Whirlpool oven control panel will not increase temp above 350F?
February 17, 2010 11:02 AM   Subscribe

Upon moving to a new house, I've discovered a very odd problem with the inherited Whirlpool oven. The "temp increase" button makes the displayed temp go down! Unfortunately, the temp decrease button also makes the temp go down...so right now, I can't cook above 350F (the default that appears when you press Bake). Help?

It's a Whirlpool model RS675PXGQ2 (I think, last few characters are smudged). I've talked to Whirlpool, and they can only tell me that my oven was sold 10 years ago (so out of warranty) and that a service call will be required. Google tells me that others have the same problem [link], but no solutions have been posted. Apparently, however, it seems to occur after the oven runs through a self-cleaning cycle. I've tried cutting the power via the breaker overnight, with no luck. Any thoughts before I give up and call in the service guys?
posted by armyman83 to Grab Bag (4 answers total)
One thing to check: Are you sure it's not just a display problem? It is possible, if unlikely, that the oven is actually getting hotter, but the display is decrementing instead of incrementing.

Can you test it with a thermometer to confirm? You wouldn't want to have guys out there on a service call if it still (sort-of) works.
posted by Aizkolari at 11:09 AM on February 17, 2010

My first thought is that the electrical contacts under the membrane are dirty/sticky. I had a similar issue with my Harmony remote where both volume buttons turned the volume down, neither would turn it up. I took it apart, cleaned the key contacts and it was fixed.

The fact that the cleaning cycle seems to have done it, unless it melted something, makes me think that's not the case and there's some sort of logic issue.

I love taking stuff apart and fixing things, so if it were me I'd unplug it, take the control panel apart, clean the contacts, and unplug/re-seat every electrical cable going to the control panel in hopes that if it is some kind of logic issue disconnecting the electric supply would reset it. You could also try shorting (touch the two contacts together with something metal) any large capacitors or small batteries that might be holding a charge and keeping things from resetting when you turn the power off. There's gotta be a reset button somewhere.

Large appliances can sometimes be pretty easy to fix, especially if you have a parts source. Things are usually not too compact and most parts are easily removed once you get the cover off. Sears is often a great source of parts, though I don't know if they'd have Whirlpool parts available.
posted by bondcliff at 11:22 AM on February 17, 2010

I was also going to suggest a thermometer to test the actual internal temperature of the oven.

You may be able to calibrate the temperature by trying this: Check that the oven temperature is correctly calibrated. To adjust the temperature calibration, press and hold "Bake" until the calibration appears in the display, for example, "0°F Cal Cook Temp." Press "Bake" to increase and "Broil" to decrease the temperature by increments of 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Press "Start." via

Also, this guy (scroll down to his last comment where he has fixed the problem) found his problem was a loose connection.
posted by misha at 1:50 PM on February 17, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks all for the replies.

Aiz, Misha: I don't have an oven thermometer at the moment (just moved from overseas, household goods still in transit) I did cook a frozen pizza last night, and it came out fine, so the unit cooks at approximately the set temperature. I just can't set it above 350F.

I did check the calibration settings...I actually was able to set the calibration to +30F to cook my pizza at, theoretically, 380F (box called for 400....close enough). I still had the "only goes down" problem, but once I hit -30F it wrapped around to +30F. (Unfortunately, the normal temperature setting doesn't work that way.)

Bond: My first thought was a dirty contacts issue as well, but the fact that multiple people have reported the same unusual problem leads me to think it's a programming fault of some kind. My hope was that some kind Whirlpool tech would read this and chime in "oh yeah, that happens sometimes, just hold buttons X, Y, and Z for 10 secs to reset everything to factory settings." :)

I'll try running the self-cleaning cycle again...and apparently, I can run the unit in Celsius, so I'll have to see what the default Celsius temperature is. :)
posted by armyman83 at 3:37 PM on February 17, 2010

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