Short answer: A gas smell when the oven is on can be caused by a faulty igniter or gas leak. It’s essential to address this issue promptly to ensure safety.

The presence of a gas smell when your oven is in operation can be a cause for concern, prompting questions about safety and potential issues with your appliance. While ovens are a fundamental part of any kitchen, it’s crucial to understand why you might detect a gas odor and how to respond to it. In this guide, I will explore the common reasons behind a gas smell when the oven is on, safety precautions to take, and steps you can follow to address and resolve this issue. By gaining insight into these matters, you can ensure both the efficient operation of your oven and the safety of your kitchen environment.

Reasons Your Oven Smells Like Gas

Your oven emitting a gas-like smell can be concerning and may indicate various issues. Here are some reasons why your oven might smell like gas:

  1. Odorant: Natural gas is odorless, but utility companies add a chemical called mercaptan to give it a distinct odor, making it easier to detect leaks. If you smell gas, it might just be the odorant itself.
  2. Gas Leak: The most critical concern is a gas leak. If there is a leak in your gas supply line or a damaged gas valve, you may smell gas. Gas leaks are dangerous and should be addressed immediately. Turn off the gas supply, open windows for ventilation, and contact a professional.
  3. Gas Connection Leak: Sometimes, gas connections or fittings can develop leaks over time due to wear and tear. These leaks can also cause a gas smell. A technician should inspect and repair any faulty connections.
  4. Failing Gas Igniter: If your oven’s gas igniter is failing, it may not light the gas properly. This can lead to a buildup of gas before ignition, causing a noticeable gas odor. The igniter may need replacement.
  5. Packaging Materials: If you recently purchased a new oven or kitchen appliance, there might be packaging materials, such as plastic or styrofoam, stuck near the heating elements or burners. When heated, these materials can emit unpleasant odors that may resemble a gas smell.
  6. Burning Dust: Ovens can accumulate dust and food debris over time, especially if they are not used frequently. When you turn on the oven, this debris may burn, producing a temporary smell that could be mistaken for gas. Regular cleaning can help prevent this.
  7. Blocked Vents: Blocked or clogged oven vents can interfere with proper airflow, potentially causing incomplete combustion of gas and the release of odors. Ensure that the vents are clean and unobstructed.

How To Fix The Gas Smell When Oven Is On?

Assembling gas valve
Gas valve assembly

Replace The Ignitor:

Step 1: Prepare the Oven: Start by removing the oven door; it should slide right off when lifted at about a 20-degree angle. Also, remember to unplug your oven for safety. Remove the oven racks as well.

Step 2: Access the Igniter: Next, loosen the two standard head screws at the back of the oven. These screws can often be removed with a standard head screwdriver. Lift the back of the plate up to about 45 degrees, and there’s a little lip at the front that you need to pull out. This will allow you to remove the plate and access the igniter.

Step 3: Remove the Old Igniter: 

  • Under the oven, locate and remove the lower drawer called the broiler pan. This will provide access to some of the electrical connections.
  • In this area, you’ll find two wires connected to the igniter and two quarter-inch screws. Remove these screws.
  • Also, disconnect one Spade connection on the safety valve at the back; these connections are coming from the igniter.
  • Remove two quarter-inch screws that secure the gas tube or venturi in place, and there’s one more screw to remove from the top. Applying a bit of oil to the screw threads can make it easier to remove them.

Step 4: Install the New Igniter

  • Now, take your new igniter, which can be a generic one if you prefer, and cut off the old wires from the old igniter. Make sure to cut them close to the old igniter, leaving enough wire length.
  • Strip about a quarter-inch of insulation from the wire ends.
  • Use ceramic wire nuts provided with your igniter kit to connect the wires. Twist them tightly to ensure a secure electrical connection. These ceramic wire nuts are heat-resistant.

Step 5: Secure the New Igniter

  • Place the new igniter in position, securing it with two small quarter-inch screws. These screws might look different depending on your oven model, but they serve the same purpose.
  • There’s no need to worry about connecting the wires to a specific side of the igniter; it can be either wire to either side.

Step 6: Reassemble the Oven

  • Feed the wires and the igniter back into the oven cavity.
  • Align the venturi tube with the safety valve’s brass tube underneath the oven, ensuring a proper fit.
  • Reconnect the modular connector and the Spade connector.
  • Reattach the screws, including the one at the front for the venturi tube and the two at the back. Applying oil to the screw threads can help.
  • Plug your oven back in and turn it on to test the new igniter. You should see it gradually glowing brighter and eventually igniting the gas. This process should take less than 60 seconds.

Step 7: Reassemble the Oven: After testing, allow the oven to cool down slightly before reattaching the plate. Insert it at a 45-degree angle, align the front lip, and then set the backdown. Secure it with the screws. If they don’t align perfectly, it’s not a problem; everything will still work fine.

