Most people are going to end up having to repair their oven when either their lower bake element or top broiler element burns out.
The experience when it happens can be anything from an element that just won’t turn on to something resembling a Fourth of July fireworks display.
Today’s Elements are made to get extremely hot with a relatively low amperage flowing through them. The way they do this is by a mixture of different metals and ceramics that produce the heat when electricity is passed through them.
When the element fails it is often like a sparkler that has just been lit. Once it starts burning it won’t stop until all of the sparkler or in this case the element coil is eaten up.
This is why when an element starts to burn turning the stove off will not stop the reaction. If possible you should turn off your circuit breaker to the stove but even this will not stop the reaction until a break is made in the element or it has burned its self out.
Once the element is burned out there is no fixing it and you will understand that when you see it. You simply need to replace it.
Getting the Part
Unfortunately most stores that now sell ovens and ranges with a combined stove and oven unit do not carry these parts in stock. This includes both the big box warehouses and the small dealer that will also provide repair service.
This means your oven and stove will be out of commission until the part is delivered to your local dealer or until the manufacturer mails it to you. If you can order the part online for cheaper then you can get it local and also get it next day or second day delivered then you are probably better off but if your local dealer can supply it the next day then paying an extra $15 is worth the time difference. Contact your manufacturer’s website for parts and have your model and serial number ready.
Replacing the Oven Element
If you can you should search your manufacturer’s website for an exploded parts view of your oven.
The parts view will help you understand how your oven is put together and which screws need to be taken out to allow access to the oven element.
Most likely you will only need a 1/4 inch nut driver which is also the same opening nut head as found on screw drivers that have changeable tip heads. Other tools you may need are a screw driver and maybe pliers.
In our case the oven element has male prongs that attach to wires.
The prongs are pushed through the back of the oven … through the insulation and exiting the back of the oven where the wire attachment is made.
This means we will need to pull the range away from the wall and remove the back plate.
The back plate may have information about how the wires of the element or power cord are hooked up. Read the information located on the label.
Make note of which wire is attached to which side of the element. Although there are only 2 wires and mixing up the wires should not have a bad effect you should replace the element as the manufacture installed it.
On the inside of the oven you will see that your element is attached to the back wall with two or more screws.
In our case you can see that there is also the heat probe for the oven temperature mounted in this area.
Additionally you will see that the metal rack that holds the electric oven element in place and a safe distance from the wall of the oven is attached with 2 screws.
When removing the screws it is important to lay them out on a table in the same order that you took them out. Although most of the time they will all be the same size there are subtle differences in all screws and replacing them back in the sheet metal it is important that they are in the holes they came out of that way you get a tight fit.
When replacing the screws do not torque them hard. You are not attaching wheel lug nuts and if you strip the screw hole it will be difficult if not impossible to repair. Hand Tight only and light pressure is best.
Remove the back screws first and leave the front ones in place until you remove the back of the stove and detach the element from the wiring.
Pull the Stove From the Wall
You are going to have to remove the stove from the counter top set in. A good idea is to place a little spray bottle soap on the floor where the feet of the stove will touch and lift the front feet off of the ground by opening the oven door and lifting as you pull.
If the back feet slide on the vinyl floor the scratches it will make will be hidden under the stove so lift the front feet off the floor.
Removing the back of the stove
Each stove will be different but most stoves will have a plate that covers the element wiring connections. This means you won’t need to disassemble the whole stove.
Once you have the back plate off remove the wires and as said before make sure you note how the element is connected .. which wire goes to which side of the element.
Replacing the element
You can now return to the front of the stove and remove the two front screws that are holding the element in place.
Insert the new element and insert the two front screws to hold the element in place while you return to the back of the stove and make your connections.
After the element is connected you can complete by fastening the element in place inside the stove and replacing the back access panel on the stove.
You can now return the stove to its proper place.
If you wash the floor under the stove do not dry it completely. Remember a little water will help in sliding the stove into place.
Testing the Oven Element
You can now turn your circuit breaker back on.
It is best if you have a second person do this so that you can watch the oven as power is restored. If you notice any sparking from the back of the oven you may have a wire that is grounding out on the access panel.
You should test the oven element by turning on the broil or bake setting as needed to power the element.
Let the element warm up until it glows and allow it to warm for about a minute.
The element will smoke a tiny bit (not a lot) if you watch it closely because it has probably been coated with a rust inhibitor oil for storage in the warehouse.
Once you are satisfied that the element is cycling on and off and working properly turn the stove off and allow it to cool.
Now that you are satisfied that the oven element is working properly you should turn the oven element on for about 3 minutes to burn off any residual packaging oil that may have been used to protect the element in storage and to put it through a good cycle before returning the oven to regular use for cooking.