Cooker hob

Some people use the hob even more than they use the oven, and so a broken hob can quickly spell disaster in the kitchen. How will you boil your rice, fry your bacon, and simmer your soup now?

Well, given that most cookers have more than one hob, you could always just use one of the non-broken ones. Still, it’s nice to have a fully-functioning cooker – after all, there may well come a time when you’re cooking loads of different things at once, and when that day arrives, you’ll need your hobs to be firing on all cylinders!

With that in mind, here are some tips for diagnosing your poorly hob and getting it back in working order...

Please note that this article is intended for informational use only. Cooker Spare Parts will not be held responsible for any damage that occurs while you are trying to repair your oven. Always unplug your appliance before attempting any repairs, and call a professional if you don’t know what you’re doing.

  • Loose connections? Malfunctioning hobs (particularly malfunctioning electric hobs) are quite often caused by loose connections and faulty wiring. Consider contacting a qualified electrician.

  • Don't overload it! If you're trying to cook several different things at once - perhaps for some big family dinner - it may be that your cooker simply can't handle another hob's worth of work. Switch everything else off and try the unresponsive hob again; if it works, it may just be that your cooker doesn't have a very good circuit rating.

  • Blown fuse? If all the lights went out when your hob stopped working,the problem is likely to be a blown fuse (which caused your electricity supply to trip)

  • Out of its element! Some hobs rely on heating elements, just like ovens. If the hob element is dead, you probably just need to purchase a replacement.

  • Broken simmerstat? Another part that may need replacing is the simmerstat. This regulates the energy used by your hob, and if it is broken, it may not allow your hob to light at all. You can purchase a new simmerstat here.

  • Lid problems? Some cookers (particularly gas cookers) come with glass lids that cover the hobs when they're not in use. The manufacturer will often include a shut-off valve to ensure that the hobs cannot be lit when the lid is down; if this safety valve is malfunctioning, it may stop the hobs from lighting regardless of whether the lid is up or down.

  • Give it a clean! The accumulation of grease and gunk can, over time, clog up a gas hob, rendering it unable to function. A good, thorough clean is sometimes enough to get things working again.

  • Check your supply! If you use a gas cooker, then the problem may not lie with your appliance at all, but with your gas supply. Call in a tradesperson and get them to check your gas (particularly if you are having problems with other gas appliances in your home).

Important: Only a registered gas-safe engineer can legally perform repairs on a gas appliance.

Today on Tuesday 20th of May it is National Pick Strawberries Day - and Cooker Spare Parts are encouraging you to get involved. Strawberries are one of the nation's most loved summer fruits and they often find themselves in breakfasts, yoghurts, ice creams, desserts and even the occasional salad! They are extremely versatile and can add a delicious and sweet twist to many recipes, which is why picking your own is so much fun.

Using strawberries in your cooking is a delicious, healthy and sweet way to encourage both children and adults to eat fruit and get their 5 a day, and with a number of great pick your own fruit farms dotted all over the UK picking the fruit can be a great family activity! Wales is home to some fantastic local farms where you can pick your own fresh produce, but here are some of our favourite South Wales farms. 

Photo by Janine (flickr)

1. Hendrewennol 

Hendrewennol is a Pick Your Own (PYO) soft fruit farm located in Bonvilston, Cowbridge which is located in South Wales. Having been a PYO fruit farm since 1978, Hendrewennol is now an established farm full of activities and will guarantee a great day out. You can pick a variety of fruit including raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, red, white and blackcurrants, tayberries and blackberries. They also have a range of PYO vegetables, including broad and runner beans, beetroot, courgettes, onions and garlic. There's a fantastic shop and coffee area, a plant nursery and a children's play area too.

2. Gelynis Farm 

Gelynis Farm is roughly a 10 minute drive from the centre of Cardiff in Morganstown, and as well as boasting a gorgeous and traditional B&B, they have a fantastic PYO Fruit farm too! As well as a cafe, camping facilities and horse livery and stables for rent, Gelynis farm also offers pony rides for children for just £3 per child, ensuring your children will have a magical day once they've picked their fruit! The PYO facilities depend on the season of the fruit, but throughout the year you can expect to see gooseberries, currants, raspberries, blackberries and silvanberries! There are a number of lovely pubs located nearby so you can make a real day out of picking your own fruit at Gelynis Farm. 

3. Berry Hill Fruit Farm

Berry Hill Fruit Farm is a gorgeous little farm and garden centre which can be found in the village of Coedkernew, between Cardiff and Newport. As well as a wonderful PYO fruit and vegetable farm, they also have a well-stocked farm shop and a garden centre for you to enjoy. Their PYO season starts from June and ends in October, and you can pick a wide variety of 15 varieties of apples, 5 varieties of plums, 3 varieties of pears and some gooseberries too! 

