Anyone mechanically minded out there?

So, oven in the flat in Bath. Apparently it’s taking up to an hour to reach operating temperature.

Anyone know why that might be happening? Is it even possible? And if so, what’s the fix for it?

35 comments on “Anyone mechanically minded out there?

  1. It must be an electric oven, not gas?

    I’d change electricity supplier – it seems the quality of your electricity is poor.

  2. If it’s a dual element electric oven one element may have given up the ghost. You can probably get a new on from an appliance store.

  3. Question:
    Have you actually checked whether it’s taking an hour to reach actual desired temperature or just going by the light?

    Possibles:
    Cleaned the oven recently? The heating element(s) generally plugs into a socket. Has it been disturbed?
    Got a load of water into the control switch?
    A grill works off the same control? Is that working?

  4. The usual question one asks the heatless one is, Tim, “Have you been buggering with it?”
    This isn’t a tenant is it?

  5. When our oven disappointed us we bought an oven thermometer. Unfortunately that just confirmed that the oven was doing a poor job. Since additionally the timer was broken and the beast was thirty years old, we just binned it. The new one is far superior.

  6. Rental agent. They proposed replacing the entire oven and hob. Expensively too. I reminded them that the hob was only 15 months old, they had actually bought it and installed it on my behalf. So, thinking that they’re possibly having me on more than a bit I wanted to find out whether the oven taking that long to heat up is the sort of thing you might repaid them for rather than junk?

  7. If the hob was installed separately, why do they need to replace that at the same time as the allegedly faulty oven?
    You need to find out what the problem is – as Richard Quigley pointed out, it could just require a replacement part. For this purpose it might be better to ask the tenant who does the cooking rather than the rental agent. It would be unusual if it took as long to heat up to casserole temperature as to roasting temperature.

  8. Ovens generally take 2 or 3 circuits. Check that one of the circuit breakers hasn’t thrown before spending any money.

    Heating up to the desired temperature but very slowly sounds very odd. Dead thermostats usually do the opposite (overheat), while broken switches (it’s a rental you say…) can result in underheating (i.e. never gets to temperature). But reaching that temperature slowly sounds strange, and consistent with the dead element hypothesis.

  9. It sounds like a possible element failure to me. (if it isn’t any of the things mentioned – but the ability of users to FU perfectly good appliances is limitless) If the rest of the unit’s working OK, should be just a new one. If you can supply make & model number I’ll try & source the part. Cheap fix if available.

  10. “Ovens generally take 2 or 3 circuits.”
    UK, the cooker is often on it’s own spur. (Cooker switch near oven – often with integral socket) So that’d have its own fuse/CB in the consumer unit. However a lot of properties run the oven/hob off an outlet in the 30A ring supplies the wall sockets. Just a heavy wall switch (double pole)

  11. I’d just hang on to it. Soon as the EU issues a directive on oven power consumption, something capable of reaching operating temperature within an hour is going to make your flat really attractive to tenants.

  12. Could be:

    – fault with thermostat
    – faulty indicator light
    – damaged door seal/door not closing properly
    – if two elements, one not working
    – faulty temperature control knob… if rotary these sometimes turn on the outside but don’t turn the guts
    – operator error

  13. “Is it even possible?”

    No. The only explanation is supernatural. Your oven has been appropriated by demons and is being used to heat the fires of hell. Expect an infernally large bill.

    Either that, or it’s the element. Given that it’s only fifteen months old, it might be still under guarantee, or you might have got an extended guarantee at the time when you had it installed and then forgotten you had done so. Ovens are one of the few devices for which it is worth while to get an extended guarantee. .

  14. Well it’s one of two things:

    1. It’s either genuinely taking too long to come up to temperature, (because it’s got more than one element – and they’re almost identical to the kettle elements you used to see in kettles before they started hiding them in the base to avoid limescaling. If so, replace the faulty element. Needs only a Philips screwdriver and the sense to disconnect the power fully first.

