/ Home & Energy

Has your oven door shattered?

shattered oven

We’ve all heard about exploding washing machine doors. In fact, a few years ago, the Which? Convo community helped us compile hundreds of examples of exactly that happening. But what about oven doors?

Recently, a number of you have told us about the alarming experience you’ve had of your oven door shattering or even breaking explosively onto the kitchen floor. And in some cases, as with washing machines, the oven wasn’t even being used at the time.

One member wrote:

‘A few weeks ago, I went to open the bottom oven door to put away some baking trays and, as I touched the handle, there was a loud bang and the door shattered into a thousand pieces on the floor. Gave me a real fright. I had used the oven about 3 hours earlier so it was quite cold.’

Another said:

‘The oven had been on cooking a roast and was cooling down. I was in the kitchen when there was a loud bang and I felt something hitting the back of my legs. When I looked around, the outer oven door was shattered, with small pieces of glass scattered around the kitchen with a pile of small pieces lying on the floor underneath the oven door. We measured that the small pieces had travelled 11 feet from the oven door.’

But mostly, the oven has been cooking, when the incident has taken place:

‘Today, without warning and whilst cooking a roast meat joint, the inner glass door exploded forcing open the outer glass door and ruining the roasting meat and making a huge bang and depositing minute pieces of glass all over the kitchen floor.’

Are any brands worse than others?

When we looked at shattering washing machines doors in our May 2016 issue, the brand Beko cropped up more often than you’d expect, considering its market share.

But so far, when it comes to ovens, no particular manufacturer stands out – in fact, more than 20 brands are on the list from Which? members’ experiences.

So what’s causing oven doors to shatter? While we’ve never had an oven door shatter during our testing, we are currently gathering information from oven engineers, industry experts and manufacturers on why oven doors – inner or outer – might shatter.

So far, potential culprits include:

  • incorrect positioning of glass after cleaning
  • use of abrasive cleaning materials that score the glass
  • build-up of grease causing the oven to overheat
  • glass has been knocked
  • a wet towel hanging on the oven door
  • a dish touching the inside of the door while cooking

Over to you

While it’s unlikely that your oven door will shatter, if it does, it isn’t something you’ll forget in a hurry.

So, we’d like to hear from you if the glass of your oven – whether part of a cooker or a built-in oven – has ever shattered or exploded.

Let us know what happened, including any response from the manufacturer. And if you’ve taken any pictures, please send them to conversation.comments@which.co.uk

Comments
Jeanette Topple says:
29 July 2017

I have recently had a problem with my free-standing Belling Cooker Model No. G775. The inner glass on the main oven door shattered on the draining board whilst I was drying it after washing it. I had not had the oven on so the glass was completely cold. It was a frightening experience – just like an explosion and pieces of glass were thrown at force everywhere up to 8 foot and into the adjoining room. My particular oven does not have a self cleaning system and I try to wipe the oven door each time after cooking so preventing any buildup. Also I do occasionally take the glass out for a thorough wash.

I telephoned the manufacturer to report this but was told that these things do sometimes happen and the risk was probably made worse by the age of my cooker – 9 years and not old in my estimation particularly as it is cleaned and well looked after. They quoted just under £100 for a new glass which included package and carriage. After much discussion we decided to replace the cooker as we were really concerned with what had been said about the glass deteriorating with age. We are both in our mid seventies and did not wish for a repeat performance.

The Manufacturers informed us that they had a customer loyalty scheme whereby they were willing to
replace with which ever cooker I decided from their range at a discounted price and were pleased to be offered a replacement Belling Cooker at more than £100 cheaper than any other retailer. We ordered a Belling FSG60DOP.

Imagine our horror that when the gas-safe man disconnected the old cooker the day before our new one was delivered the outside glass of the top oven also exploded showering small pieces of glass once again. We spent a sleepless night worrying about taking delivery the next day of a similar Belling cooker and worrying about the glass on the new one. I phoned manufacturers next day to tell them about this second panel breaking and was told again that these things do happen and it was probably caused by the gas-safe man lifting the old cooker by the handles to pull it out. I cannot confirm that this is what happened.

We have now received our replacement cooker and at the moment am very concerned about a same thing happening with the glass doors as they look very similar. It is nearly impossible to buy a cooker without these complete glass doors – we have tried.

