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If you have an oven that seems to burn things or doesn’t cook them enough, then it’s possible that your oven temperature is not adjusted correctly. This could be caused by various issues with your oven, but in many cases, your oven temperature can be adjusted very easily, and at virtually no expense. Your only expense will be purchasing an oven thermometer for less than $10 if you do not already have one. 

   oven thermometer - Morgan Inspection Services

For the purposes of this discussion, there are two main types of ovens: those with control knobs and those with digital controls. It doesn’t matter if you have a gas oven or an electric oven. So now let’s talk about how to adjust your oven temperature.

Ovens with control knobs:

On ovens with control knobs it’s often a simple process to adjust the temperature of your oven simply by making a simple adjustment to the knob. Since you are reading this article, I assume that you already know that your oven temperature is off, so you may already have an oven thermometer. If not, you’ll need to buy one. They’re available on Amazon for less than $6. You can also purchase one at Walmart or probably most dollar stores for just a few dollars. You’ll will need the thermometer to see how close your actual oven temperature is to the setpoint.

Here are the steps to take to adjust the temperature of an oven with control knobs.

  1. Put the thermometer in the oven and turn the oven on to 350° or 400°. After 20 to 30 minutes, check the thermometer and see what temperature it is reading.
  2. Calculate how far off the temperature is from the setting on the knob.
  3. If the temperature is off by less than about 15 degrees, then you’re probably not going to be able to get much closer than that, but you can try if you would like. If the temperature is off by 25° or more, then you should be able to get it a lot closer. Here’s what you need to do to adjust it.
  4. Pull the temperature knob off of the oven. screws | Home Inspection Abilene
  5. Look on the back and make sure it has screws similar to what is shown in the photo. (if there are no screws, then it’s not possible to use this procedure.)
  6. Loosen the two screws slightly.
  7. For our purposes, let’s assume in your oven test in step 1 that you set the oven temperature to 400°, but when you checked the thermometer later, it was only reading 370°. This means you need to adjust the knob down by 30°. 350 degrees | Morgan Inspection Services
  8. Make a note of what number meets up with the marker on the inner part of the knob. (In the photograph, 350° is the temperature at the dot on the inner part of the knob.)
  9. Calculate what new temperature should line up the marker in the center of the knob. (In our scenario, we need to adjust the knob down by 30°. Since it is currently at 350, we need to reduce it by 30 degrees so it will end up at 320.)
  10. While holding the inner part of the knob, turn the outer circle so that 320 meets up with the dot on the knob.
  11. Tighten the two screws on the back.
  12. Put the knob back on your oven.

That is all there is to it. You may want to repeat the test to make sure that it worked, and that the temperature is much closer to the setpoint.

NOTE: If there is not enough adjustment room on the knob to get to the correct temperature, then it is possible that your oven has other problems such as a bad thermostat, and this procedure will not work.

Ovens with digital controls:

On ovens with digital control knobs it is normally an even simpler procedure to adjust the temperature of your oven, however, I cannot give you the full procedure because every oven maker does things a little differently. Here are the basic steps to adjust your digitally-controlled oven temperature.

  1. Put the thermometer in the oven and turn the oven on to 350° or 400°. After 20 to 30 minutes, check the thermometer and see what temperature it is reading.
  2. Calculate how far off the temperature is from the setting. (For our purposes, let’s assume that in your temperature test above that you set the oven temperature to 400°, but when you checked the thermometer later, it was reading 425°. This means you need to adjust the knob up by 25°.)
  3. Here is where I cannot tell you exactly how to proceed because every brand of oven is different, so you will have to look at your oven manual or google how to adjust your specific oven. Basically, you will push and hold one or two buttons on your oven until the display changes, indicating that you are in “Calibration” mode. At this point, you will input the amount of the adjustment to be made (in this case 25°).

This article was written by Mike Morgan, owner of Morgan Inspection Services. Morgan Inspection Services has been performing home inspections in the Brownwood, Abilene, and San Angelo areas since 2002. We also perform septic and well system inspections and swimming pool inspections. Contact our Abilene Home Inspector today- Call 325-998-4663 or email at mike@morganinspectionservices.com


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