    2. It’s got a faulty thermostat that just doesn’t know when it’s come up to temperature. This needs a little more dismantling to find and fix.

    Differential diagnosis: Either place a cheap oven meat thermometer in the oven to see the true temperature, or put a multi-meter on each element and see which one is open-circuit.

    Either way: You don’t need a new oven. Less that £50 for parts if you do it yourself. But 2 hours labour if you call someone out who knows what they’re doing.

  15. Under EU legislation, the guarantee on expensive electrical goods is two years, whatever the manufacturer or retailer may like to claim. Apple have been hauled through the courts over this in a couple of EU countries (Italy and Belgium, I think) for selling their extended guarantees — i.e. charging customers money to extend the guarantee from one to two years without informing them that the goods are already guaranteed for two years.

    Fifteen months old? Tell your agent to invoke the guarantee.

    Also, since your agent is passing the cost on to you, are they technically selling you the cooker and do you therefore technically have a guarantee from them? I don’t know, but it’s a thought.

  16. As others have pointed out, this sounds like an element failure. They don’t always fail catastrophically. If grease or other crud has got into the connectors then that adds a big series resistance which can have the same effect.

    Another thing to check is whether you have a wiring fault. Get someone with a multimeter to look at the voltages/resistances between the various pins. Live to neutral should be 240V, live to ground should be an open circuit with 240V across it, neutral to ground should be a short circuit i.e. 0V. If you’re seeing a non-trivial earth-to-neutral voltage you probably have an open neutral. Exactly what type of earthing system you have is impossible to say and depends on things like size and age of building.

  17. I should add: retailers like to play dumb about said legislation. You can’t just invoke the guarantee; you have to also make it clear to them that you know your damn rights and quite often go up the chain, talk to a manager, write threatening letters, etc. And sometimes not. But it is guaranteed, no question.

  18. This is all the fault of the undemocratically elected coalition government.

    If Labour were in charge your oven would work perfectly and be paid for by a rich man living in a mansion who today isn’t paying enough tax.

  19. Or if it’s a fan oven, check that the fan is actually going round. This would cause your symptom. Replace the motor or remove chicken bone jammed in the fan blades as appropriate.

  20. Had the same problem in a five year old house purchased a year ago. Asked an electrician to look. Turns out it ha dnever been installed properly. Works a treat now.

  21. Either user error or software freeze (ovens now have firmware).
    So A) Ask the operator directly if they’ve used this oven before. If not, they may have set it up wrongly, e.g. to grill mode. Get them to send you a pic of the settings, just to be sure.
    B) If they have used it before & it worked OK, ask them to switch it off (big red 30A wall switch), wait 20 seconds, then switch back on & try again.

  22. Had this happen twice with ours – dodgy element (a duel/twin element) both times.

    Twenty odd quid for a new element off t’internet, ten minutes tops to swap, then good as new.

    Bit awkward to sort when you’re a thousand miles away I know, but still. It’ll be mendable I’d bet

  23. I would chase up the guarantee thing definitely. SQ2 correct of course about retailers training their spotty teenagers to fob off the ill-informed

    This could make masses of money for lawyers, of course.
    Tenant sues Timmy.
    Timmy sues agent.
    Agent sues guy that put the oven in.
    Guy that put the oven in sues shop where he bought the oven.
    Shop sues wholesaler.
    Wholesaler sues manufacturer.

    And just for fun, on the merry-go-round, manufacturer sues tenant for breaking a knob causing the problem in the first place.

    And they all go all the way to the ECJ to prove the point.

  24. The wind hasn’t been blowing much recently. Wait for some windy weather so the wind turbines go faster and push the electrons down the wire faster. That will clear the blockage and it’ll be fine again.

  25. Ian B,

    Tim might, if the spotty teenagers win, have to give up on the guarantee thing, but hiring an engineer to open up the oven would surely void any guarantee and grant an easy win to the teenagers before the fight’s even started.

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