We actually had some peaches on the work top when the first glass shattered and we found a piece of glass embedded in one of the fruit – that could have been someones eye !!

Ann-Marie says:
12 August 2017

We have a Leisure RCM 10 CRK double cooker. The actual outer oven door (not the two panes of glass inside) has exploded whilst I was cooking a Roast beef dinner. We’ve had the oven for 5 years. Quite scary when it happened glass everywhere all over the kitchen floor. I’ve not used abrasives on it. My husband and I are trying to figure out what could cause the main door to explode like that.

Ann-Stress particles in the glass could build up if the door is constantly slammed shut over a long period otherwise large changes in the temperature due to an oven cleaning facility which heats the glass up to danger level, again over time . If it was just a case of a flawed glass it would have gone before 5 years.

Nice to thank the people for contributing their stories – though for Mick the type of oven would be interesting. Rather like washing machines the problem seems to be aggravated by having glass in the door. Accepting people want this then perhaps the size of the viewing aperture is a problem as glass becomes bigger.

I wonder what the last Which? survey has revealed on breaking glass in oven doors. There must have been time for it to be analysed since it was in Spring 2015 and I mentioned it here in May.

Assuming 20m ovens in the UK this provides an idea of the replacement rate
“The impact of the project can be assessed through examining the volume or value of ovens sold in the UK each year. Approximately 1.5m ovens are sold on the UK market annually. The commercial cost of this is estimated at almost £600m. Therefore, with 25% of the market previously exploiting the tolerance, the cost of goods affected by the project is in the region of £150m.

To quantify a saving to the consumer, UK consumers were spending £700,000 more per year on their utility bills than they might have done had they had access to accurate product information regarding their oven’s performance and chosen the more efficient appliance. Consumers should now be completely confident the oven they are buying performs to the standard manufacturers are declaring on the energy label.”
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/the-energy-information-regulations-domestic-ovens

The claim in the final paragraph is interesting as one assumes that getting to temperature quickly etc would mean less overall cooking time and that this is a potentially bogus £700,000 consumer detriment.

I would be very happy to have a washing machine with a metal door. The only benefit of having a glass door in my current machine is that I have watched laundry detergent capsules and bits of tablets becoming trapped in the door seal and still there during the rinsing process. 🙁

It would be nice to have the option of buying ovens and washing machines with metal doors. I expect they would appeal to anyone who had suffered an explosion.

Our parents turned out fantastic dinners with metal oven doors. They knew when to open the door for a quick look at the roast or the cake. I have no objection to a window in the door but I think it introduces another point of weakness and potential safety hazard.

paul says:
16 August 2017

just had the outer glass oven door explode. I opened the oven door to clear up any glass and the inner glass exploded, looks like the outer glass was supporting the frame of the door.
No injuries just a couple of shaking dogs, awaiting manufacturer to contact us.
Cooker is less than a year old

Paul we have just had a similar experience with a 9 month old Hotpoint oven and am awaiting an engineer… I’d be interested to know how you got on seeing as yours was under a year old too? Thanks!

Helen Martin says:
19 October 2018

My Hotpoint oven door shattered last night. The handle came off the door and this shattered the glass. I cut my finger and my dog got glass in her paw. It was very frightening. If there had been a toddler in the vicinity he/she could have been blinded. I am confident it was not damaged previously and that this was without question a faulty appliance. I believe that it is a significant health and safety issue and the oven should be recalled. It is less than a year old and hardly used. I do not want it repaired under warranty – how could I trust a replacement? I only wish to have my money back so that I can buy another brand. Hotpoint gave me an email address to write to when I telephoned this morning. (!) I am socially responsible which is why I am posting this message to this site.

Jack Reid says:
11 September 2017

A 3 year old Cata oven door just blew out on us. Fortunatley nobody was stood by the hob otherwise their legs would have taken the full force. Glass blew 10 feet to a wall on the left and 5 feet the other way. Stopped by the walls. Was cooking a roast on 180, had been on for about an hour. Only used the oven about 6 times in the whole 3 years as in a holiday home. Cata said we could buy a new door as it is out of warranty What if a child had been walking past? Not worth thinking about

Patrick Taylor says:
12 February 2018

A B&Q sold oven with appalling reviews. Might be worth Which? seeing if it can be tested so the true awfulness can be published and B&Q taken to task.

