A Range is an oven with a flat top with gas burners or electric heating elements for cooking with pots and pans. To generate heat, most ranges use just gas, or just electricity. However, there are some models that are 'dual fuel', usually having electricity for the oven, and gas for surface cooking.
A stove is an apparatus that burns fuel to heat a living space as well as provide a surface for cooking. Stoves will not be addressed here.
It has been decades since live pilots on domestic gas ovens and ranges were legal.
The pilots were tiny live flames that remained constantly on, to ignite the large burner when needed. With the millions of tiny pilots burning all over the country, a lot of energy was being wasted. So new, non-live flame ignition sources were developed.
The most common in use today for ovens is the 'glow bar ignitor'. This is a device that is mounted next to the gas burner. When the oven requires heat, the ignitor glows reddish-white to ignite the burner.
The ignitor is controlled by an oven thermostat, or sensor, along with the range's electronic control clock, where you set the temperature. Electric ovens, control their heating elements the same way. The gas burner (or electric element) is cycled on and off as heat is needed to maintain the desired cooking temperature. It is not unusual to have a on and off variance (differential) of plus or minus 15 degrees F.. The mean average of the differential is the cooking temperature or set point. As an example, if you select a baking temperature of 350 degrees F., the oven will preheat to about 365 degrees and cycle off. As the oven cools to about 335 degrees F., the oven will cycle on again.
When the differential is greater than plus or minus 25 degrees F., or does not have an average of the desired set point, then usually this means the oven either needs service for an adjustment, or a repair.
Electric ranges utilize two 120 volt household type circuits. The range's clock and other electronics use one of the 120 volt circuits and the elements use both circuits together to make 240 volts for greater power. Sometimes a faulty wall panel circuit breaker will allow one circuit to remain on, while the other is not fully set to on. When this happens the clock may light up and appear to function properly, but the oven will not heat well.
First push the circuit breaker fully off and then fully on to properly reset it.
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