So you decided to slow cook lamb ribs in your oven this morning and fell asleep, forgetting to switch it off.
We understand that you might have panicked, thinking your oven could catch fire. At this point, you probably must have wondered if your oven can automatically shut down after a certain period.
The short answer is that while electric ovens shut down after reaching a 12-hour mark to prevent them from overheating, gas ovens, on the other hand, can shut down due to faulty temperature sensors.
Keep scrolling down because, in this article, we will explain some common reasons behind an oven turning off by itself and much more!
Do Ovens (Electric & Gas) Turn Off Automatically?
Yes, it doesn’t matter whether you use an electric or a gas oven. Nowadays, ovens have built-in safety features which automatically turn the oven off to prevent them from overheating. The reason behind this is that your oven can cause a flame if it gets very hot.
On the one hand, almost every modern electric oven has a built-in timer that won’t let the oven stay on after it reaches the 12-hour mark.
On the other hand, a gas oven may also shut down due to a problematic temperature regulator or thermistor. Moreover, your gas oven can turn on and off to maintain the set temperature for cooking food.
Therefore, both electric and gas ovens can shut down automatically.
Do ovens turn off automatically after the timer?
Nowadays, most ovens are equipped with touchpad clock controls which automatically turn them off after 12 hours.
This is sufficient time to cook almost all foods; even if you cook the toughest meats, they can tenderize in 12 hours.
Timers prevent your oven from overheating and help to save energy. This reduces the risk that your oven will ignite, and you will also have a lower electricity bill.
To adjust over oven’s timer, you just have to set the cooking time and completion time and do your other tasks. Once the cooking time is completed, your oven will shut down.
Ovens Have a Safety Feature
Now that you know that older models don’t have automatic timers let us also learn why these timers are important.
To start with, most ovens manufactured after 1995 have automatic timers that shut off the oven if it runs beyond 12 hours.
These timers keep your oven from getting overheated and ignited. Moreover, timers also prevent your oven’s temperature sensor or thermistor from getting damaged.
If the thermistor is faulty or damaged, your oven may likely ignite or malfunction. Nowadays, timers are present in both electric and gas ovens to give you a safe cooking experience.
All electric ovens can automatically turn off after 12 hours due to built-in timers. But sometimes, you need to operate your oven for over 12 hours.
For instance, if you want to dehydrate vegetables or make jerky in your oven, you would have to turn off its automatic timer.
You can do this by activating your oven’s “override” feature, and the timer will be turned off. You can check your oven’s user guide to find out how to turn on this mode.
However, you need to remember that if your oven shuts down automatically when it shouldn’t, there might be some fault with its temperature sensor.
Gas ovens operate differently in terms of automatic shutdown compared to electric ovens. They function by repeatedly turning off and on while cooking food.
This cycle helps to maintain the set temperature inside the oven and prevents it from overheating.
However, if your gas oven continues to shut down completely, it means that your thermostat could be faulty and needs replacing.
How Do I Know If My Oven Has an Automatic Shut Off?
Now that you know the importance of an automatic shut-off function in your oven, you may also want to check whether your oven has this feature.
One of the easiest ways to determine if your oven has an automatic shut-off feature is to check if it is equipped with a touchpad clock control.
Moreover, this safety feature is only present in ovens manufactured after 1995. Older models aren’t equipped with this feature. Last but not least, you can check your oven’s user manual to know if it has an automatic shut-off feature.
Just in case you have misplaced your user manual, a quick Google search will provide you with all the required information about your oven.
All you have to do is enter the name and model number of your oven and the information will appear before your eyes. Isn’t that quite simple!?
How To Fix a Faulty Oven Thermostat
As we have already mentioned, a faulty thermostat may cause your oven to shut down by itself and make your food cook unevenly. So it is better to call a professional to get it fixed.
However, if you can’t find an experienced technician, you can also fix your oven thermostat by following these simple steps:
- Firstly, you will have to turn off your oven and move it away from the electric socket. Ensure that there is enough space between your oven and the wall.
- Then, look at the labels on your oven’s wiring. This will help you to determine where the wirings should be connected while putting them back. In case they are not labeled, then you will have to label them for your ease and safety.
- Then, you need to locate the thermostat (temperature regulator) inside your oven, which is a thin metal tube. Once you find it, you can remove your oven’s rear panel to get access to the wiring.
- Then, practice caution while removing the wiring and noting down where each wire goes.
- Unscrew the thermostat off the rear and put the new thermostat in that place.
- Refer to the wiring labels to fix them back in place. Then, fix the rear panel with a screwdriver.
- At last, connect your oven to the electric socket and push it back in place.
Older Models Do Not Turn Off Automatically
As we have mentioned above, older models of ovens do not have an automatic turn-off feature. Therefore, if your oven was produced before 1995, it will not shut down automatically.
This feature was only added to ovens made after 1995 to provide a safe and efficient cooking experience. Moreover, if your oven doesn’t have a digital clock, then also it will lack this automatic shutdown feature.
