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The modern convenience of a gas or electric range has given men and women some much needed extra time by making food preparations much faster. Keeping your stove in good running order by recognizing problems before they start or when the start can save on the high cost of repair bills. These tips will help you to troubleshoot your electric or gas range.

Many problems with a gas or electric range can be solved by a few simple mechanical adjustments. When your oven is over heating it is quite likely a problem with the exhaust bent at the back of the cook top or under one of the surface burners. Check for any obstructions and remove them. While checking this area make sure the round hole in the vent passageway is lined up with the reflector pan hole.

When your oven sweats, drips water, is smoky, or refuses to maintain a set temperature, you may need to replace the gasket. If you are unsure of what the gasket is, it is the flexible strip that seals the door of your oven. Look for wear or cracks in the gasket and if you discover any it will need to be replaced. On most models you can simply pull the gasket off and clip the new one on. But in some models it will be necessary to loosen the oven liner or remove the door. If either of these are the case, it is wise to call a repairman. In a case where the gasket is good but the oven still does not heat properly you should ask a repairman to test the thermostat to see if it needs to be recalibrated.

If your stove is electric and you find that none of your heating elements work or they simply will not reach higher temperatures you should begin by checking the fuse box or circuit breakers to make sure none are blown or tripped. When they are, simply reset the tripped breaker or replace the fuse.

A single surface element that will not heat can alert you to the fact that the problem is in just that element. Begin by turning off your stove and then lifting the element to check it. When you see bubbles or burn marks on the sheathing the element will need to be replaced. Also, if the element has pitting on the terminals it should be replaced. You can remove a plug-in element by gently pulling it from the plug. Remove the mounting screw that holds the plug in place and pull the plug clear of the opening. Inspect the plug to be sure it isn't blocked or worn. If this is not the problem check the spring contacts in the plug slots to see if they are bent or burned. If any of these problems are present, you will need to replace the plug. When this is necessary you should remove the retaining clips and insulating board, then unscrew the terminal screws. Completely disconnect the wires and install a new plug. Be sure you check with your appliance store to insure you are installing the exact same plug you have removed.

If you have a wire type element you will need to remove the reflector pan by unscrewing the hinge clip screw. Then gently pull the element up and out of the opening. Pry off the two spring clips on the insulating block and write down how the wires are connected to the element's terminals before disconnecting them. Check the insulating block to see if it is burned and replace it as well. When you install this element you will simply reverse this process. Each time you check your elements be sure to check all the wires to see if they are burned or brittle. When they are, you will need a repairman to replace them.

The element inside your oven should be checked each time you maintenance your stove. Begin by turning off the power to your stove and then inspect the element to see if it is burned or bubbled. If it is, unscrew the mounting bracket screws at the back of the oven. Some ovens will require that you remove the back panel to disconnect the element. Gently bring the element forward until you can disconnect the wires for the terminals. Then remove the element and replace it. Check the wires on this element as well and replace them when they are burned or brittle. You can also check the plug for your element and replace it when the terminals are burned.

A gas stove will need the pilot light adjusted or relit from time to time, but most problems with this type of stove should be left to a repairman. You can, however, clean the burner ports with a paper clip when your burner flames are uneven. Check your surface burners to see if they have removable caps and wash them in a mixture of ammonia with hot water. When your burner flames are too high, noisy, or the flame is yellow, have the gas company adjust the air gas mixture. When your pilot light is lit and properly adjusted but a burner will not light, it is often because the burner or pilot ports are clogged. To clean them you will need to lift the top of your stove and lift out the burner assembly. Use a straightened paper clip to unclog the burner and pilot pots and then wash the burner head in ammonia mixed with hot water. Thoroughly dry the burner head before you replace it to insure that moisture will not interfere with it lighting.