Problems After Self Cleaning

Warning: Before using your ovens self clean mode consider the following. If your visiting this page it is likely you already used the self clean feature and now have one of several problems.

After countless service calls that always seem to start with “I just ran my self clean”. Does not seem to matter if it is gas or electric.. The common theme is that the self clean feature was just used on the oven, and now it is not working, the glass broke, no clock, door won’t open, door won’t close.

The basic idea of a self cleaning oven is to get the oven so hot that you incinerate everything that is in the oven. The heat from this process will burn up everything in the oven and sometimes things that should not burn up like wiring,controls,motors... The wiring and controls are built to withstand high heat, although taking the oven to such high temperatures pushes everything to the limit. If something is not insulated perfectly or has shifted a bit then the heat can cause it to fail. Repeated heating also wears the insulation out and causes it to break down. For this reason the self cleaning features should be used sparingly if at all. I have seen countless ranges that failed the first time trying it. I know why even bother having it ??? You have now been warned!!!

If you have an oven that will not unlock after the cycle you have a few things you can try.

First make sure that you wait long enough before you try to open the oven. If it has not cooled completely it will not open. Do not run a clean cycle when you do not have the time to let it cool completely before you need it. Sometimes if you cycle the power to your oven off and then on again you can reset the oven and it will open. Turn off the breaker to your oven for a good minute or two before reapplying the power again.

If that fails to unlock the door try this Set the self-clean cycle again and only allow it to work for 15 minutes. Cancel the self-clean cycle and allow the oven to cool. Gently try moving the door lock lever (is so equipped) or opening the door.

If you've interrupted the clean cycle by opening the door and the latch engaged and now the door can't be closed, there may be a door activated switch on the front face of the oven. In this case you may need to manually press that door switch while at the same time canceling the clean cycle to get the latch to retract so the door can close fully again.

On some Frigidaire built ranges, the switch is located behind the RH side panel and activated by the RH door hinge. On such a model, that side panel may need to be removed to access a malfunctioning door switch.

Still not working

Most self cleaning ranges today use one of 3 different types of door locking systems. One design is solenoid driven, another is heat activated and the last, motorized.

* A solenoid type can be identified by the lever that must be set to lock the door, also a noise (sometimes loud) can be heard when locking or unlocking the door.

* The heat sensitive lock mechanism also has a locking lever but makes no noises. It instead utilizes a heat activated coiled spring to slowly lock the door as the oven heats.

* The motorized design has no lever to move, the motor locks the door by itself when the range is set for self clean. The motor may have made an audible whining or ratcheting sound when in use, a sure sign it failed.

A motorized or heat sensitive style lock will usually be located beneath the cook top on free standing ranges. The cook top would usually need to be lifted to access the locking mechanism. On built in ovens, the oven must usually be removed from its enclosure (or at least partially) in order to remove the top panel to gain access to the locking mechanism. Some will also require removing a cover on the back of the range to acess the motor and micro switches (if equipped). On some built in oven models, the lock assembly may be able to be accessed by removing the control console.

Heat sensitive lock assemblyOn the heat sensitive style (illustrated), there are no electrical parts used to operate the lock which could fail, so the whole mechanism will usually need to be replaced if not operational. This is the least likely to fail in my experience.

With the motorized lock mechanism, an ohmmeter is required to try to determine why the locking motor will not operate. The failure could be in the motor itself or the power supply leading to it, including a door activated and/or console mounted switch and switches on the latch mechanism itself. Check the motor terminals with the ohmmeter you should have about 1 ohm on most . Also check from 1 terminal to a good ground you should have none. Inspect the motor and wiring for burn marks. If all is good make sure you have power going to the motor when activated. Check each micro switch if equipped for continuity. Sometimes the cam on the motor will be in between micro switches, in that case take a screwdriver and push in the tab on one of the micro switches to activate it. The micro switch should have no continuity when the tab is not depressed and should have continuity when depressed.

On solenoid activated designs, the solenoid coil is a common failure point which is often mounted on the back of the range. On many of these models, the lock mechanism can be accessed by removing the rear panel of the appliance. Some models such as built-in ovens or slide-in ranges may have the mechanism mounted towards the front, under the top.

Solenoid coil Failure of a solenoid style lock is most often caused by a bad solenoid. Once the lock is located, the solenoid coil can be checked for continuity. If it has none replace it. Some latch assemblies also have micro switches in the power supply that will need to be checked (follow the above procedure).

Now if the control is not working at all. First check to see if power is reaching the control. If it does have power going in you will need to replace the main control. Now if you have no power going into the control your range may have a safety fuse that has blown. To check the fuse check it for continuity. If it has none replace it. To find out if you have a safety or thermal fuse enter in your model # above and check the diagrams. Most will be located on top of the oven compartment or the back up high.

Now you will probally never use the self clean feature again. If you do plan on using it bookmark this page you will need it. I will be updating soon with videos of the testing and repairs.