Simple ways to care for and maintain your stove

Don't neglect the regular maintenance that must be done to ensure that your stove, oven and range hood will last a long time and perform well. Here are some of the more common maintenance issues you'll have with your stove, and how to take care of them.

Simple ways to care for and maintain your stove

Changing the range hood light bulb

Range hoods may contain one or more lights. Some models may use fluorescent lights, others will use incandescent. When changing the light, be sure to check the owner's manual for recommended wattage.

  • If an incandescent bulb burns out frequently, install an appliance bulb.
  • If the light won't work after you've changed the bulbs, make sure that the circuit breaker hasn't been tripped or the fuse is not blown.
  • If the electricity is on and the light still won't work, call for service.

Replacing an oven light

  • If the oven light won't turn on, first make sure that the stove is plugged in and that the circuit breaker isn't tripped or the fuse blown.
  • The oven should be off and cooled to room temperature.
  • Most ovens need a 40-watt appliance bulb (not a standard light bulb). These are available at home centres and can be removed and installed like any light bulb.
  • You may have to remove the protective cover in order to access the dead bulb.
  • If the light still won't work, the door switch may need replacement. Unplug the oven and pry the switch from the door frame with a putty knife or screwdriver covered with tape to avoid scratching the surface.
  • Disconnect the wires, take the switch to an appliance store and buy a replacement. Install the new switch.
  • If the problem persists, call for service.

Replacing elements

If a coil element in an electric cooktop is not working, remove it and insert another element of the same size from the cooktop. If the replacement works, you need to buy a new element. If it doesn't work, call for service.

  • To avoid problems in the future, keep elements and burner drip pans clean and use flat-bottom cookware.
  • There's no need to line drip pans with foil, however; today's chrome or porcelain drip pans are easy to clean.
  • Bake and broil elements in the oven heat poorly if they are bent or pitted. I
  • n either case, the best solution is to replace the element. Unplug the range. Remove the cover, if necessary, and take out the screws holding the element to the wall of the oven. Remove any brackets and pull out the element. Take the element to an appliance store and ask them to check the continuity to verify that the element is bad. If it is, you'll need to install a replacement element.

Replacing the drip pans

Drip pans under the coil element on an electric cooktop keep spills from dripping below the cooktop; they also reflect and contain heat from the coils.

  • Drip pans that are dirty or have holes in them rob some of the heat from the pan. Keep the drip pans clean.
  • If they are old, buy replacements at a hardware or appliance store. To access the drip pan, lift the coil and pull the terminals free.
  • Remove the pan and take it with you when you shop for a replacement.
  • Chrome-plated drip pans are inexpensive, although porcelain models are easier to clean.

Simple problems usually have simple solutions, and are easy to fix if you get to them right away. Keep these solutions in mind the next time your having a problem, and remember to keep up with oven cleaning and maintenance!

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