Cata ovens seem to be made in India according to purchasers however this may not be the case. It has several factories in China aswell as Brazil and Spain.. Sadly they have bought the respected Fagor brand in 2014.
catalannews.com/business/item/catalan-company-cata-buys-bankrupt-domestic-appliance-business-fagor

Roland Wilkinson says:
19 September 2017

The other thing to watch out with some built in oven doors is that they can come apart. Some (I know this in the case of Zanussi model) are built in two parts . There is a front part which the more decorative and the front piece of glass and the other part which is actually attached to frame of the oven. The two parts in the case of the Zanussi are just held together by silicon. The day this gives away and leaves you holding the hot and slight heavy outside bit can be rather dangerous.

I bought my son and his girlfriend a new hotpoint cooker for their new home
Del on the fri used main oven 1st time on the Sunday , a large bang 💥 and the outer glass had exploded

Spoke to retailers and they replaced the cooker today
Chicken in the oven tonight and the same thing happened again

I am now waiting for them to arrange collection and we will be looking for an alternative

p kendall-henderson says:
9 October 2017

I just switched the oven on to pre heat. then I put on one ring and was stood frying some onions off. There was a loud ban and the oven door exploded. Shattered glass sprayed everywhere even into another room. I was pulling glass out of the tops of my feet. This is a two month old Hotpoint double oven. Its not had much use, no time to build up grease etc. It was a shock.

Oh no! I bet that was quite a shock. I hope the glass didn’t cut you. I actually had the same thing happen to me when I was younger ( I was about 13) – I was stood in front of the oven and it just shattered. I got told off by my mum who said I must have kicked it. She soon apologised when she was home alone in the living room and the oven did it again!

Make sure you call Hotpoint about the issue. Feel free to have a look at your consumer rights.
http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/l/faulty-goods

Hope this helps 🙂

Jean Gamlin says:
10 October 2017

I have spent some time this morning reading about the horrors you all appear to have with respect to exploding glass doors on cookers. I have had a Belling Format since 1983 and it has only this week died on me. I have just ordered another double oven Belling this morning to replace my old one, but from your comments it doesn’t sound as if I have much to look forward to. Perhaps quality goes out of the window these days !

Jean,
The danger is getting these problems out of proportion. Considering the number of ovens with toughened glass doors that are in use, breakages are extremely rare.

Although this link is 4 years old, an oven valeting company reported on their experience. You might find this interesting to read as it gives information on why toughened glass might break, as well as their instances of breakages.
An extract: “This leaves just 57 instances out of 295,334 completed jobs where oven door glass shattered for no apparent reason. This figure is just under 9 cases a year.
As a percentage, the 57 ‘mystery’ cases represent just 0.02% … again, put in a slightly different way, a solitary ONE instance per 5,000 jobs undertaken.”

https://www.ovenu.co.uk/shattered-oven-door-glass-survey/

linda bagshaw says:
5 December 2017

my cooker is a fllavel and at 3 o;clock this morning a huge noice awoke me when I went into the kitchen there was glass everywhere the outer glass of my cooker was in a million pieces

My Lamona oven door’s just shattered. I moved into the house in 2012, and the kitchen was newly fitted. It is certainly not cleaned much, as I’m a vegetarian and I only use it once or twice a month.
This is a very dangerous problem and some of the statistics discussed are wrong. Someone like me may never report the problem as they didn’t buy the cooker.

[Sorry, your comment has been edited to align with our community guidelines https://conversation.which.co.uk/commenting-guidelines/. Thanks, mods.]

This is a serious design fault and the government needs to be lobbied about this before a baby is killed in the kitchen by an exploding door. None of the reasons apply to me as I’ve hardly used the oven, and have only cleaned it with a disinfectant wipe. None of the reasons or excuses are relevant.

David Brown says:
12 February 2018

I bought a Hotpoint Pyrolytic multifunction single oven. I used the self clean cycle less than two weeks after it was delivered. After about 15 minutes there was a big bang and explosion where glass was projected out of the top of the door and the bottom of the oven door which is automatically locked during the cleaning cycle. I rang Hotpoint who said they would send an engineer round on Friday. I was shocked as it could easily of injured a small child who stood at oven height..

amanda wiseman says:
18 June 2018

Scary, same thing happened yesterday with my whirlpool oven, exploded with glass coming out of top and bottom. Luckily myself and my 6 year old daughter were not in the kitchen..

