems filter outside air and draw cool air from the surrounding environment into the oven using a powerful cooling fan, and then sends hot air out the back of the unit safely. This highly efficient airflow is what enables your favorite meal to cook without drying out or making you wait for it to cool down.
When people discover that their oven vents need cleaning, they often panic. They don’t know where to start, or how to do it, so they avoid the task altogether and let the mess build up even more. There’s one thing that no one talks about. It’s the most annoying thing to clean in the kitchen, but it’s also the most important: your oven. If you use your oven often (cooking multiple times a week) then you need to clean it on regular basis.
You know how there’s always a lot of air flowing in and out of your oven? All that air has to come from somewhere, and it does. The majority of that air flows through the vents in your oven’s metal case; those vents will start to collect the dust and messiness that become stuck in there, clogging your oven’s flow and making it more difficult for you to use the appliance.
When your oven is being used, it’s processing a lot of air to keep itself cool. But if what’s in the oven starts blocking the vent (like food), it can cause the temperature to rise. When that happens, the oven will turn off. This is a safety feature so you won’t get injured or have your home catch fire due to a blocked vent.
This is a technical issue, but you might be able to resolve it yourself. If your oven is turning off by itself, there’s a chance that the cooling fan isn’t working properly. You can check if it works by plugging in the oven and leaving it on for about 10 minutes. If the fan blows a lot of hot air out, then you’re fine and it’s not a problem.
If there are any dust or gunk in the vents, remove it carefully and clean it with a vacuum cleaner or soft cloth. You can also check the operation of the cooling fan for proper functioning and if there are any dust buildup on that, clean it properly too.
Make sure to unplug your oven before you start cleaning it. Vacuum dust and junk out of the vents. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the vents, ensuring smooth airflow each time you use it.
2. Faulty Temperature Sensor/Thermistor
Oven temperature sensors (thermistors) are little, thin pieces of metal that conduct heat. The sensor is mounted in the oven and when the oven is in use, it heats up. When this happens, the resistance of the thermistor changes — a signal that can be measured to provide a temperature reading.
That thermistor is there to make sure the oven always reaches and maintains your set temperature. It allows me to work a lot faster and more efficiently than any other solution by eliminating time spent checking in on a pizza or keeping the oven running unnecessarily to maintain your set temperature.
The use of a thermistor in the oven means that it is easier to control the temperature. The thermistor monitors the current temperature inside the oven and adjusts power to the heating elements, keeping the heat constant and cooking your food perfectly.
A faulty thermistor is the most common cause of a faulty oven that shuts off before it even starts to cook. When that happens, you need to check several things including your thermostat and other elements but mostly the thermistor.
Since it sits at the core of your oven, a faulty thermistor can be disastrous. It sends incorrect information to the brain of the oven that overheats and shuts down prematurely. That’s bad news for you since you can waste both time and money on food you never got to finish cooking.
To replace a faulty temperature sensor, you’ll need a screwdriver, replacement part and a small Phillips head. First, remove the screws holding the old sensor in place. Then loosen the capillary tube connecting to it and pull it from the back of the oven. Next, unhook all electrical connections from the back end and remove any remaining screws holding on the sensor. Replace with a new one by simply reversing these steps.
Referring to your oven’s user manual for troubleshooting is a good habit for all users to get into, but few people do it. But you can save yourself the hassle and heartache of having to troubleshoot by following the steps we recommend. If you’re using a gas oven, shut off the gas supply and disconnect it from the supply pipes before removing any panelling or replacing any parts.
3. Broken Heating Elements
Ovens are generally divided into two categories: gas and electric. Both types use heating elements to prepare your food; gas ovens use an open flame whereas electric ovens use a heated coil.
The heating elements in your oven can be found on the back, top, and bottom of your oven. The heating elements are inserted into the mold of your oven to ensure even heat distribution. This helps you bake a range of delicious food from pies to cakes and more in well-prepared meals for your family and friends.
Ovens use heating elements to help you cook food. The heating elements are on the top and bottom of your oven and can burn out if something is too close to them. So, if you see the temperature dropping, open the door and remove anything that might be too close to the heating elements. Also, you might have a problem with the temperature sensor or thermostat if your baking temperature doesn’t work well.
