Oven Door Glass Failure Information
How fragile are glass doors on ovens?
It is fair to say that there is no such thing as unbreakable glass, and care should always be taken to handle any glass product with respect. However, the glass used for oven doors is very similar to the glass used in windscreens in cars, in that if broken it won’t splinter.
There is not a high incidence of glass breaking in ovens but in most cases this has not been caused by a problem with the oven itself, and it does not mean that your make and model are faulty or dangerous.
Most oven doors have both an outer and inner glass surface and these can shatter independently, depending on the cause. If the outer glass in the door breaks, it will be of a lower temperature as it is governed by a BS standard, meaning that the glass should not be hot enough to burn either skin or surfaces. The temperature of the inner glass will obviously be hotter, but should it shatter the glass will be kept inside the oven itself, protected by the outer glass.
Reasons for glass breakage
Compare the glass in your oven to your car windscreen, if your windscreen is hit by a sharp stone it can chip, and this will eventually lead to the windscreen shattering. The same principle applies to your oven, if the outer glass is hit by an object and is chipped, this will weaken the glass and there is a good chance that it will shatter over time. The same will apply to the inner glass, when moving heavy dishes in and out of the oven, it is not uncommon that you can hit the dishes against the inner glass, potentially causing damage.
Variations in temperature across the glass surface can also cause the glass to break. It is quite common to see people hanging oven gloves or even damp tea towels from the handle of the oven door. Over time, this can cause a disparity in the temperature across the glass, causing a weakness and then a break.
During cooking, the inner glass can come under additional stress if a dish is touching the glass at high temperatures. This can even be caused if a spillage is on the glass and not cleaned off sufficiently. The spillage on the glass can reach a higher temperature than the rest of the glass, and a breakage may occur.
As you can see, most glass breakage is caused by outside stresses rather than on the oven itself. Don’t get too worried though, this is not a common occurrence and you may never come across it, regardless of the make and model of your ovens.It is a good idea to set up a cleaning routine for your oven, there is far less likelihood of damage being caused if the glass is clean and you can see any splashes etc. that need cleaning off before damage can occur.
All glass door panels are not the same
Most models which use ceramic glass will have an inner and outer panel but with self-cleaning ovens there could be three panels of glass. An additional glass panel will be set between the inner and outer panels.
These will all be made with a special heat-resistant glass and if your oven model is no longer manufactured, you will not be able to have a replacement glass cut to size.
DIY for Outer Door Glass
Although fairly straightforward to do in most cases, you will need to check your handbook, if you still have it, or have a good look at the door to work out how it all fits together. The job is much easier if you completely remove the door and work on it away from the oven, allowing you much better access.
There are of course those models where the job is not as easy. This is generally caused by cost reduction exercises at manufacturers. It is cheaper to seal or bond the glass in place but does make maintenance a lot more difficult. It can be done but you need to proceed at a slower pace allowing you time to work out how the glass was fitted.
DIY for Inner Door Glass
If you need to replace the internal middle glass panel, you will have to remove the outer glass panel first to allow you access. Please think carefully before you attempt this one as it is the most difficult to do, unless you feel confident it may well be that you call in an engineer for this task.
Replacing Glued or Bonded Glass
Great care needs to be taken to ensure that the glass is completely glued/bonded in place and then allow sufficient time for it to be completely dry before replacing the door and re-using the oven.
In all cases you must be sure you have the correct make, model and serial number of your appliance to ensure you order the correct replacement glass. Just the make and model will not suffice as parts may be changed as and when the models are updated.
In all cases, if you are not totally confident in carrying out this work, it may well be more economic to use a professional engineer.