There are many parts to your cooker, each with a different role to play, but your oven thermostat is one of the most important parts of all. Found in both gas and electric cookers, the thermostat is an electro-mechanical switch that's in charge of regulating the temperature of your oven - but how does a thermostat actually work?

How does a thermostat work?

An oven thermostat regulates the temperature inside an oven. The thermostat's temperature-sensitive probe measures the oven's warmth, switching the heat on and off as necessary to maintain the correct temperature.

While all thermostats fulfil more or less the same function, different appliances sometimes use different types of thermostat. How your oven thermostat works will likely depend on when your cooker was made.

How older thermostats work

In older ovens, the thermostat is connected to a long copper tube that extends into the main body of your oven. This copper tube reads the temperature of your oven by heating up and relaying this heat back to your thermostat. Once the tube has heated to the set temperature, your thermostat will cut off the the heat source. When the temperature in your oven starts to drop, the thermostat will reactivate your oven burner/element, heating up the oven once again. This cycle continues to repeat over and over again whilst your oven is in use, ensuring that the temperature stays constant.

How newer thermostats work

More modern thermostats are attached to a long probe that extends into your oven. The thermostat is wired to a control board that controls your cooker's components, including the oven's heat source (whether that's a gas burner or an electrical heating element). When the probe senses that your oven has reached the designated temperature, it'll send a signal to the thermostat, which then tells your circuit board to turn off the heating supply. If the probe senses that your oven's temperature has dropped, it'll send another signal to your control panel to ignite the heating source once again.

Need a new oven thermostat?

If you find that your oven's thermostat is not functioning properly, you should not hesitate to replace it, as it may be causing your meals to come out over- or under-cooked. Whatever age your cooker is, we're confident that you'll find a compatible replacement thermostat here at Cooker Spare Parts.

If you've purchased a new oven thermostat and you're unsure of how to fit to your new cooker, you may find this step-by-step guide helpful.