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Trouble-Shooting Tips to Use Out on the Range

July 07, 1990|From Reader's Digest

An out-of-commission kitchen range is an enormous inconvenience.

Fortunately, some range problems have surprisingly simple fixes, eliminating the need for a professional and putting your kitchen quickly back on line. Here are some trouble-shooting tips: ELECTRIC OR GAS OVEN

Oven Won't Operate

It may be set to come on automatically at a specific time. Reset the automatic-manual control to "Manual."

On an electric range, check for a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker. On a gas range, check the pilot light. Baked or Roasted Food Is Burned

The temperature control may be set too high or too low. Recheck the recipe.

An oversize utensil may be letting the food dry out and burn. Use a dish that the food fills most of the way. Using brighter-colored utensils may also help prevent burning.

The oven thermostat may need recalibrating. To test it, place an accurate, mercury oven thermometer in the center of the oven, set the oven for 350 degrees and run it for 20 minutes. To recalibrate, pull off the temperature control knob and either adjust the disc on the knob's underside or turn the screw in the knob's shaft. See your owner's manual.

Clear any obstruction from the oven exhaust vent. It's usually at the rear of a gas range's cooktop or under a surface element on an electric range. Baked or Roasted Food Undercooked

Too many dishes may be blocking air circulation; space them at least one inch apart.

Make sure the temperature setting was correct, and test the oven thermostat's accuracy as described above. Oven Sweats

Try preheating the oven before using it.

Check for a blocked exhaust vent.

Replace a worn or cracked door gasket with an identical part from an appliance repair store. Many gaskets just hook on and are easily changed. On others, the oven liner must be loosened--work best done by a professional, especially on a self-cleaning range. ELECTRIC RANGE

CAUTION: Before working on an electric range, turn off the power at the fuse box or circuit breaker panel.

All Cooktop Elements Do Not Go On

Check for a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker.

One Element Does Not Go On

Lift out the cooktop element and try it in another same-size receptacle. If the element won't work there, replace it with an identical part.

If the element works, check the receptacle with a flashlight. If the interior is blackened and corroded, have a professional replace it. GAS STOVES

CAUTION: If you smell a strong gas odor, immediately turn off any flames, open the windows and doors, and get everyone out of the house. Turn off your home's main gas shut-off valve. Report the leak from a neighbor's phone. None of the Burners Will Light

There is no gas supply. Call your gas company. Burner Won't Light

The pilot light may be out. Relight it and stop any drafts that may have blown it out.

The electric spark igniter may need cleaning. See your owner's manual. Unplug the range's power cord before working on it.

If burner will light with a match, the ignition holes around the edge of the burner may be clogged. Lift out the burner and wash it in hot, sudsy water and ammonia. Clear the holes with a straightened paper clip.

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