Short answer: When your electric oven smells like gas, it’s essential to address it promptly. It could be a sign of underlying issues that require attention to ensure safety.
The unmistakable smell of gas emanating from an electric oven can be a cause for immediate concern and apprehension. Electric ovens are designed to run on electricity, and the presence of a gas odor suggests a potentially hazardous issue that demands prompt attention. Understanding the reasons behind an electric oven smelling like gas is crucial to ensuring the safety of your home and addressing any underlying problems. In this guide,I will explore the common causes of this unsettling smell, provide insights into prevention measures, and outline the actions required to rectify the situation. By gaining a deeper understanding of this issue, you can take the necessary steps to eliminate the gas odor and ensure the safe operation of your electric oven.
Why Does My Electric Oven Smell Like Gas?
If your oven smells like gas, it can be concerning, but it’s important to note that in an electric oven, there is no actual gas supply. Instead, several factors can contribute to the perception of a gas-like smell. One common reason is a malfunctioning or damaged heating element or faulty wiring within the oven. When these components are not working correctly, they can produce unusual odors that might resemble gas. Lingering food odors, spills, or burnt residues can create unpleasant smells when the oven is in use. The use of strong cleaning chemicals or the presence of manufacturing residues in a new oven can also contribute to these odors.
Faulty Wiring: Faulty or damaged wiring within your electric oven can generate a gas-like smell. It’s important to inspect and address any wiring issues promptly to ensure safe operation.
Damaged Heating Element: A damaged heating element in the oven can also contribute to a gas-like odor. This component plays a crucial role in heating the oven and should be checked if you notice any unusual smells.
New Oven: New ovens may emit odors, often related to protective coatings or residual manufacturing odors. These smells typically dissipate after a few uses as the oven “breaks in.”
Burnt Smells: The oven can emit burnt smells if there are spills or residue on the heating elements or oven surfaces. These odors are common and can be resolved through cleaning.
Lingering Odors: Lingering odors from previous cooking, such as strong-smelling foods like fish, can persist in the oven and give the impression of a gas smell. Proper cleaning helps eliminate these odors.
Unrelated Gas Leak: Sometimes, a gas-like smell in the kitchen may not be from the oven itself but from an unrelated gas leak elsewhere. It’s crucial to rule out external sources of the odor.
Lack of Cleaning: A lack of regular cleaning can lead to the accumulation of food residues or spills in the oven, resulting in unwanted odors during cooking.
Food Odors: Cooking certain foods with strong aromas can leave behind lingering smells in the oven, which may be mistaken for a gas-like odor.
Cleaning Chemicals: If incorrect or strong cleaning chemicals are used in the oven, they can produce unpleasant odors when the oven is heated.
Preheating: Preheating a new oven is a recommended practice to burn off any protective coatings or manufacturing residues, which may initially produce odors during the oven’s first uses.
Recently Painted House: Odors from paint or renovation work in your home may permeate the oven, giving the impression of a gas smell if the oven is not adequately sealed during the work.
Self-Cleaning Oven: The self-cleaning cycle in some ovens can generate odors as it burns off built-up food residues and spills. These odors are typically temporary and part of the cleaning process.
Fixing The Electric Oven Smells Like Gas
1. Replacing The Igniter:
- Lift the oven door slightly to about 20 degrees and remove it from the hinges. Some models may not allow door removal, but it’s more convenient if you can.
- Remove the screws at the back (usually Phillips head) to lift the bottom panel. Tilt it to around 45 degrees to unlock the front lip and remove the panel.
- The igniter is located right below. It’s secured by two-quarter-inch screws. Apply a bit of oil to make screw removal easier.
- Strip some wire from the connector that attaches the igniter to the oven. Connect the new igniter by matching the wires (either oven wire or igniter wire). Use ceramic wire nuts to create a secure electrical connection.
- Reconnect the modular connector (it only fits one way) and route the wires through the designated space to minimize exposure to heat during baking.
- Secure the igniter by aligning it and using your fingers to start the screws. Tighten them using a driver.
- Test the oven by setting it to bake. The igniter should gradually brighten and ignite within about 30 seconds.
2. Cleaning the oven
To clean an electric oven and eliminate gas-like smells, follow these steps:
Remove Oven Racks: Take out all the oven racks and set them aside. You can clean them separately.
Gather Supplies: You will need the following supplies:
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- Dishwashing liquid
- Scrubbing sponge or cloth
- Rubber gloves
- Plastic or silicone spatula
Create a Cleaning Paste: Mix a paste of baking soda and water. Start with a 1/2 cup of baking soda and add water gradually until you have a thick paste.
Apply the Paste: Spread the baking soda paste evenly inside the oven, paying special attention to areas with visible stains or spills. Avoid applying it to heating elements or vents.
Let it Sit: Leave the baking soda paste on the oven’s interior surfaces for several hours or overnight. This allows it to break down stubborn residue and odors.
Scrub the Interior:
- Put on rubber gloves to protect your hands.
- Dampen a scrubbing sponge or cloth with water and scrub the oven’s interior, focusing on the areas with baking soda paste. The baking soda will help loosen grime and odors.
Rinse with Vinegar:
- Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
- Spray the oven’s interior with the vinegar-water solution to neutralize any remaining odors and baking soda residue. Be cautious around the heating elements.
Wipe and Rinse:
- Use a clean, damp cloth or sponge to wipe away any remaining residue and vinegar.
- Rinse the cloth or sponge frequently.
Clean Oven Racks:
- While the oven is drying, clean the oven racks. Soak them in a tub or sink filled with warm, soapy water for a few hours.
- Scrub any remaining residue or stains from the racks using a scrubbing pad or brush.
Dry and Reassemble: Ensure the oven is thoroughly dry before reassembling the racks. Once everything is dry, reinsert the racks into the oven.
Ventilation: Open windows or use exhaust fans to help dissipate any remaining odors.
Final Check: Turn the oven on to a low temperature (about 200°F or 93°C) for a short time to ensure any remaining odors are burned off. Keep an eye on it during this process.