Oven accidentally left on broil, then beeping, now what?
February 16, 2013 10:20 PM   Subscribe

Tonight while cooking I thought I had turned the oven off but it was accidentally set to broil. It was on maybe just <1 hr. It had a light on saying it needed to be turned off and I did that. Then it started beeping non stop which has finally stopped. Have I killed the oven? Should I be on the lookout for weird behavior from the stove now?
posted by oneear to Home & Garden (13 answers total)
forgot to mention that it is electric. thanks for any help.
posted by oneear at 10:21 PM on February 16, 2013

My condolences to your electricity bill, but is it burnt looking in there? Obviously you triggered some "this shit might burn your house down" sensors, but you might have just inadvertently cleaned the top half of your oven and that's it.
posted by oceanjesse at 10:29 PM on February 16, 2013

What's the make and model of the oven?
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 10:51 PM on February 16, 2013

Whirlpool Super Capacity 465
posted by oneear at 11:18 PM on February 16, 2013

Have you tried unplugging it for a bit? Our oven needs rebooting from time to time.
posted by ottereroticist at 11:37 PM on February 16, 2013

There are a lot of different Whirlpools models with the generic name of "Whirlpool Super Capacity 465", however I arbitrarily looked at the "Use and Care Guide" for the Whirlpool Super Capacity 465 with the model number of RF395LXE/RF396LXE (R = electric, F = freestanding, 3 = 30" range, 9 = self-clean, 5 = coil elements, L = large window, X = ?, E = 1996). I found that guide at the Whirlpool support site and the model number coding scheme from the service manual.

There is no mention of beeping in the troubleshooting section of the guide or in the service manual. The only mention of beeping is in the guide under the MealTimer section, which says that "when baking/roasting is done" the oven will turn off by itself and beep 4 times, followed by four 1-second tones every minute until you press the off/cancel pad. Does that sound like what you heard? If so, your oven was probably just telling you that it turned itself off.
posted by RichardP at 11:53 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Microwave ovens tend to dislike being operated empty, because their job is to heat the food itself by making it absorb microwave radiation; if there's nothing in the cavity to soak up all the radiated microwave goodness, it just bounces around and can find its way back into the guts.

Conventional ovens, by contrast, tend not to care - they heat food mainly by surrounding it with hot air, so their job is just to make the air inside themselves as hot as the temperature on the thermostat says to make it. The only effect of doing this empty is that they come up to operating temperature more quickly.

Self-cleaning ovens, in particular, are built to withstand an internal temperature sufficient to burn gunk and spatter baked onto their insides to ashes; a self-cleaning oven is pretty much a kiln. They're really, really hard to kill by overheating. I wouldn't worry about yours.
posted by flabdablet at 3:56 AM on February 17, 2013 [5 favorites]

Broil elements tend to be in the 3kw range; at 20c per KW your mistake will have cost you you ~60 cents and if your electricity is cheaper even less. Running your broiler for 60 minutes won't hurt your oven as that's basically normal operation. Heck you could run your oven for a week with no harm to the unit.

RichardP most likely has the answer. You probably inadvertently set your timer (that may even be the reason your broiler was on) and when it came to the end of it's timed cycle it started beeping to alert you.

Back when timers were mechanical I used to see this all the time in reverse. People would set their kitchen timer and inadvertently also set the cooking timer. And then at the end of the cycle the oven would shut off. Next time they went to use the oven it wouldn't work because they were still in timer mode.

TL;DR: Your oven is most likely fine and certainly isn't dangerous. Continue to use it normally.
posted by Mitheral at 5:22 AM on February 17, 2013

If you are in the US the Whirlpool Customer Service phone # is 1-866-698-2538.
posted by plastic_animals at 6:11 AM on February 17, 2013

We have a GE oven that will occasionally act up when the circuitry in the back panel gets overheated. The symptoms include beeping, shutdown of oven controls, and random changes to the display. For us, it usually happens if we use the back left burner (especially with a large pan that deflects the heat too far outward) and the oven at the same time, or if we have the oven on for an unusually long time, so I think having the broiler on for an excessive amount of time might cause the same thing. In our case, the problem goes away as soon as things cool down, but it has made for some anxious moments at Thanksgiving.
posted by gimli at 6:18 AM on February 17, 2013

My oven goes into beep mode after 12 hours, but is fine after a reset.
posted by scruss at 6:29 AM on February 17, 2013

Chances are you basically just ran a cleaning cycle. Should be just fine.
posted by no bueno at 6:53 AM on February 17, 2013

Did you leave the oven door closed while the broiler was on? Typically, you're supposed to leave the oven door open to the first stop when broiling. Perhaps the beeping was an overheating warning, and then the oven shut itself off?
posted by Thorzdad at 7:59 AM on February 17, 2013

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