If it is taking longer than usual to prepare food in the oven, it indicates that the thermostat sensor could be a problem. The thermostat of the oven is a switch that opens and closes in response to the temperature inside the oven. The switch is normally located in the control panel of the machine. The thermostat is a liquid-filled bulb that is capable of sensing the temperature. It is responsible for maintaining the internal temperature of the oven by regulating the supply of heat.
Before you check the condition of the thermostat, you must disconnect the power supply to the appliance. Also, remember that all checks you do are high voltage checks and it must be done under the supervision of a range repairman. If you are attempting range repair for the first time, it is best to call the oven service technician. The oven or stove technicians are trained professionals, who have several years of experience in the field. Most technicians will visit your house to repair and service your household appliance.
Locating the Switch
The location of the thermostat depends on the make and model of the oven. Here is what you should do to access the thermostat:
A) On freestanding models, the thermostat is usually located on the rear side of the machine. To access the thermostat, you must remove the screws that hold the back panel to the cooking equipment body.
B) On machines that have front-loading controls, you must remove the machine panel and tilt it a little to access the thermostat. When titling the machine, be very careful as some wires may get disconnected.
C) Some models come with a removable back splash. To remove the screws from the removable back splash, you must lift it and rest the back splash on your cook top.
D) Homeowners who have a wall oven in their home, can access the machine’s control panel by opening the oven door and removing the screws. These screws are usually below the control panel or underneath the exhaust hood. You may have to tilt the machine a little towards you if the control panel is hinged.
E) In some ovens, you have to remove both the front and rear control panels. The screws that attach the panel to the body are usually found on the trim. To remove these screws you may have to remove the trim.
Checking the Condition of the Switch
Once you locate the thermostat, you can check the continuity of the switch contacts using a multi-meter. If you are doing this for the first time, you may need the wiring diagram to remove the wires to be tested. You can also use the wiring diagram to find out the contact terminals to be tested. If even one contact terminal point is defective, you must change the entire thermostat switch.
Adjusting the Thermostat
The oven temperature can be tested by placing a tester inside the oven and running the oven for about 25 minutes at 300 degrees. Record the maximum and the minimum temperature of 3 cycles. Add all the recorded temperatures and divide by six to get the average temperature of the oven.
If the average temperature of the oven is more than 20 degrees off, you should try to recalibrate the thermostat. To do this, you must read the manual for instructions.
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