Step 8: Reassemble the Oven Door

  • Slide the racks back into the oven.
  • Carefully slide the oven door back into place, ensuring it locks securely.

Step 9: Final Check: Test the oven door to make sure it’s functioning correctly.

Clean The Oven:

If you notice a gas smell in your oven, it’s essential to ensure your safety first. Before attempting to clean or fix the issue, follow these steps:

  1. Turn Off the Oven: Immediately turn off the oven and any gas supply to it. This step is crucial to prevent any potential gas leaks from becoming worse.
  2. Open Windows and Doors: Ventilate the area by opening windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate and help dissipate any lingering gas fumes.
  3. Do Not Use Flames or Electrical Appliances: Avoid using any flames, sparks, or electrical appliances near the oven or in the kitchen until you’ve addressed the issue.
  4. Evacuate if Necessary: If the gas smell is strong and persists even after ventilation, or if you suspect a significant gas leak, evacuate your home and contact your gas utility company or emergency services immediately.
  5. Contact a Professional: If you’re unsure about the source of the gas smell or if it continues after you’ve taken initial safety measures, it’s essential to contact a qualified technician or your gas utility company to inspect and repair the oven.

Once you’ve ensured safety and resolved any gas-related issues, you can consider cleaning your oven if the smell lingers or if you want to perform routine maintenance. Here’s how to clean the oven:

Step 1: Gather Supplies:

  • Oven cleaner (commercial or homemade)
  • Rubber gloves
  • A scrubbing brush or sponge
  • Baking soda and water (for a natural cleaner)
  • Old towels or rags
  • Plastic or newspaper (to protect the floor)
  • Ventilation mask (if using commercial oven cleaner)

Step 2: Remove Oven Racks: Take out any removable oven racks and soak them separately in warm, soapy water.

Step 3: Prepare the Cleaning Solution:

  • If using a commercial oven cleaner, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and wear gloves and a mask if recommended.
  • For a natural cleaner, mix a paste using baking soda and water. Spread this paste over the interior surfaces of the oven.

Step 4: Apply the Cleaner:

  • Coat the interior of the oven with the cleaning solution, paying extra attention to areas with stains, spills, or residue.
  • Avoid getting cleaner on the oven’s heating elements.

Step 6: Let it Sit: Allow the cleaning solution to sit for the recommended time (usually 15-30 minutes) to loosen grease and grime.

Step 7: Scrub and Wipe:

  • Use a scrubbing brush or sponge to scrub away dirt and grime.
  • Wipe down the oven’s interior with damp towels or rags to remove the cleaning solution and residue.

Step 8: Rinse and Dry:

  • Rinse the oven’s interior with clean, damp towels or rags to remove any remaining cleaning solution.
  • Dry the oven thoroughly.

Step 9: Reassemble: Once everything is clean and dry, reinsert the oven racks and any other removable parts.

Step 10: Ventilate: Open windows and doors again to ensure proper ventilation and remove any remaining cleaning odors.

Step 11: Test the Oven: Turn on the oven and let it run for a short period at a high temperature (around 400°F/200°C) to burn off any remaining odors.

Check Gas Leakage:

Checking gas leakage
Checking gas leakage from oven

Checking for gas leaks from your oven is an important safety measure. Here’s how you can check for gas leakage:

Materials You’ll Need:

  • A mixture of water and liquid dish soap (1:1 ratio)
  • A spray bottle
  • A clean sponge or cloth
  • A flashlight or a source of good lighting
  • Safety gloves and protective eyewear (recommended)

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1: Prepare the Solution: Mix equal parts of water and liquid dish soap in a spray bottle to create a soapy water solution. Shake the bottle gently to ensure the mixture is well combined.

Step 2: Turn Off the Oven and Gas Supply: Before starting the inspection, ensure that the oven and the gas supply are turned off. If your oven has been in use, allow it to cool completely.

Step 3: Remove the Oven Grates and Burner Covers: If applicable, remove the oven grates and burner covers to access the gas burner components. This will allow you to inspect the connections more easily.

Step 4: Check Gas Line Connections: Visually inspect all gas line connections, including the flexible gas hose, gas supply valve, and the connections to the oven. Look for any visible signs of damage, corrosion, or loose fittings.

Step 5: Spray Soapy Water Solution: Spray the soapy water solution onto the gas line connections and fittings. Be thorough in covering all areas where gas might escape. Pay particular attention to the connections at the back of the oven and the gas supply valve.

Step 6: Observe for Bubbles: Carefully examine the sprayed areas for any signs of bubbling or foaming. Bubbles forming indicate a gas leak, as the soapy water reacts with escaping gas.

Step 7: Use a Flashlight for Better Visibility: In case the lighting is poor, use a flashlight to illuminate the connections more effectively. This will help you spot any potential gas leaks more easily.