Picking your own fruit is a great family activity which gets you out in the sunshine and is the perfect way to spend the day in the coming summer months. You can then head over to the food section of our blog and peruse our yummy recipes to see if we can provide you with any cooking inspiration for using these delicious fruits! In honour of National Pick Strawberries Day, plan to do something different this summer and visit one of these lovely farms to pick your own fruit. 

Oven light bulb

Most modern ovens come fitted with lights - they come on when the oven is on, and switch off when the oven is off. The light helps you to keep an eye on your food without opening the door and letting the heat out; this is particularly important when you’re baking a cake because opening the door prematurely in that situation will lead to some serious sponge sinkage!

Now, the average oven will still cook your food perfectly well without a working light bulb, but the lack of light will make your life that little bit harder. And hey, replacement oven bulbs aren’t hard to come by, so why stay saddled with a broken one?

Oven light not working? Here are a few words of advice:

A broken oven light can be a real pain, but it's an easy fix so it's worth finding an appropriate replacement. Here's something to think about before you choose a bulb that will fix and oven light that isn't working. 

  • Don’t use a normal light bulb. A casual Google search (you can type in anything related to oven bulbs, really) will yield dozens of people who are wondering whether they can get away with putting a standard light bulb in the oven. Standard bulbs are cheaper and easier to come by than a proper oven bulb, but don’t be tempted to cut that corner – normal light bulbs are not designed to cope with oven temperatures, and they will shatter immediately upon coming into contact with hot liquid.

  • Be sure to purchase the right bulb for your cooker. As with any other cooker part, it’s important to buy something that’s compatible with your specific appliance. Sizes and shapes can vary hugely from one cooker to another, so don’t assume that any old oven bulb will do the trick – do a bit of research and get it right first time. Knowing your cooker’s brand and model number will help you to narrow it down.

  • Sometimes, the bulb isn't the problem. Some people purchase a new light bulb and fit it to their cooker, only to find that the light is still refusing to switch on. If this happens to you, it probably means that your old bulb was absolutely fine (sorry!) and you’ve got a more fundamental problem with the wiring. If your oven light isn’t working no matter what you do, we recommend consulting an electrician before proceeding any further. Oh, and remember – if you’re going to attempt any electrical work, ALWAYS UNPLUG THE COOKER FIRST.

 Got all that? Good!

Click Here See Our Expansive Collection Of Oven Bulbs And Lights >

How to replace your oven fan

Your oven won't be much use without a working oven fan, and unfortunately one of the most common problems in cooker repair is when the fan no longer works. It can be extremely expensive to hire a cooker repair engineer - not to mention extremely costly! 

We are here to help you to show you how to replace your cooker fan because the task is quite simple once you know how. Our step by step guide will ensure that you can quickly and simply replace your cooker fan with one of our replacement motors or fans and get your oven back in working condition in no time! 

Step-by-Step How to Replace Your Oven Fan 

1. Unplug your cooker. First things first - ensure that your cooker is not plugged in before you attempt to replace your oven fan. 

2. Remove oven door. We would recommend that you remove your oven door for ease of access. Otherwise, it might be a little tricky to reach! Your oven door should be attached with hinges.

3. Remove back-plate inside oven. Whether your oven is free-standing or built-in, the likelihood is that you will need to remove the 'back-plate' from inside your fan oven to reach the fan. Occasionally the fan will be located visibly inside the oven which is significantly easier, though once the back plate has been removed, the process is fundamentally the same. Fan elements used to heat your oven will most likely be located at the rear of the oven, behind the backplate. The backplate will normally be held in place with anywhere between 2 and 6 screws, simply unscrew the back plate

4. Check for visual signs of oven fan failure.In some cases, your fan oven element will show visual signs of failure and can be burnt, broken or split. On many occasions, however, there will be no visual signs of failure, so remember a broken fan is not always obvious. 

5. Unscrew old element and replace your oven fan. In most cases, there will be no need to remove the oven element in order to complete the repair. If the fan is simply screwed in place then you have a very easy task at hand - simply unscrew the old element, disconnect the wires and then screw in a new fan. Make sure to take note or to take a picture to make sure you remember which way round the wires fit in order to reattach the wires to your new oven fan.

If the fan has been screwed into the rear of the oven then the oven will need to be removed from the housing in order to remove the back cover and unscrew the fan.

Many would recommend a genuine replacement fan from the brand of your cooker, though we have found that high-quality alternative spare parts do the trick perfectly well if your budget is a little tighter! Whichever you choose, you're guaranteed to find it in our motors and fans section. 

If you need any help please don't hesitate to get in touch - we'll offer you assistance wherever we can!