Remember that your ovens need to turn off automatically to reduce the risk of catching on fire. Otherwise, it can overheat and malfunction, often causing a flame. But don’t worry, you can install a timer switch in your oven to automatically turn it off if it lacks one. Let’s get into more details about this device!
Why You Might Need a Timer Switch
If your oven is not equipped with an automatic turn-off feature, you need to get a timer switch for your oven.
Not only does it prevents your oven from overheating and catching on fire, but it also helps to prevent your foods from drying out due to excess heat.
So here’s a hypothetical situation – Suppose your grandmother puts chocolate chip cookies in the oven for baking and forgets to take them out. (since memory problems are very common in old age). At this stage, the timer switch will come to her rescue!
Once the cooking time is completed, this device will automatically turn off the oven (while also preventing the cookies from turning hard). Isn’t it a win-win situation!?
Install An Automatic Shut-Off Device For Your Oven For Safety
An automatic shut-off device will turn off your oven if you or your dear one forgets to do the same.
Nowadays, automatic shut-off devices also come with Wi-Fi technology. You can simply connect them to your tablet or smartphone (or to your loved one’s mobile phone) to control your oven with just a click of a button.
Moreover, this device will shut down the entire oven if there is no one around for a certain period.
Top Reasons Why Oven Turns Off By Itself
Now that you know most ovens automatically turn off as they have built-in timers, let us also explore some other reasons behind an oven turning off automatically. So following are the top reasons why an oven turns off by itself:
1. Blocked Ventilation Systems or Cooling Fan Failed
Nowadays, ovens come equipped with cooling fans and efficient ventilation systems to cook food.
They allow cool air circulation into the oven and filter out the warm air of the oven. However, with time, dust and grease build-up can block these vents.
Consequently, these blocked vents will obstruct the airflow in the oven, causing it to overheat. That’s when your oven will automatically shut down to prevent it from catching fire.
2. Faulty Temperature Sensor or Thermistor
The job of an oven thermistor is to regulate its temperature and help it reach the set temperature. As soon as the oven reaches the set temperature, the thermistor prevents the oven from overheating by shutting down the power flow.
This helps maintain the set temperature in the oven. However, if the thermistor is faulty, it will cut off the power flow before the oven reaches the set temperature, causing the oven to turn off.
Moreover, if the thermistor is broken, then also it will turn off the oven by giving false signals to the control board, giving the impression that the set temperature has been reached.
Author’s Note: We recommend you replace your broken/faulty thermistor by following the steps mentioned in your oven’s user manual.
3. Damaged Heating Elements
Nowadays, electric ovens come equipped with heating elements to generate heat for cooking food. These elements are present at the top, bottom, and back of the electric oven.
However, if some heavy weight falls onto these heating elements, they will be out of form and not work properly. Moreover, faulty wirings will also prevent them from fully functioning.
As a result, the heating elements will cut off and stop working, making your oven shut down by itself.
4. Electrical Problems
If you have an electric oven, then it can automatically shut down due to electrical problems, just like all electrical appliances.
Such as, if the wires are broken or were loosely attached during the time of manufacturing, then your oven may malfunction and shut down prematurely.
Therefore, we recommend you consult an experienced technician to fix the wiring problems of your oven.
4. Problematic Control Board
Your oven’s control board receives signals from other elements and helps maintain the temperature to cook food. However, with time, it can wear out and stop functioning correctly.
Moreover, if the control board is of bad quality or if the manufacturer didn’t assemble it properly, then also it could malfunction. Furthermore, the electrical parts on the control board can overheat and get burnt, causing your oven to shut off automatically.
Therefore, you will either have it examined by a professional or replace it if your oven has turned old enough.
1. Will an oven catch fire if left on?
Whether an oven can catch fire depends on what foods you cook inside. For instance, if you cook oily foods often in your oven, the oil can splatter and stick inside the walls and bottom of your appliance.
Moreover, bread crumbs, food scraps, and wet batter can fall off your oven’s bottom and catch fire. Therefore, you must clean your oven regularly.
2. Why did my electric oven catch fire?
Electric ovens are made up of various electrical elements such as wires, coils, thermistors, etc., that work together to cook food. However, these elements can overheat and cause a flame if you leave your oven on for a very long time.
Therefore, we recommend you occasionally check your power connections and call an experienced technician to make sure that your oven is working correctly.
3. Do gas ovens turn on and off while cooking?
To maintain the set temperature, your gas oven will switch on and off while cooking food. Moreover, if your oven’s temperature is lower than the set temperature, the oven turns on again to generate enough heat and reach the desired temperature.
However, as soon as the temperature exceeds the set temperature, your oven will turn off once again to prevent it from overheating and catching fire.
In conclusion, both electric and gas ovens can turn off on their own after a certain time period. While a gas oven automatically shuts down because of a faulty thermostat, an electric oven has a built-in timer that turns off once it reaches the 12-hour mark.
Moreover, some other reasons behind an oven turning off by itself are blocked ventilation systems, damaged heating elements, as well as faulty wires, temperature sensors, and a control board.
If you have any other queries related to ovens, please type them in the comment section below. We will try our best to reply to you shortly!