Why Is My Self-Cleaning Oven Not Working

April 4, 2023
Oven Repair

Self-cleaning ovens are a great invention – they save you time and effort when it comes to cleaning up after cooking. But what happens when your self-cleaning oven doesn’t seem to be doing its job? If your oven is leaving behind burnt-on residue or isn’t cleaning at all, there could be several reasons why. 

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common causes of self-cleaning oven malfunctions and provide practical tips on how to fix them.

Dirty oven

The self-cleaning process can be hampered by a buildup of grime and residue in the oven. It seems crazy; after all, isn’t the self-cleaning feature supposed to deal with dirt? However, if your oven is extremely dirty, the grime and gunk can actually obstruct the self-cleaning process. The dirt and debris can trap heat, causing your oven to shut down before it has finished cleaning itself.

So, if your oven isn’t as clean as it should be, or if the self-cleaning function isn’t working, take a look inside to see if it needs a good scrubbing. It might take some elbow grease to get it to work.

Broken door latch

The door latch of a self-cleaning oven is a crucial component that keeps the oven door securely locked during the cleaning process. If the door latch is broken, the oven won’t be able to start the self-cleaning cycle as it won’t be able to lock the door.

Here’s how it works:

  • When you start the self-cleaning cycle, the oven locks its door automatically to prevent accidental openings. It then heats up to extremely high temperatures to burn off any food debris or grease. 
  • The door stays locked throughout the cleaning process until the oven cools down to a safe temperature. 
  • Once the oven has cooled down, the door latch unlocks and you can open the oven door.

This means that if the door latch is malfunctioning or broken, it won’t be able to keep the door securely locked during the self-cleaning cycle. As a result, the oven won’t start the cleaning process and you’ll be left with a dirty oven.

Luckily, replacing the door latch is as simple as ordering a replacement part online and installing it yourself, so if this is your issue, it’s an easy fix!

Malfunctioning thermostat

A faulty thermostat in an oven can cause the self-cleaning function to malfunction. This is due to the fact that the self-cleaning cycle requires the oven to reach extremely high temperatures in order to burn off any accumulated food or debris. Because the thermostat is in charge of regulating the temperature in the oven, if it is not working properly the oven may not get hot enough to begin the self-cleaning cycle.

To fix a faulty thermostat, you will need to replace it:

  • Make sure the oven is unplugged and cool to the touch. 
  • Locate the thermostat, usually on the back wall of the oven, and remove the screws that hold it in place. 
  • Carefully pull the thermostat out of the oven and disconnect the wires.
  • When purchasing a replacement thermostat, make sure you get the correct part for your oven model – you might need to check the manual.
  • Install the new thermostat by connecting the wires and screwing it back into place. 
  • Once the thermostat is installed, plug the oven back in and test the self-cleaning function to ensure it is working properly.

Faulty control panel

A faulty control panel in an oven can prevent the self-cleaning function from working properly. This vital component is responsible for regulating the temperature and timing of the cleaning process. If it’s malfunctioning, it may not send the proper signals to the heating elements, leaving you with a half-baked cleaning job.

Unfortunately, fixing a faulty control panel is no walk in the park; you may need to replace it entirely or swap out individual components, which can be a very complex process. Unless you’re an expert in electronics and electrical systems, it’s best to leave this job to the pros. In some cases, it might be more cost-effective to just replace the entire oven rather than attempt to repair the control panel.

Blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker 

Issues with blown fuses or circuit breakers can cause a variety of problems, and in a self-cleaning oven, a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker can prevent the self-cleaning function from working.

These can be caused by a power surge or an electrical overload. To fix this issue:

  • Locate your home’s electrical panel and check if any circuit breakers have tripped. 
  • If you find a tripped circuit breaker, reset it by flipping it back to the “on” position.
  • If a blown fuse is an issue, you will need to replace it with a new one.

It’s important to note that if the fuse or circuit breaker trips repeatedly, there may be an underlying electrical issue that needs to be addressed by a professional electrician.

Once the blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker is fixed, you should be able to use the self-cleaning function on your oven. However, if the self-cleaning function still doesn’t work, there may be another issue with your oven that requires the attention of a professional technician.


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