Just like with any other appliance, over time and after repeated use, your oven will start to get worn down and damaged. Overheating can happen if the heating elements of your oven bend out of shape or become otherwise damaged. Additionally, wiring problems in the oven are another common issue that leads to an underpowered heating element.
Over time, heating elements in your oven can wear out and stop working. From the outside, your oven will look like it’s been turned off by itself. Because of the complex nature of an electric or gas element, removing one is not a DIY project. Should you find your oven without an indicator light, we urge you to contact an appliance repair professional at once.
No matter the reason for your oven repair, it’s always smart to inspect those elements. If they are damaged and need to be replaced altogether, it’s important to know that replacement parts are designed specifically for your model. Using generic, off-the-shelf replacements can lead to new problems and unintended consequences, so be sure you’re ordering the right one.
3. Electrical Issues
Your oven is malfunctioning, but it has nothing to do with the oven cavity or any other part of the machine. If you have ruled out all of the usual reasons for an oven’s malfunctioning — it’s not overfilled, there are no spills on the bottom element, the door is properly fixed, and so forth — then it’s time to check the electric system and see if there’s anything wrong with it.
Any product that can be plugged in and used has a number of wires and complex circuitry inside. This is part of what makes electrical appliances so robust, but it’s also why they can fail at any time. The most common reasons for failure are overheating surges in the power, or mechanical damage — anything that overworks the appliance.
The problem with your oven most likely stems from a broken wire. This is the most common problem that leads to electric problems in appliances. Sometimes the point where wires were attached may come off or loosen.
It’s unsettling when a problem with your oven starts as just a minor annoyance. You might not even know that it’ll turn into a bigger problem or what the best approach is to fix it. Most broken or damaged wires start out as something small, such as an improperly installed wire cover or an inoperable breaker switch. It’s better to catch these problems early on rather than later.
While there are some DIY electrical repairs that can be done (depending on your confidence with electronics and how much you’re willing to risk), the best option is always to call a qualified electrician. They have all the tools, equipment, and knowledge to get the job done quickly while keeping you, your family, and your possessions safe.
4. Faulty Control Board
So, if your oven turns off by itself and you aren’t able to figure out why, check the control board first. It may be faulty and needs replacing. If your oven has a history of issues with the control board, then that would be a worthwhile investment. Otherwise, it may make more sense to simply buy a new oven.
There are a few reasons your oven can turn off by itself. It could be the temperature control, a faulty door switch, or maybe even a malfunctioning control board. The control board is what tells your oven when to turn on and operate. It also tells the oven to turn off once the timer has run out.
When it comes to oven controls, there’s plenty of room for error. It’s possible you were sold a poor-quality control board that was put together haphazardly in the manufacturing process. The quality of the controls can also vary between different manufacturers and models. A burnt board is one of the most common issues that plague appliances, so a simple fix is to order new oven boards from a repair shop next door or from an online store.
Most ovens are easy to use and relatively easy to clean, but if yours is a bit older, you may need to replace the control board and/or the door switch. All of these parts can wear down over time, which means that your oven could spontaneously shut off while in use or it might not function at all.
The first step to fixing the issue is to diagnose the electrical range control board. You can either send it to a professional or fix it yourself. However, some people prefer to replace the oven control board completely instead of the previous option. They might have their own reasons, but whichever approach you take, you can always find a reliable supplier that sells quality replacement parts for any broken oven control board on the market today.
When replacing the oven control board, first make sure that it is sufficiently cool before proceeding. Then turn off and unplug the appliance, remove any panels on the outside of the oven to access the controls, and disconnect the electrical cord. Next, remove any securing screws holding the control board and pull it out. Take note of which way the old board is facing so you can reconnect the wires and install it properly.
This is how you replace a control board on your oven. First, disconnect the power cord from the outlet and remove the front panel of the oven. Next, detach all connectors from the old control board and inspect them for burn marks or discoloration — if you see any, immediately replace them with new parts. Then install the new control board in position and attach all connectors, ensuring that they connect to the correct electrical terminals.
Hi there! I’m Sam Hendricks, and I’m a repair technician and expert. I created this website to help people like you save money and time by fixing your own appliances.
Over the years, I’ve seen people spend a lot of money on unnecessary repairs or replacements. That’s why I decided to share my expertise and create easy-to-follow guides for fixing appliances on your own.