Common Cooker Extractor Hood Problems - Domex Ltd
8 min. read

Common Cooker Extractor Hood Problems

Most modern homes and commercial properties now come with a cooker extractor hood in the kitchen, while any refurbishments allow the opportunity to retrofit one. This piece of equipment can help remove the steam and moisture from your kitchen, but what happens when it suffers a fault?

Many people may not be aware that their extractor hood isn’t actually working properly, while others might not feel knowledgeable enough to diagnose any of the parts under the shiny exterior, such as a broken on and off switch or a burned out fan motor, and it’s also essential to check the power supply and make sure that the fan is plugged in and receiving power. This month we’re going to talk you through some of the common cooker extractor hood problems, as well as what you can do to tackle them.

Extractor Hood Repairs - Domex Ltd

The airflow in my extractor hood is poor

Do you constantly feel like your extractor hood is not pulling the air from your room adequately? While you will know with a brand new extractor if it’s working or not, it’s unlikely that you’ll find a partial breakdown on an extractor which has been fine for years.

Being relatively simple appliances, your extractor either works or it doesn’t. If your extractor isn’t working it could most likely be the motor which has broken and will undoubtedly require replacing.

Often it can actually be the ventilation itself preventing the extractor performing properly. It’s always good to check the outside of your building to establish whether the air is being pulled through, if your vent is blocked or the slats have become locked on the outside, all of which should be easy to fix.

Check the Airflow: Your Hood Isn’t Extracting Properly

Feeling like your extractor hood just isn’t pulling its weight? Here’s where to start:

  • Is the vent blocked? First, check the outside vent to ensure leaves, debris, or even birds haven’t built a cozy home there. A blocked vent will prevent proper airflow. Clear any obstructions and see if that solves the problem.
  • Is the filter clogged? Even a well-maintained hood can suffer from clogged filters. Locate your cooker hood’s filters and consult your manual for cleaning instructions. Most filters can be washed with warm soapy water or cleaned in the dishwasher. Replace disposable filters according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
    If checking the vent and cleaning the filter don’t solve the issue, move on to the next steps.

My extractor hood lights won’t work

One of the most common issues with extractor hoods is the lights fitted into the appliance. These are often difficult to change and can seem to break more often than regular lights, but here are two things to keep in mind when it comes to such lighting:

  • Firstly, these lights are meant to be used to light the hob below while you cook. They should not be left on for extended periods or used to light the room as a whole. By leaving these lights on for a longer period, you’re more likely to blow them.
  • Secondly, because they aren’t designed to be on for long periods, these lights can get very hot (something you’ll know if you’ve ever accidentally touched them). This overheating of the bulbs can lead to wiring issues and could even result in them burning through their casing, sending them crashing down onto your hob.

The key to keeping extractor lights in good working order is to only use them when you need them. Eventually they will die out anyway and at this point you can replace the bulbs if they are of a standard variety. Consulting the manual which came with the extractor hood will often reveal how to remove lights safely – you may need a small sucker pad to grip and unscrew them in some cases.

No Light? Shedding Light on the Problem

Cooker hood lights are a convenient way to illuminate your hob while you cook. If yours have gone dark, here are some possibilities:

  • Burnt-out bulb: This is the most common culprit. Most cooker hood lights are small halogen bulbs, and replacements can be found at hardware stores. Consult your user manual for the specific bulb type needed.
  • Faulty connection: Check if the bulb is loose in the socket. Gently tighten it and see if the light comes back on.
  • Blown fuse: Some cooker hoods have a built-in fuse for the lights. If the bulb and connection seem okay, consult your manual to see if there’s a user-replaceable fuse for the lights. (Warning: If you’re not comfortable replacing fuses, consult a qualified electrician.)
    If none of these solutions work, the problem might be with the hood’s wiring. It’s best to call a professional electrician for further diagnosis and repair.

There is a bad smell coming from my extractor fan

As with any appliance, a little general maintenance goes a long way. Your extractor should be passing air out of the building, but if you notice a smell emanating from within, there are a few possible causes.

The most common cause of extractor hood smells is dust and grease accumulating in the initial filter. Most hoods will have removable filters or grates which you can give a quick wash; you’ll be surprised how much muck and mould can accumulate if left untouched.

If this doesn’t solve the problem, then it could be a less likely source: vermin. Whether dead or alive – though you’ll surely be more likely to notice a smell if it’s a dead animal – you’ll want to have a professional pest control expert tackle this. There isn’t often a way for animals to get into this short extraction system but it’s worth investigating if you can’t find a source elsewhere.

Unpleasant Odors: Your Hood Isn’t Eliminating Smells

A properly functioning cooker hood should eliminate cooking odors. If yours is emitting a funky smell instead, here’s what to check:

  • Dirty filters: As mentioned earlier, clogged filters can trap grease and odors. Ensure your filters are clean and replaced regularly.
  • Food particles trapped inside: Food debris can build up inside the hood itself, leading to unpleasant smells. Consult your manual for instructions on accessing and cleaning the interior of your hood.
  • Pest infestation: In rare cases, small animals like mice might find their way into the cooker hood’s ducting and die there, causing a foul odor. If you suspect this might be the case, it’s best to call a pest control professional.

Remember: Regularly cleaning your cooker hood filters and wiping down the interior surfaces is essential to prevent unpleasant odors.

Faulty wiring and spare parts

While there are an array of expensive looking extractor hoods on the market, when it comes down to it they’re fairly simple appliances. This means the wiring and parts inside are relatively simple too. If there is a fault with the wiring or a particular component and you have experience with electrical repairs you may wish to tackle the issues yourself.

However, despite the simple nature of the mechanics under the sleek finish of many hoods, it is ill advised for people to go tearing things apart to make repairs if they don’t have the experience. This is where professional cooker extractor hood repairs from Domex can be a lifesaver.

At Domex, we can provide spare parts for almost any make and model of extractor hood, and we can even carry out the replacement of the faulty part so you don’t have to take on any of the work.

Calling in the Professionals: When DIY Fixes Don’t Work

While this guide tackles some common issues, there might be times when a professional repair is necessary. Here are some signs it’s time to call a qualified appliance repair person:

  • Noisy operation: An unusually loud motor could indicate loose parts, failing bearings, or a damaged motor itself. Don’t attempt to fix a noisy motor yourself.
  • Electrical issues: If you suspect problems with the wiring or electrical components of your cooker hood, avoid any further troubleshooting and call a professional electrician to avoid the risk of electrical shock.
  • Hood not responding to controls: If the buttons or knobs controlling your cooker hood seem unresponsive, it could be a problem with the control panel or internal wiring. Leave this to a qualified appliance repair person.
    Remember, safety first! If you’re not comfortable troubleshooting any of these issues, don’t hesitate to call a professional for help.

Extractor Hood Repairs

Whether you have a faulty motor or your appliance has suffered damage, at Domex we provide professional repairs and maintenance for domestic and commercial cooker extractor hoods. We can help you get your extractor hood in top working condition again, and with a dedicated slot to attend you can guarantee we’ll be there to tackle your issue head on. Give us a call on 0330 210 2100 or book an appointment online for an engineer to come and visit. 

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