Inspection Training

How to Properly Inspect the Ranges/Ovens/Cooktops (UPDATED 2/23/18)

Complaint from Listing Agent: “The inspector left the oven on and my client (the current homeowner) is Furious!!!”

Complaint from Client: “We just moved into our home and operated the oven for the first time and it caught on fire.”

It is very, very important that we remember to turn off the cooktop and oven after our inspection. It is a good standard operating procedure to take a LAST picture of the oven display and dials for cooktop in the off position. This is not only a reminder for yourself to make sure you verify that it is off, but it is also documentation to protect you from the he said, she said when something goes wrong. When the house burns down you want all the documentation to prove you did your job properly and turned everything off.

This homeowner was “Furious” and called the Listing Agent and then the Listing Agent called the Buyer Agent and then the Buyer Agent called the inspector. So even though this particular complaint we did not cause any damage and did not have to pay, we had 3 people upset and could lose referrals from everyone involved. Remember that a lot of our business comes from Sellers, Listing Agent and Buyer Agent referrals so we want to keep everyone happy in the transaction.



International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection


3.10. Doors, Windows & Interior


I. The inspector shall inspect:



II. The inspector shall describe:



III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:



IV. The inspector is not required to:
I. Inspect or move any household appliances.
N. Operate or evaluate self-cleaning oven cycles, tilt guards/latches, or signal lights.
S. Inspect appliances

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will inspect the cooktop burners and bake/broil features on the oven.  It is very, very, very important to turn everything off when finished.

Tools Needed 

The inspector will need the infrared thermometer to test temperatures on the oven/range and the gas detector to test for any gas leaks if it is a gas oven/range.


  • Check to make sure that the oven has nothing on the inside.  Pots, pans, skillets with grease, dish towels, groceries, and packing material.  What do we do if the oven is full of items?

-A. If we open up the oven and it is full of packing material because it is a brand new oven, take a picture of the inside and exclude the inspection of the oven explaining that it is full of packing material and it needs to be removed prior to turning on the oven.  We do not take out all the packing material.
-B. If the oven is full of personal belongings, but if it’s only 1 or 2 items, like a skillet or pan or anything like that, you can take it out and inspect the oven. If you do remove anything, make sure that you put it back into the oven.  Never leave pots or pans out on the counter or floor for the homeowner to come home and see.
-C. If the oven is stacked full of stuff, then you will take a picture of the inside of oven and let them know it was full of personal items and the oven was not inspected.  This could indicate that the oven may not be working if they have it full of dishtowels or groceries. If the client is adamant about checking the oven, then you can have them remove the personal items. 

  • Inspect the oven door operation, check to make sure that it opens and closes smoothly.  Check to make sure that the hinges are not damaged, door springs operate to assist the door and the door does not fall to the ground.  Check to make sure that the door handle isn’t damaged, disconnected, or missing.  Lastly, make sure the glass on the oven door is not cracked or broken.
  • Turn on oven light and verify presence of oven racks.
  • If gas range, check burners, knobs, and gas line/valve for leaks.  All gas appliances should have a shut off valve.  Note the presence of and check for gas leaks.  Use gas detector and make sure that it is in the picture.
  • Turn on oven to 350 degrees.  Let it heat up while you are inspecting the rest of the kitchen.  The inspector is just checking to see that the elements/burners are present and are working, not that it actually heats the oven up to the correct (350 degrees) temperature.
  • Turn on all cooktop elements or burners to high.
  • Verify all elements/burners are working.  This will be the first picture that is taken with all cooktop burners on.  Use infrared thermometer in picture showing that they are working properly.  The picture only needs to be of the infrared directed at one cooktop burner, but make sure to check all burners with the infrared thermometer.
  • Verify bake and broil elements of the oven are working.  This will be the second (Bake Mode) and third pictures taken (Broil Mode).  Use infrared thermometer for each picture showing that the oven has heated up and is working properly.  Ideally, we want both the bake and broil functions to be bright red in the pictures.
  • Turn off all the burners and the oven.  THIS IS CRITICAL!  Make sure the stove is OFF when you leave.  The fourth and last picture you take needs to show that everything is off (show position of knobs and digital screens). Make sure you are close enough that you can read the dials and display, take two pictures if necessary.

Common Defects

  • Having a gas leak at the gas oven/range.  Would check for gas leaks with gas detector at the burners, knobs, and if accessible, at the shutoff valve and gas line behind the range.  Make sure gas detector is in the picture.
  • Gas/electric ranges not starting and not heating up.
  • Damage to the oven door or cooktop.
  • Knobs being burned or missing.
  • Digital displays not working.
  • Ovens that are unbalanced and not leveled out to countertop height.
  • Helpful Hint: If gas burners don’t fire up because its and you see the little spark and it is igniting, but it’s not firing up, you can try moving those little circles around and even try taking them off and putting them back on.  Sometimes those are bumped to the side and it’s not allowing it to spark or to fire up properly, so try and move each one of those around just to make sure and see if that’s what the problem is.  Then you can look and see if it is actually sparking or not.  You can also diagnose it just one step further and see if there is actually gas coming out of it as well.  If the whole gas range does not fire up you may want to check and make sure that the gas is turned on.  You can even get out your gas detector to see if you are getting any gas coming out, so if just sparking and nothing is firing up check and see if there is gas.

Common Mistakes

  • Leaving the oven or cooktop burners on after testing.
  • Not checking inside the oven for stored items before turning it on.
  • If inspector takes items (pot/pans) out of the oven it is important to put those items back in the oven after inspection and not leave on counter or floor.
  • Not taking a clear picture or two clear pictures if necessary to shows knobs and displays that oven is turned off.

Report / Software

  • Free Standing Range: The property had a [[word1]] freestanding [[word2]] range installed. All elements/burners were tested and were operational at the time of the inspection.
  • Separate Oven/Cooktop: The property had a separate [[word1]] [[word2]] counter-mounted cooktop and [[word3]] [[word4]] oven. All elements/burners were tested and were operational at the time of the inspection.
  • Combination
  • Electric
  • EMF Readings:

-EMF testing at the range/oven produced the following readings:
–Directly in front of the range/oven:
–1 to 2 feet away:
–2 to 3 feet away:
–Distance until <2.0 mGauss

  • No Electricity: The range/oven/cooktop could not be operated or evaluated because no electricity was provided at the time of the inspection.
  • Gas Not Connected: The range could not be evaluated at the time of the inspection because the gas line was not connected.
  • Induction: No induction cookware was present at the time of the inspection, so the induction cooktop could not be inspected.

  • There was not a range, oven, or cooktop installed in the kitchen at the time of the inspection.

  • The [[word1]] [[word2]]. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair or replace as necessary.

-Are difficult to read or understand setting.
-Did not work when tested.
-Does not shut properly.
-Does not turn properly.
-Fell open.
-Has a gas leak.
-Has an electrical splice that is not placed in a box with cover.
-Has loose wiring.
-Is cracked.
-Is damaged.
-Is loose.
-Is missing.
-Is missing support clips.
-Would not ignite properly.