Model #RBS245PDB1, this built in single oven was operationally working properly as evidenced by all the baking the customer had accomplished over the weekend. But sometime during what turned out to be the final batch of cookies for the day, the door became stuck and wouldn't open. The customer did the smart thing and shut the oven off to prevent a fire, and left it for me to take a look at the next day. When I arrived, the cookies stuck inside were lets say very well done, but I was confident I had a solution to the problem so the baking could resume.
The door stuck shut is not entirely uncommon on ovens that have self cleaning capabilities, because of the use of a latching mechanism, used to keep the door shut. These can become damaged during the high temperatures of the self clean cycle, resulting in a stuck door. Or sometimes one of the safety thermostats will open due to the heat, and essentially cutting the power to the oven resulting in the latch remaining in the locked position. I mention these failures as they are the likely reason for a door getting stuck, but this customer wasn't using the cleaning cycle when the failure occurred leading me in a little bit different direction.
Well not much of a different direction as I still planned on having a look at the latch. It really is the only component capable to keeping the door locked aside from a hinge failure. But as I pulled on the door handle and felt the latch take hold, I was confident I was looking in the right place.
The latch on this oven works a bit differently than on many other ovens in that the latch itself engages the door every time it is closed. Were most only latch when a cleaning cycle is started, this latch arm works in conjunction with the oven light switch actuator. When the door is closed, the actuator arm contacts the light switch and turns off the cavity lights. This arm is connected to the latch arm and it pivots around a center post, so when the arm is pushed in, the latch engages the door. When the door is opened, the the switch arm will retract, with the help of a spring arm which also releases the latch from the door. To lock the door during self clean, a solenoid is used to prevent the arm and latch assembly from pivoting to the open position.
Simple enough, but hard to get to when the door is stuck shut. Here is were some specialized tools, or a coat hanger can come in handy. To get the door open, I use one of my metal probes to slide over the top of the door, then engage the latch and slide it to the left. A bent coat hanger will work just as well. Once the latch is out of the way, the door should easily open. Just a note, if the latch fails as the result of a self clean, this trick will not work because the latch solenoid is still engaged. You will need to use the coat hanger to poke through the grill under the control panel and try to push the solenoid arm out of the way. This is a discussion for another post, but do turn the power off before attempting any probing with a metal rod.
With the door open, I could remove the screws holding the grill in place allowing me to have a look at the latch. And once inside I found the return spring was no longer attached to the latch base, but lying on the base instead. Without this spring tension to return the latch to the open position, the door will remain locked.
The good news here was the spring itself is actually a replaceable part and once it was installed, the latch worked perfectly.
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Thoughts and commentary about appliance repair topics including common failures and repairs, plus links to frequently used parts, industry news, along with information to help you better understand your appliances. Resources available for the technical professional and the do-it-yourselfer.
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