When you’re making a multiple-course lunch, stopping to take in your surroundings can be pretty difficult. All you can do is focus on the next step in the process. That’s why most people don’t realize that their oven is making noise when it’s off unless someone else points it out. So what could be causing that noise — and how would you go about fixing it?
Well, most ovens have a cool-down setting that kicks in after you turn the heat off. So hearing the whirring of a fan coming from the oven probably isn’t something you need to worry about. Still, that kind of sound is usually fairly short-lived. Besides, what if the noise you’re hearing is more disturbing?
With that in mind, it’s best to start today’s discussion by going through the list of issues that might make an oven sound off when you’re not using it. Once you know what kinds of sounds to expect, you’ll be able to focus on fixing them.
Why Is Your Oven Making Noise When It’s Off?
As we have established, there’s at least one benign reason your oven might make noise after you’ve shut it off. Namely, some manufacturers build cooling systems into these appliances to eliminate vapors more quickly after you turn off the heat. However, if that’s the cause of the noise you’re hearing, it should last no more than half an hour after the oven stops heating.
Still, there are other potential issues that may cause your oven to continue sounding off even after that period has passed. Some of those problems may result in the same innocuous noise you’d hear from the regular cooling function. For example, if your oven has a damaged thermostat, it may keep the fan on for longer than the standard time.
Of course, the sounds you’re hearing may not be coming from the fan at all. If the oven is making a high-pitched noise or repetitive clanging or vibrating sounds, you may have a different problem on your hands. With that in mind, let’s go through the usual suspects that tend to be behind these kinds of oven noises.
As you can imagine, the role of the thermostat in your oven is to switch off the heaters when the selected temperature has been reached. But of course, that’s only the case when the oven is on. When you turn it off, the thermostat may be a part of the cooling system, signaling when the heat has dissipated enough for the fan to stop working.
Needless to say, if the thermostat is damaged, the whole system wouldn’t be able to function correctly. Chances are, a faulty thermostat would probably affect the oven’s ability to heat up properly, too. As far as the noise is concerned, it would mean that you’d keep hearing the whirring sound of the fan well after the 20 or 30-minute mark.
So how could you be certain that the thermostat is the cause of your troubles? Why, you’d just have to test it with a multimeter.
If your oven isn’t making the regular quiet humming sound, but distorted whirring or even rhythmic thumping noises, the blades may be out of alignment. There are several ways that might occur. Since the fan is a mobile part, it may have simply loosened over time, which would result in it bumping into the surrounding surfaces.
Moreover, if the new patterns of movement end up pushing the fan blades against other surfaces, it may lead to physical damage. That can cause repetitive banging sounds and general whirring noises as well. Additionally, if any grease managed to get on the blades, the fan may have to work even harder to rotate them.
In addition to the thermostat and the fan blades, the cooling system also has another crucial part — the motor. If the part that’s moving the fan blades is worn or damaged, you might start noticing all sorts of noises. High-pitched squeaks are common, as are rattling sounds.
If you’re unable to turn the blades manually when you open the back panel of the oven, you’ll probably have to work on the motor. Simply approach the appliance from the back side to get the faulty part off. After that, it’ll just be a matter of ordering and attaching the replacement motor.
How to Prevent Your Oven From Making Noise When It’s Off
Now that you know the range of potential issues that may be causing the sounds you’re hearing, let’s talk about the solutions.
Check the Thermostat
As we have established, troubleshooting a potentially damaged thermostat starts with locating it. Depending on the design of your oven, it could either be under the back panel or the control panel. Refer to the instructions or the manufacturer’s site to find the location so you don’t have to root around for it.
If a multimeter test reveals that the thermostat was, in fact, faulty, order some replacement parts. Again, you’ll need to look for the exact ones that match the make and model of your oven.
This video shows how to remove and replace the thermostat on a smaller device. But if you’ve never fixed a complicated appliance on your own, you might want to call in reinforcement.
Tighten the Fan Blades
Unlike the thermostat, the oven fan should be easy enough to find. You just have to look inside the oven to see where it’s located. Typically, it’ll be behind the back panel.
To get to it, remove the shelves and loosen the screws that are holding the back panel upright. After sliding the panel out, you should have full access to the oven’s fan. As you’ll see in the video below, the blades may be surrounded by a circular element. If they’re not in alignment, the two may rub together, causing all sorts of horrid metallic sounds.
If tightening the nut in the middle of the fan doesn’t realign it, you can always do what the person in the video did. Just take a pair of pliers and bend the tips of the blades a bit. Alternatively, you could simply replace that whole setup. Sometimes, even just swapping out the washers between the blades and the surrounding surfaces might do the trick.
Of course, if that doesn’t solve the issue, you should take a look at the motor behind the blades.
Replace the Motor
When you take the fan blades off the shaft that’s sticking through the back wall of the oven, you might notice that the piece itself isn’t very sturdy. If you’re able to push it back and forth, that may be what’s causing the blades to be unstable in the first place.
Unfortunately, if that’s the case, you’ll have to replace the whole thing. To do that, you’ll need to unplug the oven — that’s a given. After doing so, unscrew the metal cover of the fan motor from the back of the appliance. You’ll find the fist-sized system at the same height as the fan.
The motor will be attached to a metal bracket, which is, in turn, screwed into the back of the oven. To take the system apart, you’ll have to:
- Detach the wire that connects the fan motor to the other oven sensors
- Unscrew the bracket, allowing you to slide the whole thing out (if the fan blades are already off)
- Turn the bracket over to loosen the two screws on either side of the fan blade shaft
- Clean any grease that might have ended up on the bracket off
- Reattach the replacement motor by working backwards, as shown in this video
When you finish with the back of the oven, reattach the fan blade from the inside. Just remember to put a washer on either side of the fan before putting the nut back in.
Rest Easy After You Finish Using the Oven
At this point, you should be able to relax, knowing that your oven isn’t being operated by some supernatural force. Going forward, it won’t be making any sounds after you turn it off. After the cooling system runs its course, your kitchen will be blissfully silent. However, if the appliance keeps making noise while heating up, you’ll have to continue looking for the cause.