Oven is confused
January 18, 2014 2:21 PM   Subscribe

Our GE gas range thinks its door is locked, but it is definitely not.

The problem arose shortly after we removed the back of the electronic control panel to remove a... ahem... critter that had crawled into the LCD screen.

Every time I press the "bake" or "broil" buttons, I get a message that says "UNLOCK DOOR." However, the door is not locked and in fact has never been locked, to my knowledge. We don't use the self clean function.

The saving grace is that unplugging the oven for 10 seconds and plugging it back in gives you one chance to turn on the bake function with no error message... but due to the position of our oven and the outlet, unplugging and plugging in the oven every time I need to cook something is a huge pain in the rear. Also it sometimes spontaneously turns off during baking and flashes the "UNLOCK DOOR" message again... and trying to unplug/plug in the hot oven is a little tricky.

Anybody ever DIYed this fix? We have tried tightening the metal panel behind the LCD/electronics, taking the panel off and looking around for obvious problems, etc, but no dice so far.
posted by raspberrE to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
Use the self-clean feature to let it run through its cycle?
posted by BillMcMurdo at 2:43 PM on January 18, 2014

Not a fix- hopefully someone gives you that- but as a less-crappy option than physically unplugging, can you turn it off from your circuit breaker?
posted by charmedimsure at 3:08 PM on January 18, 2014

There are lots of hits on Google when searching for "GE oven unlock door message". It sounds like a common problem. From a quick read, it's either the control board or the door lock assembly (both can go bad and result in the same message). I'd call a repair person.
posted by cecic at 3:16 PM on January 18, 2014

Since you already went in there and cleaned out the bug, you've got some familiarity with the process.

Without looking at it, my suspicion is more the board than the door sensor. The board already had a 'problem' and the symptom is conveniently new. Not exactly QED, but points that way. (Of course the critter could have made a stop on the way up or maybe he has friends in warm places?)

My experience with oven controllers (about a half dozen) is that they get gunked up way more than you would ever expect for a 'protected' board. Some, not all, are conformally coated with a clear protective material, and they are more resistant to environmental contaminants than the uncoated ones. If yours is uncoated, I'd take it out, go to the hardware store and get a $0.50 acid brush, some contact cleaner from Radio Shack ($10) and give that sucker a bath. Spray/brush anything that looks like crud. The contact cleaner evaporates away quickly, but too much and you'll frost things up. Water doesn't go away so fast, so don't overdo it. (If it's coated, remove and reseat all the connectors. Coating looks slick, not dry... like clear paint.)

Air dry it for 1/2 hour. Reassemble and test. If that doesn't fix it, I'd be surprised, but with a little work, you can find the sensor for the door, too. It can be cleaned.

Needless to say, unplug it. First. Watch out for sharp edges on the metal parts, too. Appliance manufacturers aren't the best about de-burring and you can get cut.

Good for you for trying to fix it. Shoot me pix and memail if you run into questions.
posted by FauxScot at 3:36 PM on January 18, 2014

Maybe the lock itself is somehow hosed?

We just did a DIY fix on a GE oven that had the opposite problem - it would not lock, which meant that it would not do the self-cleaning cycle.

The locking hook and solenoid were one component, basically. It was held in by two screws and was attached to the rest of the electronics with two plastic plugs, each running a pair of wires that terminated in some spade connectors. It ran about $70 from an appliance parts website. Replacing it took all of 10 minutes. It involved removing the control panel from the front of the oven (4 screws), removing the mechanism (2 more screws) and moving the plugs from the old thingie to the new thingie.
posted by jquinby at 4:41 PM on January 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Whoa, someone from GE Appliances found this on Twitter and responded.
posted by mathowie at 5:28 PM on January 18, 2014 [5 favorites]

« Older What kind of walls do I have and how do I hang...   |   Books (or documentaries) to teach me to watch... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.