Do you polish the stainless steel on your cooktop until you can see your reflection? Does the instant ignition of your gas burners put a smile on your face? When you take a perfectly cooked cake out of the oven, do you whisper “thank you” to your oven? Maybe not but we would like to encourage you to show your appliances a little love to help them function better and last longer.
Regardless of the brand or cost, your appliance will benefit from a small amount of home maintenance.
Improving the function and life of your appliance
If the oven isn’t getting hot enough it can be due to a few causes – faulty hinges, thermostat or a faulty element.
If the oven door isn’t shutting correctly because the hinges need replacing, the heat will escape causing either a loss of heat or the oven to burn food as the thermostat detects the loss of heat & attempts to raise the temperature. Hinges are usually designed around a spring which stretches over time becoming loose or snapping. The hinge slots into a retainer on the oven which over time or due to excessive weight on the oven door, the hinges retainers can wear causing the door hinge not to sit correctly. Another problem that can happen when weight is put on the oven door while open (such as putting pans or dishes on the open door while checking or stirring food, pushing on the door to stand up) is the door back can bend. This will be evident by a bend near the hinges on the side of the door. If this is the case, the door back will need to be replaced usually along with the hinges and sometimes hinge retainers. Reduce the stress on the door and hinges by closing the door gently and not resting or placing an heavy objects on the door while its open.
Do you preheat on one setting then turn to another such as fan forced only to find the food isn’t cooking? Most ovens have 3 elements – the top/grill element, a bottom element usually hidden under the base of the oven and a circular fan element at the back. When the fan forced element stops they fan will continue to work but there wont be any heat. If the fan forced fan fails – you can feel heat but cant hear the fan, please dont continue to use the fan forced setting. It is designed to use the element and fan together. If the fan is not working, the heat will not be distributed and can shortened the life of the element, damage the cabling/other components of the oven and possibly warp the back of the oven.
Most modern ovens have an electronic clock. The clock must be set to manual and a time (preferably the correct time so you can rely on it for keeping time!) for the oven to function. If the clock becomes faulty either due to a power surge or simply due to the clock failing, none of the functions of the oven will work. You may like to try turning the oven off at the switchboard – ovens should be on a separate circuit marked oven, leaving the power off for 24 hours if possible, then tuning the power back on. Try to set the clock. If this doesnt help, the options are to either replace the clock or bypass the clock. This will leave all the oven functions working except the clock.
Keeping your oven clean not only makes it easier (and more pleasant) for the technician to work on, it will extend the life of the oven and components. A build up of grease inside the oven will shorten the life of the elements and fan. Each manufacturer has its own recommendations on cleaning so check your instruction manual. Most do not recommend harsh caustic oven cleaners. Wiping the oven with damp paper towel after cooking while still warm will help.
To keep gas cooktops functioning, again regular cleaning is helpful. The burner consists of a spark electrode/ignitor to ignite the flame, the burner assembly that spreads the gas flame and usually a thermocouple that controls the flow of gas to the burner. The spark ignitors can become blocked with food or grease as can the burner assembly. Try a gentle cleaning using a small wire brush to clean the gaps. Burners constantly clicking?Occasionally moisture or water gets under the cooktop into the ignition switches. Try turning off the power to the cooktop (all gas cooktops with an electronic ignition must have an accessible power point) for a few days to allow the switches to dry out. The cooktop can still be used by lighting the burners with a match. If when you turn the power point back on the clicking is still occurring, the switches will need to be replaced.
There are parts of the cooktop that are not accessible nor is it safe to do so. Anything under the cooktop should only be worked on by an licensed gas technician. Eventually the working parts do fail and need to be replaced. You may like to consider replacing all ignitors for example at the same time to minimise the cost by avoiding further call outs.
If you have any question or require more information or service please call (08) 9367 1198 or send us an email.