Troubleshooting a Gas Oven That Won’t Heat Up

A gas oven that won’t heat up can be a frustrating appliance issue. However, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to get your oven heating properly again. With some basic mechanical skills and safety precautions, you may be able to fix the issue yourself without having to call for professional oven repair.

Safety Tips for Troubleshooting a Gas Oven

When troubleshooting any gas appliance, safety should always be your top concern. Here are some important safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Turn off the gas supply to the oven at the shut-off valve before beginning any troubleshooting. This will prevent gas leaks while you’re working on the unit.
  • Don’t try to force oven parts to move if they seem stuck. Doing so could damage components or gas lines.
  • Have a fire extinguisher on hand in case of accidental ignitions or sparks.
  • Wear protective gloves and eye wear when testing oven components. Exposed metal and wiring can pose hazards.
  • If at any point you smell gas while the oven is off, immediately open windows and evacuate the house. Call the gas company or fire department once outside. Never turn electrical devices on or off if you smell gas.
  • Only relight the pilot light if you are 100% certain all gas connections are tight and there are no leaks. Check these connections carefully with a solution of soapy water. Bubbles indicate leaks.
  • If the oven needs extensive repairs, call a professional technician. Don’t take risks with your safety.

Troubleshooting Steps

With safety as your priority, follow these systematic troubleshooting steps to determine why your gas oven isn’t heating properly:

Check the Pilot Light

The standing pilot light initiates the gas burner ignition process. If it’s gone out, the oven won’t heat. To check the pilot:

  • Remove any obstructions, like pots or pans, from the oven bottom.
  • If there is an access panel on the oven bottom, remove it to expose the pilot light.
  • Look for a small flame emerging from near the gas burner tube.
  • If the flame is gone, refer to your oven manual for the proper procedure to relight it. Usually this involves pushing in the gas control knob and holding a flame to the pilot tube for about 60 seconds. Continue holding the knob in for 30-60 more seconds, then release. This allows gas to flow to the pilot and gives it time to heat the thermocouple, which tells the gas valve to remain open.
  • Still no pilot flame? The thermocouple likely needs replacing. Call for service.

Inspect the Burners

If the pilot light is on but the main oven burners fail to ignite, inspect the burners for any blockages:

  • Remove the oven bottom panel (if equipped) and any oven racks to access the burners.
  • Look for debris, grease buildup, or insect nests in the burner tubes, orifices and ports. Clean out anything clogging these pathways using compressed air, a pipe cleaner, or narrow brush.
  • Make sure the burner tubes are properly seated over the gas ports. They should form a tight connection.
  • If burners are heavily soiled, remove them for deeper cleaning. Use an oven cleaner and brush to clear all residue.
  • Examine the burner igniter (glow bar). It should glow red when the oven is in use. Replace it if the igniter is cracked or doesn’t heat up.

Check for Proper Gas Supply

For an oven’s burners to ignite, proper gas supply pressure must be present. Issues like closed shut-off valves or faulty regulators can prevent sufficient gas delivery:

  • Confirm the main gas shut-off valve to the oven is in the open position.
  • Examine the flexible gas line connector. Make sure it is tightly secured at both ends and shows no signs of cracking or damage. Replace if needed.
  • Test the inlet gas pressure using a manometer. Pressure should measure between 4-10 inches of water column for natural gas, and 8-14 inches for propane.
  • If pressure reads outside this range, the gas regulator is likely faulty. Contact the gas company for assistance.

Test Oven Components and Electronics

The bake or broil modes not working can indicate a problem with oven components or electrical controls:

  • Examine the bake/broil igniters. Look for cracks or damage. Replace if faulty.
  • Check oven temperature sensor and thermostat with an ohmmeter. You should obtain a reading of approximately 1,000 ohms at room temperature. Replace either part if no reading or an unusual reading is obtained.
  • Test heating elements for continuity using an ohmmeter. Replace any element that does not present a complete circuit.
  • For electronic oven controls, conduct a resistance check of wiring connections and control board. Tighten any loose connections. If there is still no response, the control board likely needs replacing.

Inspect the Door Seal

If an oven is taking too long to preheat or is not reaching the target temperature, the door seal may be leaking heat:

  • Examine seal for cracks, tears or gaps letting air pass through.
  • Close the door on a piece of paper. There should be significant resistance as you pull the paper out. If it slides out easily, the seal needs replacing.
  • Open the oven door while it’s operating. You should not feel any heat escaping through the perimeter. If you do, replace the door gasket.
  • Adjust or replace retaining clips/brackets if the seal is loosening from the oven body.