David this is exactly what happened to our Hotpoint self cleaning oven at the weekend – very scary. It too was juts 10-15 mins into the cycle when there was a loud smashing sound and we found the inside pain of glass had completely shattered. A real mess to say the least and frightening to think what could have happened had we not switched it off immediately. Unfortunately although it is only 9 months old and I have a Hotpoint engineer coming this week to look at it they are already saying that glass isn’t covered on the manufacturers 12 month warranty? I’m cross to say the least that this how the investigation is beginning before they have even set foot in my kitchen. How did you get on with yours? Thanks in advance!

William McCaughey says:
5 April 2018

I have a Beko cooker and very recently the oven door exploded when it was not in use. This cooker is only a couple of years old and well looked after cleaned etc. I have absolutely no idea what caused this as a said it was not in use.The explosion it made sounded like a gun going off in my kitchen and I’m still cleaning broken glass up from all over the kitchen floor. I have not contacted Beko as of yet but the replacement part is £45 and loose change. Not a lot i know but still i would like to know what causes this.

William McCaughey says:
6 April 2018

After reporting this to Beko Uk I was told that they know of this fault. they added that it was in no way common but they are aware of it.
I asked them if they were willing to repair it as it was a known fault. They added that as the cooker was no longer under warranty, it would cost upward of £140 to fix this pane of glass, A bit excessive if you ask me.
I think i will go ahead and pay for the replacement part myself as i cannot afford a new cooker at this time.
Overall I found Beko UK’s response poorly lacking,and I would certainly think twice from buying from them again!

This is a well established problem, William, and it’s worth reading the comments on this and the Conversation about exploding washing machine doors. The cheapest solution is to replace the glass yourself or get local trader to do the job.

Yes that’s what i have done. With delivery the part is costing £53 and i will fit it myself. I still find the response from Beko UK as a bit of a shock and are making financial gain from what seems to be a well known ongoing problem.

I agree, William. It’s possible that there is more profit to be made from sale of the door glass than the sale of the cooker. It’s worth having a look at alternatives to manufacturers’ parts since these are sometimes much cheaper and can be good quality.

William, oven door glass is usually “toughened” when , in manufacture, it is heated to near softening point and then rapidly chilled. This makes it resistant to impact and thermal shock – if cooled rapidly when splashed, for example. But slight flaws in the glass, a minute scratch in the surface (metal scouring pad for example), very small damage to an edge say, can all cause it to shatter spontaneously. In high quality toughened glass it is very unusual – think large glazing panels in buildings, car windows for example) – but it does happen.

I agree Malcolm but may i add that i have never used abrasive cleaning methods on this glass. As stated in my earlier comment the oven was not even in use when this happened.
Now this cooker was less than 2 years old so i don’t thing fatigue of the glass should have been an issue. I understand that all materials have some sort of failure rate and as such the company should take more of a role in sorting this out.
Now in saying that i have ordered an original part online and next day delivery. Total cost of £53.
Beko quoted me upwards of £140 to have this repaired by them. That seems like a little bit of profiteering from them for a job that i think will take me 10 to 15 mins.

Not fatigue, William, but a latent flaw that can generate the fracture at any time.

The problem with an engineer’s visit is not just the time it takes to do the job, but the travelling time as well as operating overheads. Best to tackle a job like this yourself. Be very careful when handling the glass not to catch the edge. The way glass is toughened effectively creates a thin outer skin that is in compression. If this skin is damaged then the glass shatters.

jayne calderwood says:
17 July 2018

I have a hotpoint oven only a couple of years old. I used pyro clean for te first time and it completely shattered.

This is a difficult consumer problem, Jayne. You do have rights against the retailer but they have no responsibility if the glass has been misused. Once it is broken it’s virtually impossible to establish whether it was misused. It might be worth contacting the retailer and you might get a discount on a new glass door. The manufacturer has no legal responsibility but sometimes they offer goodwill.

If you have not needed to use the pyrolytic cleaning feature in the past two years it might be worth avoiding in the future because the extreme temperature does increase the risk of breakage.

