Oven Hinge Replacement Instructions
There are many different types of cooker hinge and, not surprisingly, just as many ways in which that they are fitted to a door or oven chassis but it is uncommon for the oven door hinge not to be mounted on the door itself. The reason for this is that most oven doors can be removed for cleaning purposes and, in the course of this article we will cover how you can remove the door to clean the oven as well. However to begin with I will explain the general principals of the most common variety of door hinges found on most continental produced ovens and cookers.
Even though you are not working with electricity or electrical components you MUST SWITCH THE POWER OFF for safety! Some ovens have live micro-switches in the door area and other little surprises so don't take chances, just switch it off at the mains.
There is however the need for the usual caveat in doing a job like this, be careful and if you are not confident that you can safely do this then get in a professional repairer to do the job for you. You can use our appliance engineer search to find a reputable local repairer that won't cost the Earth and I cannot stress enough that your and your families' safety is more important than a few pounds.
Tensioning oven door hinge springs can be EXTREMELY dangerous, I have seen engineers hands ripped open and tendons gashed because they slipped or made a simple error and this is not uncommon.
You have been warned and this article is written with the assumption that the person replacing the door hinges is competent and mechanically minded. If you don't fit that description I'd advise you get in a pro.
Why Oven And Cooker Door Hinges Fail
The first gem of information is that, as service engineers, the last thing we want is what we call a "recall", where you get called back for the same fault as quite simply put that costs us money and makes any job unprofitable. So, to that end we have a nasty habit of trying to find not only the problem that is reported but, very importantly, the cause of the problem as well.
Finding the cause can save us a fortune as if we didn't do this, the fault is highly likely to re-occur pretty quickly so do make sure you find out why the hinges failed so you are not replacing them in six months again.
The most common cause of oven door hinge failures is simply that one of two components will fail, either the oven door hinge itself or the oven door hinge receiver fails. It is absolutely essential that you check the receiver as well as the hinge as, if it is damaged in any way and you simply fit now door hinges, they are incredibly liable to fail again soon. Asides from which an oven door is all about sealing and, if either is faulty, the door will not seal correctly thereby allowing heat to escape from the oven cavity and this will cost you in both cooking performance, uneven cooking is likely, as well as wasted electricity.
Many cooker door hinge receivers are almost like a small "brass" looking box section that have a small roller in them. It is this roller which will almost certainly run on a simple pin, it is that pin which will fail and the roller runs off true. What this does is then put strain on the hinge itself as it runs off true, causing it to warp and stress the pins of the hinge, eventually these wear through and the hinge can appear to fall apart of "snap".
Very often people will buy hinges and not think to check this and yet, the failure of the receiver is what has actually caused the problem, not the hinge itself as it is only the symptom, not the cause.
The other thing that you have to bear in mind is that if one hinge has gone at one side of the oven door then the other is almost certainly sure to follow, it is after all the same age and since one has noticeably failed it is taking a lot more strain and highly likely to fail soon. Think on it this way when replacing oven hinges, it is like replacing one brake pad only and leaving one that's well worn on the brakes of your car. You just wouldn't do it and neither would we usually replace only one oven door hinge as it's not sensible to do so.
Getting Started Replacing Oven Door Hinges
First off ascertain the damage as described previously and determine which spares you need.
We would suggest that you do not attempt to disassemble the cooker or oven until you receive replacement spare parts. With items such as cooker hinges and receivers it is easy to visually check what you need before you start tearing the door or oven itself apart.
Once you do all that then you are ready to replace the oven door hinges and/or receivers and the first thing that would normally be done is to remove the oven door just as you would for cleaning. Now most instruction manuals do detail how this is done specifically for your cooker and, as you would expect, there are several ways to lock the hinges and release the door.
With that said, most are fairly straightforward and all that is required is a bit of common sense to suss how it works. The two most common types are those that have a little hook or latch that you flick up when the door is open (see photo) and also the type that have a "turn and lock" type disc that, when you turn the disc it locks the hinge from closing.
This photograph shows a typical continental style oven door hinge locked in the open position
Once locked both work exactly the same way really, you have to gently lift the door up and the lower locating arms will click out allowing the door to be lifted up and outward and away from the oven cavity.
If the hinges are broken to the point that they cannot be locked or they are a type that cannot be you will have to try to suss it out for yourself and, if you can't, it's time to get a professional repairer to do the job. The reason I say this as bluntly is that you can do yourself great harm if you mess up.
Once you have the door off though things are relatively easy, sort of.
Oven Door Hinge Receivers Or Hinge Runners
They are called both "hinge receivers" or "hinge runners" in the main as well as various descriptive adjectives by engineers. They are sworn at a lot simply because they can be a royal pain to replace, not because that they are hard to replace but because you almost always have to strip down the side panels of the cooker to get to the darn things.
Of course, for built in ovens this means it has to come out totally, which is annoying but for range cookers even worse in many cases. Engineers often find themselves looking at some crazy way the kitchen fitter has put a cooker of oven in and, if it can't be removed safely, we walk away. There is almost always no option, it has to come out.
As much of a pain in the neck as these things are, if they are goosed, they simply must be replaced. If you don't do it then the door won't close correctly, the hinges will be stressed and will fail early and you will be heating your kitchen with the oven from the amount of hot air escaping from the door. Asides from those little niceties cooking will be uneven as the oven will almost certainly be warmer at the lower back and steadily cooler as you go up and come forward due to the ingress of cold air to replace the hot air that is billowing out.
