Replacing an Oven Control Thermostat at Home

The temperature control thermostat in your oven is what makes sure your oven maintains the temperature you tell it to. It determines when the heating elements fire and how hot, which controls how hot your oven gets and whether or not it is hotter or colder than the temperature you set. When your oven’s control thermostat is malfunctioning or broken, your oven can no longer determine whether it is at the right temperature. It will burn or undercook food either consistently or at random, which is a serious problem.

Fortunately, you can replace your control thermostat with a little plier work if you’re confident about your repair skills. This guide will help you locate and replace your oven control thermostat.    These instructions are generalized and not model or brand-specific.

Take Safety Precautions

The first step is to make sure you are working in a safe environment. If you have tried to use your oven (or stove) recently, make sure that the entire unit has cooled before you start working inside the oven. This will prevent any chance of you being burned in contact with the oven walls, components, or heating elements.

Once cool, unplug your oven in preparation to begin your repair. This will ensure that your work with the wiring cannot result in electrical shock and that there is no chance your oven will begin heating while you are working.

  • Allow Oven to Cool
  • Unplug Your Oven

Get Your Gear Together

Next, get your gear together. This repair happens in quick succession and you won’t want to find yourself needing a tool halfway through. Fortunately, the list is short. You’ll need needle-nose pliers, a 1/4 inch nut driver, and work gloves. You may also want to grab a chip-clip. This will be very handy at the critical center point between removing the original control thermostat and installing the new one.

  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • 1/4 Nut Driver
  • Work Gloves
  • Chip Clip or Paper Clamp

Clear the Oven

As you get started, you’ll want to remove the racks from your oven, along with anything else that might be in there. This is to ensure you have plenty of room to operate, as it may be difficult to reach the thermostat. Turn on the oven light while you’re at it.

Now is also a good time to set your oven racks to soak if you care to clean them. You can also ask a friend to do a little scrubbing while you work on the oven sensor, as this is a great opportunity to double-task with the racks out of the oven. 

Remove the Broken Oven Control Thermostat

The oven control thermostat is located in a far upper corner of your oven, though it could be on the left or right. It will be in a top corner against the back wall. It is a small probe sticking out into the oven through a hole, allowing the thermostat to judge the temperature of the inside of the oven while shielding the electronics behind from the heat.

There are two hex screws holding the sensor in place you will need to remove. Use your nut driver to loosen and carefully remove these screws and set them aside. Then pull the sensor forward through the hole into the oven propper. Pull until the wires connected reveal the wire harness where the thermostat wires connect to the oven wires. On the far side of the harness, clamp or clip the wires to the hole in the back of your oven. This will ensure that they do not fall back into the oven when you disconnect.

Then, of course, disconnect the wire harness and fully remove the old control thermostat. You can throw the old thermostat way now. 

Install the new Oven Control Thermostat

Now you will want to grab your new oven control thermostat. Make sure that all the packaging is removed, small bits of paper or plastic can remain lodged around the parts which will melt and cause problems later on if allowed to remain.

Start the new installation connecting the wires by lining up the two halves of the wire harness and then joining them together. You will feel a soft click as the wire harness connects. Now you can release the clip preventing the wires from falling. Carefully thread the wires back into the hole until the oven control thermostat is once again flush with the mounting brackets. Now you will want to reattach the brackets with your mounting screws, fixing the new oven control thermostat into place. 

Put Your Oven Back Together

Your new oven thermostat is now installed and it’s safe for you to put everything back together. Carefully extricate yourself from your oven and brush off any soot on your clothes. Then grab your oven racks, possibly a little cleaner now, and load them in. Be sure your racks are facing the right side up and be careful where you place them. Oven rack levels are surprisingly important for even baking and they are bulky to move later.

Close your oven door and plug your oven back in. 

Test Your Oven Control Thermostat Replacement

Finally, it’s time to test your success. Place an oven-safe thermometer on your center oven rack and set a temperature. Wait until the oven says it is preheated and then check your thermometer. if the temperature is within ten degrees, then your oven control thermostat is very likely working properly once more. Another great way to tell is by baking something and monitoring your oven thermostat the entire time. Now is a perfect opportunity to make yourself some cupcakes or a delicious casserole depending on what you’re in the mood for. If the temperature is consistent throughout, or through several recipes, then you can be absolutely certain that your repair was a success.

—If all went well, you should once again have a fully functional and satisfactory oven. But if you have additional repair needs, please feel free to explore our archives of repair blogs to discover other repairs you can make at home. And if you run into a repair that would be better performed by a trained professional, contact us! Our technicians will be glad to help.

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