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How To Diagnose An Oven Door that Won't Open


Picture this: You have a big dinner party coming up and you want to clean your oven. So, you set it to cleaning mode and let it do its thing. A few hours later it beeps. But when you go to open the oven, it’s not unlocked and won’t open. Looking at the clock, you realize you only have a few hours left before your party begins. You start to panic. What do you do?
First, breathe. There are a few things you can try to do before you have to use Uber Eats to feed your hungry guests. Follow these steps to try to fix a locked oven door that won’t open.

  • Let the oven fully cool down
    Seems obvious, but many people actually overlook this step. Oven heating modes can get up to 880º F, basically burning away food particles and such. At such high temperatures, the air inside your oven becomes highly pressurized. If you were to open the door as soon as the cleaning mode was finished, it’s likely the pressure would cause the oven to explode. Most ovens automatically unlock when their internal temperature falls below 600º F. Check your user manual to see the how long the cool down period takes for your particular model.
  • Check Your Owner’s Manual
    Some oven models require some of the knobs to be in a certain position (not necessarily off). Check your owner’s manual to see if that’s the case for your particular model. Additionally, it’s possible that your oven has a child safety lock, which is obviously working better than intended. If your oven has that feature, be sure to double check that it’s off.
  • Reboot It
    You know how you can fix a lot of computer issues simply by restarting your computer? Well, the same is often true about your oven! If it’s an electronic oven, hit “clear” (or whatever equivalent button you have) to see if that unlocks it. If it’s manual, make sure all the knobs and switches are set to “off.” If that still isn’t working, try unplugging it and replugging it (yes, this can actually work to reset the oven). If that doesn’t fix the issue, then try turning off the circuit breaker the oven is on for a few minutes. That can help reset the oven, particularly if it’s electronic.


Other Reasons Your Oven Won’t Unlock
If none of these things work, then it’s possible you have either a faulty temperature sensor. Typically, electronic ovens will display an error or fault code if the temperature sensor is not working properly. However, if you have a manual oven, you may not have this option.

Another sign that the door lock/motor assembly is malfunctioning is if your oven just randomly locks and unlocks itself, which can be a huge pain whether you’re having a dinner party or not.

Lastly, it could be a control board issue, where either a part of it is broken or the whole thing is messed up.

Whatever the case may be, if it’s any of these issues, it’s likely you need to get professional help. Now, you could call a repair person to come to your house, but they can get expensive. A much more affordable option if you’re handy is to replace the faulty parts themselves. If you think it’s a temperature control issue, check out our guide to trouble shooting temperature sensors. For a door lock/motor assembly issue, you’ll need to know how to unlock your door manually (again, check the user’s manual for help with that), remove the locking mechanism, and replace it. Just be sure to unplug your oven before you attempt any repairs. Otherwise, you might find yourself with a nasty shock!

And if it’s an issue with the control board, you can get it repaired affordably by mail. That’s where we come in. We offer highly affordable control board repair and replacement services. If you’d like to learn more, just contact us to get started right away.

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