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Kitchenaid Oven no Heat after Self Clean

Model #KEBC107KSS5icon, this built in single oven had been functioning properly until the customer decided to run the self cleaning cycle. The oven ran through the cycle normally and unlocked the door just like it had after previous cleanings. But the next time she went to use the oven, it counted down during the preheat cycle as usual, but the inside had not heated at all. There was no visual clue that there was anything wrong, and resetting the circuit breakers didn’t make any difference.

I have talked about cleaning cycles before, how they essentially turn your oven into an incinerator by running the heating elements until the cavity temperature is oftentimes over 700 degrees Fahrenheit. This doesn’t pose any specific problems as self cleaning ovens are designed for this, but sometimes this excessive temperature can result in the premature failure of one or more electrical components.

Many ovens and even freestanding ranges are using a device called a thermal overload or TOD. These are simple thermostats designed to open the electrical circuit in the event of an over temperature condition. This could be caused by the electronic control leaving the element on for to long, or even spilled food catching fire during normal baking. But although they are designed to only fail for safety purposes, sometimes the high temperatures generated during self clean can be enough to cause one of these TOD’s to fail. And when they do, the result is usually no heat.

On this oven, I checked the wiring diagram to be sure a TOD was used on the design and found it located on the back wall behind the rear panel. This does necessitate the oven being removed from the cabinet, but the single ovens are not to heavy. Using my multimeter I did a resistance check of the TOD and found it to be an open circuit.

I installed a the thermal overloadicon in place of the old one and reconnected the wires. Once the back panel was in place, I was able to reinstall the oven into its enclosure, then turned the breakers back on to give it a test. The element both produced heat very quickly indicating this problem has been resolved.

Just a note, when one of these safety devices fails, it usually a good idea to see if there may be some reason for the failure. Many built in ovens use a cooling fan to help move heat away from the cabinetry by circulating are around the chassis. If these fans fail, or even slow down, the TOD will be subjected to higher than normal temperatures and will be more likely to fail.

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