It isn’t unheard of for ovens to leak water – typically they do this due to a buildup of condensation produced by steam condensing on the oven door. There are a number of ways to prevent this or stop it from being too much of an issue – from raising the ambient temperature of the room to replacing the tangential fan.
There are a number of ways to prevent your oven from leaking water by changing the rubber trim, turn down the heat or use less water within your cooking to reduce the steam.
In this article I am going to talk about whether an oven can leak, what to do if it does and how to prevent it in the future.
Should An Oven Leak Water?
While it isn’t ideal for an oven to be leaking water, it isn’t necessarily an objectively bad thing either. The biggest reason that an oven might be leaking water is that there is condensation on the inside of the oven door, which is dripping onto the floor, leading to a wet patch.
If your oven has started doing this all of a sudden, then there are a couple of different reasons why that may be. For example, there may be a fault with the internal window seal on your oven.
In order to retain as much heat as possible and waste as little energy as possible, oven doors have a seal that traps hot air and steam. If the seal is old, broken, or damaged, then the point at which the seal is invalid may have a gathering of condensation. It would likely be this point from which your oven could leak water.
Why Would An Oven Leak Water?
Difference From Ambient Temperature
If there is too much of a difference between the internal temperature of your oven and the ambient temperature of the room that it is in, then you can guarantee the amount of condensation the appliance generates will increase.
Condensation is formed when hot air meets a cold surface – this is exactly what would be happening inside of your oven. When the internal temperature increases to several hundred degrees, that hot air can collide with the (relatively) cool glass of the oven door. This would lead to condensation being generated.
A Fault With The Internal Window Seal
The reason that your oven has an internal window seal is to ensure that the oven is kept airtight. This will stop heat from escaping your oven, as well as preventing moisture from leaving your oven.
If there is a small point at which steam escapes from your oven during any kind of roasting or baking process, then that spot will likely have a large amount of water on it that has condensed during the cooking process.
If the seal is particularly old, worn, or otherwise in a bad way, then it may need to be replaced.
The Tangential Fan Isn’t Working
The tangential fan is a component in ovens that is there to cool the oven and oven window. It also removes any kind of vapors from the appliance, venting them into the kitchen – usually, it removes the vapors from the ground of the appliance.
If the tangential fan isn’t working for some reason, then the vapors will remain within the oven and will work their way between the window panels. Over time, you’re likely to get condensation developing when you cook.
Cooking Certain Types of Food
When cooking with certain types of food, a lot of water can be released during the roasting or baking process. For example, tomatoes have a large amount of water in them. This means that a tomato-based stew, for example, would release a lot of steam during the baking process if it were within your oven.
If you know that your oven has a problem with condensation buildup, then we might recommend that you use a dish or pan with a lid when roasting food with high moisture content.
What To Do If An Oven Is Leaking Water?
Manage The Ambient Temperature Of Your Room
In order to minimize the amount of condensation that builds up within your oven during use, you have a few options. However, you might not want to pursue any of them right away as they could be costly or time-consuming, a situation that you might prefer to avoid.
An easy way to minimize the problem while you set about fixing it more permanently is to raise the ambient temperature of the room that your oven is in. To be on the safe side, a higher temperature is better, and it doesn’t matter too much about the specifics.
However, a good rule of thumb is to make sure that your kitchen is at least nineteen degrees Celcius overall.
While this wouldn’t eliminate the problem overall, it’s a good way to hold off on truly fixing the issue for a short while – you’ll save cash and easily and quickly.
Replace The Internal Window Seal
Seals are an inherently serviceable part. While this can often be seen as a costly and frustrating point, it’s actually quite good, in a strange way. It means that whenever you replace the part, you can be sure that it’s working at optimum efficiency – at least for a short while.
The reason that rubber seals are a serviceable part is that the rubber tends to harden over time, and eventually, it will become ineffective as a seal. In particularly extreme cases, it might even start to crack and fall away from the appliance.
You can easily track down replacement parts online, as the rubber is known to be a part that you will have to replace one day. Depending upon how common your oven is, you might be able to find a tutorial online of someone replacing the exact seal of your oven.
If you cannot find such a video and you don’t feel like trying your hand at it, we’d recommend calling a local handyman.
Fix Or Replace The Tangential Fan
The tangential fan is a very simple component. Essentially, it’s a spinning cylindrical turbine that pushes air and vapor out of a vent in your oven. When it breaks, the vent will be partially occluded, leading to the amount of vapor in your oven not decreasing as it should, leading, in turn, to condensation building up on the inside of your oven’s door.
While it’s uncommon for a tangential fan to break within an oven, it is a problem that you can see happening from time to time. Therefore, it is entirely possible to track down a replacement part and install it. You can either install it yourself, or you could track down a handyman who’s sure to do it for you.
Before going to the expense of finding a replacement part and, potentially, a handyman to fit it, we’d recommend giving the tangential fan a quick look over to see if it’s a very simple fix.
The blades of the tangential fan are typically open to the oven, meaning that there is potential for something that you’ve been cooking to get into the blades and block them from properly spinning. If you can remove the small piece of detritus quickly and easily, then it will certainly be simpler for you to do that than to replace the entire part.
Use Alternative Cookware In Your Oven
This, again, is more of a solution to ‘kick the can down the road’ than to actually solve the problem that you’re having once and for all.
As we said above, certain different types of food can lead to a lot of vapor being produced in your oven during the course of the cooking process. There are two ways that you could potentially cut down on this.
Firstly, you could simply cook with foods that reduce the amount of steam created during cooking. A food that might produce a lot of steam during cooking is a roast dinner.
A lot of roast recipes rely upon juices from the meat being released and absorbed by different ingredients, and you can prevent this by placing the meat directly onto the rack of your oven and placing a pan underneath the meat to catch the juices.
This will ensure that your meat has an impressive cook over the entire body of it, plus the pan that collects the juices won’t get as hot – this will lead to less vapor being produced.
Alternatively, you could The best way to do this is to always use roasting and casserole dishes that are complete with a lid – the lid will prevent steam from getting into the body of your oven, leading to the problem of condensation buildup not presenting itself.
If you wanted to ensure that the steam produced by the dish is cycled pack into the ingredients, try to get a roasting dish with a lid that has small bumps – these bumps provide good spots for water to collect and then drip back down onto the food that is cooking.
Hi all! I’m Cora Benson, and I’ve been blogging about food, recipes and things that happen in my kitchen since 2019.