Kerry Hunt says:
2 August 2018

We have just bought a brand new Capel oven. It was chosen as it was the right size to fit the gap left by our old one. It was lifted and slid into position then plugged in. As soon as the door was opened the whole glass front exploded sending pieces all over our kitchen and cutting the back of my leg. Neither the supplier or Capel will do anything about it – they are saying it’s installer error. FGS it’s a square unit that slides in and is then plugged in – not rocket science. A new door is £250 + £45 delivery which they won’t waive even as a good will gesture. The whole situation is disgusting.

Are they suggesting that the door should have been removed before installation and refitted afterwards, Kerry? Presumably the oven had not even heated up before the door exploded.

I think the supplier is trying to deny you your consumer rights. The oven door was clearly defective and should be replaced at no cost to you. The following Which? guide would be a good place to start –
https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/consumer-rights-act

Caple ovens seem to be rebranded products from a number of cheap manufacturers.

The safety of domestic ovens is covered by an international standard BS EN 60335-2-6. Only compliant products should be sold in the UK. This standard requires that in the event of an oven door glass breaking, the broken glass is either held in place by a frame, or breaks into very small pieces – at least 60 in any 50mm x 50mm area.

It sounds from your description that this was not the case, particularly as such small pieces should not cause injury. The glass may have been badly toughened in which case your oven would not comply with the safety standard.

If you have retained the glass pieces I’d look to see if they are as small as the standard requires, or whether there are larger sharp shards among them If there are then get back to your supplier and point out the oven fails to meet the safety standard – clause 22-120 – and require them to replace the door. I would also report it to Trading Standards in the hope they might collect similar reports and take action if the problem is more widespread.

Alan Curtis says:
17 August 2018

I have a less than two years old Beko oven. Used it this lunchtime on a low heat, went out this afternoon and returned later to find that the inner glass of the door had shattered into, literally, thousands of pieces. The impact also broke broke the heating element so now I am completely without an oven at all. I had previously noted that the heating element was very close indeed to the inside of the door when closed. If this a design fault I think that Beko should replace my oven even if it is out of guarantee.

bob burbage says:
8 October 2018

I was sitting at the kitchen table waiting for my quiche to finish cooking when the outer glass door of my HOTPOINT electric oven exploded with a VERY loud bang – sharp glass fragments everywhere up to 10/12 feet away.
I contacted HOTPOINT this morning to be told “oh yes , this sometimes happens ” We can send out an engineer but it will cost £130 to fix it, and £70 if he is unable to do so !!
I then tried to contact their customer services department, but gave up after 25 minutes on musical hold.
Three further attempts produced the same result.
Some customer service.

My inner glass pane on my single oven (Bosch hbn331e2b) exploded a couple of nights ago whilst cooking oven chips. I bought it 3 years and two months ago (so 14 months out of warranty) from John Lewis as part of a brand new kitchen. Oven used only about twice a week to heat pizzas / oven chips / ready meals etc. – so really not a lot of use. Cleaned about three times in those years with a soft damp cloth to remove crumbs more than anything. Did not rest hot food on the door nor did I do any of the other things listed above.

Contacted JL who tried to fob me off with contacting Bosch directly. On insisting they do it for me I was told it would cost me £110 for an engineer to visit + parts (probably around £45 looking at the cost of a new pane of glass) to establish whether it was a manufacturing fault. They couldn’t guarantee a Saturday appointment (I work all week). For me to do this privately (evenings or weekends) I could get an engineer for £75 + parts. JL agreed to “to offer a reasonable contribution towards a repair” but won’t tell me what “reasonable” is.

Now debating whether to insist on my consumer rights or take JL up on their offer as proving that the glass broke due to manufacturing fault is nigh on impossible as it is lying shattered inside my oven!

It is doubtful to be a manufacturing fault after over 3 years. Toughened glass can break spontaneously for a number of reasons. Very early in its life it might be a flaw in the glass that acts as a stress concentration point – a very small bubble or inclusion, and edge defect or a small scratch. Later in life some minor damage can be the cause.

If the panel is easily changed (mine just slides out) then you could buy a new panel online and fit it, and maybe ask JL to pay. If you do, it may have one surface that is heat reflecting; this should be on the inside.