Short f it is, if they are worn bite the bullet and replace the things, even if it is a pain and, just like hinges, replace the pair and not just one.
The only saving grace is that usually they are pretty cheap, most run about £5-£7 a pop so not that expensive really and cheaper than another set of hinges in six months.
Oven Door Disassembly
Most oven doors are what I refer to as, "a bit Noddy" which means in short that a trained chimp could take most of them apart however there are always exceptions to the rule. This has, of course, gotten worse in recent times with manufacturers cutting corners by using silly bonding glues to bond oven doors together. Now, this is great as it reduces the production cost (or so they tell us) but it makes getting into some doors an absolute pig of a job and you will likely need some Ambersil glue to glue the various bits (including some oven door hinges) back into place.
If you do have to re-glue components like that then lie the door flat and leave the Ambersil to bond for at least 18 hours at room temperature, 24 hours is better though. And, yes, we know that they say it can bond faster but, trust us, we've been doing this for years and we know that a good bond needs a good clean surface and a long setting time. It's worth the wait to make sure the bond is sound.
Oh and getting the old gunk off if it's there, sharp chisel is the ticket then clean it as best you can. Just try not to slice your hand open in the process please.
Getting back to taking the door apart though, normally you will see a few screws dotted about the outer edges of the door that are smaller than the ones around the hinge. Don't take them out just yet.
First thing to do normally is to get the outer glass free so that the hinges can be removed. Usually there's a shortcut here, simple remove the oven door handle and they will often slide out and, if the outer oven glass doesn't do this then start to work out which bits of trim to remove to allow it to be removed. This bit really is pure common sense and the exact layout will depend on who made the oven and what sort of style it is but most are relatively straightforward.
Once the door glass is removed you should see the oven door hinges in all their glory. Simply remove the retaining screws and each door hinge should then be easily removed.
Fitting New Oven And Cooker Door Hinges
Okay for the continental type hinges this is where it is both easy and hard for all three methods that you can follow. Bear in mind please that the springs in these door hinges can be pretty severe and if they slip and come back on you it will hurt, a lot and possibly do a lot of harm so please take great, great care.
For all three methods when tensioning the hinges I strongly recommend some good quality leather work gloves.
Remember how you locked the cooker hinges taking the door off? Well, new oven hinges come in a "closed" state and not locked down for easy refitting and this is where you have a choice in how to fit them.
Arguably the fastest and easiest way to do it and the one I personally use but, it is also slightly more dangerous for your hands and this can, if done incorrectly, quite literally rip your hand wide open. So you need to take great care or you will be spending some quality time in the local Casualty or A&E at the hospital.
What you do is this basically;
Get the new hinge and, usually, take it outside to a slab on the patio or a concrete step and press down on the hinge bar that would insert into the oven to compress the hinge with the top of the hinge to the ground so as to allow the arm (if it's that type) to naturally fall down with gravity. As the bar goes down to the arm or disc you have to lock it into the "oven door open" position.
This makes it a doddle to refit the door and the hinges can be fitted to the door frame in this state in the same way the old ones came off.
But, if you slip or the hinge does it can do SERIOUS damage to your flesh and it's not fun or pretty when it happens. I have the scars to prove it.
This photograph shows a typical continental style oven door hinge tab locked holding the hinge in the open position
Now this is a bit safer (okay, marginally) but it is a bit harder and can be a right pain on some oven doors.
What you do is fit the hinges as they come, in an "oven door closed" state. Then you rebuild the door with the hinges in that position.
Once assembled you brace the door (usually between your legs) and pull the hinges down (or up depending on your perspective) until they reach the position where you can lock them into place in the "door open" position.
But there's a danger here as well, obviously. If you slip or the door slips you will almost certainly get hurt, it's that simple.
I don't like this way as it's real easy to slip and damage the appliance mind you, choice between my hands or the appliance and the cooker or oven is getting the brunt every time.
That said it can be irritating to do and inaccurate, it is just not the best way in my opinion but I do know some engineers that do it this way and, for some oven doors, there's no option.
What you do is this, you fit the hinges as in method 2 and then hook the main hinge bar into the receiver. You then gently start to apply pressure until you can get the lower hinge arm to click into place. This is the inaccurate bit I don't like as you often can't see what's actually going on and if the hinge is actually in properly but, if you can get the main bars down enough to lock the hinge then you can mess about locating it properly.
It is slower that especially the first method and there's more risk to the appliance but, it is the safest for humans.
Almost Finished Replacing The Oven Door Hinges
So you should now have the oven door back on but there's just a couple of things to check.
Once the door is back in place make sure that it opens and closes freely with no resistance and that it runs true. The door should close smoothly and progressively with no resistance other than the hinges (as many do) with a partially open stop position.
The oven door should seal evenly against the oven door seal with no gaps at all on a four sided seal and none on either side or the top on a three sided oven seal.
If it does not sit square and flush into the oven cavity then it is entirely possible that either the hinge receivers are goosed and not allowing the door to close as it should. Or, it is possible that the small lower arms on the type that have those, has not located correctly and you will have to correct this quickly or you will possibly wreck the new hinges.
If you check everything and it all seems okay you can "adjust" the door by bending it but this is not recommended for non-professional people as it's easy to screw it up if you don't have an eye for it.
Once all that's completed you're done, hinges replaced and oven door sorted.
And, you thought replacing oven door hinges was easy didn't you?