These 'Helpful Tips' and the 'Myths About Appliances' sections could help you rectify simple problems without any other help and before they turn into costly ones. They could also help you avoid the need for service altogether. Appliance411 major home appliance parts, repair and service information for consumers.
Myth - The glass on the oven door exploded all by itself. Truth - When an oven door glass shatters, there is always a cause. The cause could have occurred weeks or months ago and never even been noticed. For example if the oven door was struck, say with a broom handle when cleaning, a pot or pan while cooking or if the door was allowed to slam shut just once, that's all it can take. This initial blow could weaken the structure of the glass. Later, after repeated heating and coolings causing thermal expansion and contraction of the glass, it finally fails critically. It can also be caused by a flaw in the glass material but in such a case a failure will often occur within the first year warranty period. Luckily, it's safety glass and no large jagged shards remain to do additional harm. (Added: 9-Oct-1999)
Myth - An oven thermostat varies the amount of current the oven heaters use. Truth - A thermostat simply turns the elements on and off (at full power) to get an average temperature. For example, it may heat until it senses a temperature of 370°F and then stop until it lowers to 330°F. The average cooking temperature however will be somewhere in the middle around 350°. For most modern electric surface elements, they also always gets full voltage. The controlling switch simply cycles the power on and off quickly to vary the amount of heat generated. (Added: 9-Oct-1999)
Myth - If the power goes out, I can still light the oven of my gas range with a match. Truth - On gas models with a glow coil ignition system, the oven cannot be lit without power. The surface burners can, in most cases, still be lit using a BBQ spark ignitor or other flame source as can some ovens that use a spark ignition system. (Added: 9-Oct-1999)
Myth - My gas oven won't light so the pilot must have gone out. Truth - Most modern gas ranges use an electronic ignition system to light the burners, these don't utilize a standing pilot. On such models, if the oven won't light there is a problem in the range that will have to be corrected. (Added: 16-Oct-2001)
Myth - The ignitor for my oven glows so it must be good. Truth - An oven ignitor needs to reach a specific resistance in order to allow the oven gas valve to open. It is possible for ignitors to glow but not reach that resistance. It is also possible for ignitors to glow but not get quite hot enough to ignite the gas immediately once released. This can cause delayed ignition and 'mini explosions' in the oven when the burner finally does light. (Added: 27-Sep-2003)