Check for Faulty Wiring

Loose connections, crossed wires or electrical shorts can prevent oven components from activating properly:

  • Unplug oven and access internal wiring. Check wire connections to be sure they are tight and corrosion free.
  • Examine wires for damage like fraying or melting. Replace any faulty wiring.
  • Use an ohmmeter to isolate any short circuits between wires or oven components.
  • Consult a wiring diagram of your oven model and verify all connections match. Correct any wiring errors.
  • If wiring looks intact but the electrical issue persists, call an appliance repair technician. There may be a more complex problem with the internal electronics.

FAQs: Troubleshooting a Gas Oven

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about fixing gas ovens that won’t heat up:

What if my gas oven ignites but the flame is low?

  • This likely indicates insufficient gas supply. Make sure shut-off valves are fully open. Test the regulator pressure. There may be a partial blockage in the line.
  • Check the burner orifice for debris plugging the opening. Use compressed air or a needle to clear it.
  • Examine the flame ports on the burner. Clean out any residue clogging the ports.

Why does my oven make clicking noises but won’t ignite?

  • Clicking is usually the oven igniter sparking but failing to ignite gas. Check that the igniter is properly positioned near the burner. Replace igniter if cracked or faulty.
  • If igniter looks OK, gas supply issue is likely. Check valves, pressure regulator and lines for blockages.

My oven burner ignites but immediately goes out?

  • This points to a problem with the pilot light/thermocouple not signaling the valve to remain open. First relight pilot properly. If issue persists, replace thermocouple.

What should I do if I smell gas when the oven is off?

  • Evacuate the house immediately and call the gas company or fire department. Do not turn on any electrical devices or try to relight appliances. The source of the gas leak must be found and fixed before resuming oven use.

Why does my oven take a long time to preheat or never reach set temp?

  • A faulty thermostat or temperature sensor can cause this. Test both with an ohmmeter and replace if readings are off.
  • Damaged door seals allow heat loss. Inspect seal and replace if gaps/tears are found.
  • Heavy spills or residue can insulate oven surfaces. Scrub interior with oven cleaner and baking soda.

My oven door won’t open all the way. How do I fix this?

  • The hinge or door latch may be bent or loose. Adjust latch and tighten hinge screws/springs.
  • Make sure oven interior light cover is not sticking out and obstructing door. Push cover flush with oven back wall.
  • Door lock motor could be faulty. Unplug oven and remove lock motor cover. Manually activate lock switch lever. Replace motor if still not working.

When to Call an Oven Repair Specialist

While many oven problems can be addressed with basic troubleshooting, it’s wise to call in a professional for the following issues:

  • Strong gas smell coming from oven even when off. There is likely a serious gas leak in the supply line or oven components.
  • Oven won’t relight after repeated pilot lighting attempts. The gas control valve probably needs replacement.
  • Burners ignite randomly even with oven off. Critical oven safety mechanisms are malfunctioning.
  • No voltage coming to any oven components. There is likely a complex electrical issue within the internal wiring.
  • Igniters, sensors or control boards repeatedly fail after short periods. Something may be causing electrical shorts damaging components.
  • Oven is severely outdated or components are no longer available. A technician can determine if oven should be replaced rather than investing in costly repairs.
  • Any evidence oven has become a shock or fire hazard. It’s vital to address such dangers immediately by an expert.

Oven repair technicians have specialized training, diagnostic tools, protective gear and resources to properly inspect gas systems and electrical components. Don’t take risks attempting extensive repairs without the right qualifications and equipment. If you’ve taken all basic troubleshooting steps and your oven still fails to function properly, call a professional. For complex appliance issues, getting expert service is the safest solution.


A gas oven that won’t heat up can certainly be frustrating, but methodically working through each of these troubleshooting techniques should help you pinpoint the cause. With some time and mechanical skill, many homeowners can get their oven heating properly once more without the expense of a service call. However, for any signs of gas leaks, more involved repairs or electrical work, it’s wise to seek professional assistance. By combining DIY maintenance and expert servicing when needed, you can enjoy consistent performance and long lifespan from your gas oven.