What to Do When Your Oven Racks Don’t Fit


Ovens and oven racks are usually sold together, but sometimes even after years of use your oven racks don’t fit. One side may be too short, always falling down or wobbling when the racks should lie flat in their tracks. This happens more often than you might expect and is a result of how the metal reacts to heat. Ovens contain an incredible amount of heat, enough to warp most metals over time.

Self-cleaning and sometimes just years of use can warp the racks or the oven itself out of shape so they no longer fit together. Here’s what you can do to get your oven racks to fit again: 

Bend Your Rack Back Into Shape

If your oven racks have warped so they are no longer flat, use a vice or a pipe wrench to bend the racks back into their proper shape. This may be enough to cause your oven racks to fit properly again. Use a friend or work with a friend who has a toolshop. 

Check to See if Your Oven is Out of Shape

Ovens are supposed to withstand their own heat capabilities, but this is not always the case. Flawed metal or chamber design can result in a chamber that warps outward. This inevitably pulls the sides of the oven away and therefore increases the space between the tracks and the racks fall down. This is surprisingly common. If your oven is out of shape, you’ll need to make your racks wider. 

Extend Your Rack Edges with Metal Clips

The easiest way to extend your rack is with metal clips. Perfectly normal office paper clamps sometimes called binder clips. These wide, triangular clamps are 100% metal (no plastic-sheathing or pads) and are built to perfectly extend the edges of your oven rack. Clip four paper clamps, one on each corner, to the oven rack facing the tracks. If you need more reach, fold the clip-arms backward to extend the length of the triangle. These clips are also extremely sturdy, so you can trust your heavy casseroles to this solution. 

Bend Your Racks Out of Shape

If your oven racks have a double-rod side, you can bend these out instead of pointing down using a pair of pliers and some leverage. This extends the length of your oven rack by one wire/bar on each side, which might be just enough for the reach you need. 

Weld Extender Rods on the Oven Racks

An alternative to pending your rack edges outward is to weld an additional bar onto the outer edges of your wire racks. This also extends them by one diameter on each side so that your oven rack is just a little wider.  

Buy Slightly Larger Oven Racks (if possible)

Your last option is to simply increase the size of your oven racks the old fashioned way: By buying new oven racks. If your oven has warped so it is too wide for the current oven racks, buy bigger ones. We strongly suggest that you measure the distance between your current oven tracks to be sure you get racks of the right size. If your previous oven racks had other flaws you’d like to quickly deal with, new oven racks can be the fastest and least experimental solution to a common spacing problem.

—Maintaining your oven requires attention to detail and swift action. If you would like professional help with your home appliances, our team of technicians would be glad to help. Contact us today to consult on your home appliance needs or to receive guidance on how to handle your problems safely. We look forward to hearing from you.


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