BHS Foodservice Solutions Blog

Common Problems with Commercial Ranges and How to Avoid Them

Posted by BHS Foodservice Solutions on 3/17/20 8:59 AM
BHS Foodservice Solutions

Side view of a concentrated female cook preparing food in the kitchen

As your restaurant acquires and cares for the commercial-grade ranges at the heart of your restaurant’s professional kitchen, you’ll want to think about how to keep these higher priced appliances in their best working shape. Whether you do so before or after you purchase your stove, one of the questions you might want to consider includes “what are common problems with commercial ranges and how can you avoid them?”

Being aware of what could go wrong with your commercial range before the issues happen can go a long way in helping your restaurant protect its assets and keeping it performing optimally with a few preventative measures.

The following article outlines some of the major issue you might eventually experience with your restaurant’s range and some easy tips for avoiding them. As always, if you feel you need a professional to service your appliance, please seek the help of an expert as some of these issues can have rather dangerous consequences if not addressed properly.

Gas stovetop or oven won’t light

If your gas or stovetop won’t light, there could be few causes:

  • The pilot light isn’t staying on. There can be a few reasons this could happen, but it’s most commonly an issue with the thermocouple (a sensor that measures temperature) or a safety valve (a device that keeps gas from releasing until the ignitor reaches the proper temperature). These devises are designed to shut off automatically if something isn’t working right, so if you’re having an issue with a pilot light, make an appointment right away for maintenance.
  • Your burner heads or burner pilots are clogged. When you purchase a commercial range, it’s imperative that you keep a regimented cleaning schedule, and this is one of the main reasons why. If grease and debris build up in and along your burners and pilot light, it could limit the flow of gas and interfere with ignition. Always follow your manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations and keep your burners as clean as possible to avoid this issue.
  • Your ignitor isn’t working. If your pilot light is out and the stovetop or oven isn’t igniting, there is a chance the electric to the unit is out or the pilot light needs relighting. Make sure the stove is plugged in, and be sure to contact a professional—fast—if it won’t light but you’re smelling gas.

Often, these issues can be caught in advance or prevented by having routine maintenance performed on your range, so be sure to consult with your maintenance professional to set up a timely schedule.

Burners are weaker or dimmer than usual

If the burners on your stovetop are burning weaker or dimmer than usual and they are gas, this could indicate that something is preventing the gas from flowing freely. This is often cause by inadequate burner cleaning and, as a result, clogging. This can also be caused by a restriction in gas by a faulty pipe or connector or even too little airflow. If you suspect this is the case, you can try to adjust the airflow, and if this doesn’t help, be sure to contact the pros.

If your burners are electric or induction and they’re not getting to temperature, chances are there is a faulty connection in the wiring, like a short, or the burner needs to be serviced and replaced. Sometimes these elements burn out or trip up, and these issues can happen in the wiring or the burner itself.

The oven is cooking meals unevenly

If your oven isn’t heating evenly, check that all heating elements are lit and/or glowing. If you see spots, for example, that aren’t glowing red on an electric coil or in a broiler, this indicates they might be faulty and need to be replaced. It could also mean that the temperature sensor isn’t working. When this happens, the oven isn’t able to regulate its cooking temperature correctly, and you could see cooler and warmer spots.

The oven gets too hot or won’t get hot enough

When temperature issues happen in your oven, unless it’s an issue with the pilot light or gas flow, it typically means there is something going on with the temperature sensors. These will sometimes need to be serviced and recalibrated if they’re not faulty. In this case, a technician should be able to fix the issue.

Can BHS Foodservice Solutions Help?

Buying a commercial-grade range for your restaurant doesn’t have to be difficult. Let BHS help guide you through the purchasing process. We have over 80 years’ experience helping restaurants like yours find the best equipment and supplies for their commercial kitchens. If you have any questions, contact us, and one of our knowledgeable customer service representatives will help you find the equipment and services you need to increase kitchen productivity and maximize your food-industry investment with a solution that’s right for you.

Topics: Restaurant Equipment, Commercial Cooking Equipment, Restaurant Equipment Installation, Commercial Cooking Supplies, Commercial Gas Range, Commercial Electric Range