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Why is my oven not turning on?

Before you reach for a takeaway, read the most common reasons that your gas or electric oven isn’t turning on.

It can feel like a desperate time when you’ve got mouths to feed, and your oven isn’t turning on. Whether you have a gas or electric oven, we take a look at common reasons why your oven might not be turning on before you call for a takeaway…

Common reasons your oven is not turning on

Before panic sets in, check through this simple list for reasons your oven isn’t turning on:

  • The main oven switch is on at the wall.
  • Check that the oven is plugged in.
  • Is the gas or electricity supply to your home intact?
  • Check the fuse in the plug and your circuit breaker.

Number one and two might sound obvious, but if you have had a cleaner or another tradesperson working in your kitchen, they may have forgotten to switch the oven back on or plug it back in. Another less common reason is that your thermal fuse may have overheated. To check this, you will need a multimeter. If you don’t have one or are unsure what to do, call an electrician or oven repair specialist.

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Gas oven not turning on

The most likely reason your gas oven is not turning on is with the gas supply. But if this is all well, then the following could be at fault:

Igniter problem – If your gas oven won’t turn on, the igniter is the most likely cause of the problem. The igniter has two jobs to do. Firstly, it draws electrical current through the oven safety valve. The presence of enough current allows the valve to open. This means the igniter gets hot enough to glow red or orange, and this glowing heat will ignite the gas.

If the igniter is weakened, the oven safety valve will not open enough. To check if your igniter is working, look to see if it is glowing brightly. If it isn’t, you will need a multimeter to check if the igniter has failed. If it has, it will need to be replaced by a qualified tradesperson.

Spark electrode – Some gas ovens use a spark electrode which is very much like a spark plug in your car. Check the spark electrode casing for any signs of damage. If you see signs of damage then it is likely that the electrode needs replacing. Spare parts are available, and this is easily fixed by a repair tradesperson.

Loose or burnt wire connection – The wires that supply power to the oven element or igniter could be burnt out. This is common as these wires are near the heat source. Inspect the wires leading to the element or igniter, and if you see any discolouration, this is a sign the wiring needs replacing.

Before attempting to look at any potential problems with your oven not turning on, you must make sure you switch off and unplug your appliance. If you are ever unsure, it is always best to contact a professional tradesperson. For an idea of costs, please take a look at our oven repair cost guide.

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Electric oven not turning on

If you’re having problems with your electric oven not turning on, then it could be one of the following:

Bake or broil element wiring issues

gas oven wire repairsThe most likely cause of your electric oven not turning on is an issue with a heating element. The quickest way to tell if the heating element is at fault is to look at it. When working properly it should be glowing.

If not, and it has signs of wear and tear, or the oven looks dirty, then you’ve likely found the cause. If recent meals have not been cooking as well or evenly, and you’ve noticed an increase in your electricity bill, these are also signs that the element is the reason behind your oven not turning on.

There could also be an issue with the element wiring. The broil element wiring is usually mid-way down the back on the oven’s exterior and the bake element towards the bottom. Take a look to see if you can see any superficial damage, discolouration of any wiring flex, and take note of anything that looks out of place.

If you do notice anything, the next step is to call a professional as they will have specialist equipment to troubleshoot further. Even if you can’t see anything obviously wrong, it is still worth contacting a tradesperson so that they can investigate further.

Relay board/control board issue

oven control panelThe oven control board or relay board both control how much voltage gets sent to different parts of your oven. It is more common that there is a fault with a heating element, so check these first. If these are OK, then you might have a faulty control or relay board.

Thermostat issues

Just like the thermostat that controls the heating in your home, your oven also has a thermostat. The oven thermostat failing will cause your oven not to turn on. This is less common than the other faults, but it is a possibility.

Oven turning on but not heating up

electric oven heating elementIf your oven is turning on but not heating up, then check up on the items below:

  • Temperature sensor – Modern appliances will show an error code on the display, but older ovens will need this checking with a multimeter. Repairs or replacements of the temperature sensor will require the help of a professional.
  • Damaged or faulty heating element – As mentioned in the previous section, it will be visibly damaged if the heating element is burnt out, so inspect for holes or blisters. If they are corroded or burned, they will not be connecting properly to the oven and will not heat up.
  • Wiring faults – If your oven is turning on but not heating up, a wiring fault could be the cause. It’s always safest to get an electrician or appliance repair specialist to do this.

Depending on your type of oven, there are a few key reasons why your oven is not turning on. As you will have gathered, ovens have many components that could be at fault, so it is always handy to have a professional tradesperson’s contact details on hand.


Why did my oven suddenly stop working?

The first thing to check is the power supply to your appliance is working. If your gas or electricity supply is in good working order, then the most likely cause is an igniter problem for a gas oven. If you have an electric oven, then the heating element could be at fault.

Why is my oven light or oven fan not turning on?

If your oven light isn’t working, the first thing to do is check the bulb as it may have blown. Most oven light bulbs are easy to buy and replace yourself. Before opening up the bulb housing, place a tea towel over the hob to catch any debris.

If your oven fan is not turning on, but everything else is working, this indicates that the fan motor is faulty. This will need to be diagnosed and repaired by a professional.

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