Step 8: Check for a Strong Gas Odor: While inspecting, also pay attention to any strong gas odor. If you smell gas, it indicates a potential leak.

Step 9: Address Leaks Promptly: If you detect any gas leaks (visible bubbles or a strong gas odor), immediately shut off the gas supply at the main gas valve (if possible) and open windows and doors to ventilate the area.

  • Do not use any electrical appliances or create sparks, as gas is highly flammable.
  • Contact a professional gas technician to repair the leak.
  • Do not attempt to fix a gas leak yourself, as it requires specialized knowledge and equipment.
Fixing gas leakage
Checking gas leakage from heating element

Oven Safety Tips

Oven safety is essential to prevent accidents and ensure that you can cook or bake without risks. Here are some oven safety tips to follow:

Read the Manual: Familiarize yourself with your oven’s user manual to understand its features, functions, and safety guidelines.

Proper Installation: Ensure that the oven is installed correctly by a qualified technician, following manufacturer recommendations.

Ventilation: Use the oven in a well-ventilated area to prevent heat and cooking odors from accumulating in your kitchen.

Keep Flammable Items Away: Keep flammable items, such as kitchen towels, oven mitts, and paper towels, away from the oven while it’s in use.

Clean Regularly: Clean your oven regularly to remove food residues, grease, and spills. Accumulated grease can cause fires and smoke.

Check for Damage: Inspect the oven door seal and hinges for any signs of damage. A damaged seal can lead to heat loss and inefficient cooking.

Use Oven Mitts: Always use oven mitts or heat-resistant gloves when placing items in or removing them from the oven. Oven doors and racks can be extremely hot.

Avoid Overcrowding: Avoid overcrowding the oven with cookware or baking sheets. Allow adequate space for heat circulation and even cooking.

Monitor Cooking: Keep an eye on your food while it’s cooking, especially when using high temperatures or broiling. Overcooking can lead to smoke or fire.

Use Timer: Set a timer to remind you when your food is done. This helps prevent overcooking and ensures you don’t forget about your meal.

Keep Oven Door Closed: Avoid opening the oven door unnecessarily during cooking, as it allows heat to escape, prolonging cooking times.

Use Proper Cookware: Use cookware and bakeware suitable for your oven’s temperature range. Check that your dishes are oven-safe.

Avoid Glass Containers on Stovetop: If you have a glass cooktop, avoid placing glass or ceramic containers directly on the hot surface. They can shatter due to rapid temperature changes.

Childproof Locks: If you have young children, consider installing childproof locks on the oven door to prevent accidental access.

Check for Gas Leaks: If you have a gas oven, periodically check for gas leaks using a soapy water solution around connections and fittings. Look for bubbles.

Turn Off When Not in Use: Make sure to turn off the oven when you’re done cooking. Don’t leave it unattended or in the “on” position.

Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your kitchen area for early detection of any oven-related issues.

Unplug When Cleaning: If you’re cleaning the oven, unplug it or turn off the circuit breaker to ensure safety.

Stay Alert: Always be alert and cautious when using the oven. Accidents can happen when you’re distracted or in a hurry.


Is it normal to smell gas briefly when I first turn on my oven?

It’s common to detect a slight gas odor when you initially turn on your gas oven. This is often the result of gas accumulating in the oven chamber before igniting. However, the smell should dissipate quickly once the oven ignites. If it lingers or intensifies, there may be a problem.

What causes a gas smell when the oven is on, even after I’ve turned it off?

If you continue to smell gas after turning off the oven, it could be due to a residual gas buildup inside the oven chamber. Ensure proper ventilation by opening windows and doors and allowing the smell to dissipate. If it persists, contact a professional technician.

Is it safe to use my oven if it occasionally smells like gas during cooking?

It is not safe to use your oven if you detect a persistent gas smell during operation. Continued use in such conditions can pose serious safety risks. Shut off the oven, ventilate the area, and have it inspected by a professional before using it again.

Is an electric burning smell toxic?

No, an electric burning smell is not typically toxic. It’s often caused by dust or minor electrical issues within appliances. However, it’s essential to investigate the source of the smell to ensure safety.

Why does my oven smell like burnt dust?

The smell of burnt dust in your oven can result from accumulated food particles and debris burning off during preheating. It’s a common occurrence and not usually harmful. Regular cleaning can help reduce this odor.


Maintaining a safe and odor-free environment in your kitchen, especially around appliances like ovens and stoves, is essential for both comfort and safety. The presence of unusual odors, such as a gas smell, burnt dust, or electric burning smells, can be indicative of underlying issues that need attention. Timely inspection, regular maintenance, and adherence to safety practices are crucial for preventing potential hazards and ensuring that your kitchen remains a secure and pleasant space for cooking and baking. Remember, safety should always be a top priority when dealing with any appliance-related odors.

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