Is your electric oven on the fritz?
One of the most common problems to face our ovens is the heating element going out.
But how do you know for sure it’s the element and what can you do to replace an electric oven element if that’s the case?
Read on and we’ll give you the in-and-out of getting things back to hot when your oven has decided to give up the ghost.
Diagnosing a Faulty Electric Oven Element
The first thing to do is make sure that you’re actually dealing with a faulty element and not another cause of failure within your oven.
Your oven actually has two elements, an upper and a lower heating element. You’ll want to check both if you’ve been having trouble getting to and maintaining the temperature in the appliance.
The quickest way to begin your diagnosis is just to fire the oven up. Set it to broil for the best results as it’ll heat more quickly this way.
Wait a few minutes and then take a look at the upper element. It’ll be located at the top of the oven’s box and should be glowing an even, bright orange. If it’s not glowing, or there’s uneven coverage, then the element needs to be replaced.
Afterward, set the oven to a low temperature and allow it ten to fifteen minutes to heat up. Examine the lower element after things have started to heat up.
Once again, you’re looking to make sure the element is heating up evenly. Any black splotches or the element not firing at all are indications that your electric oven heating element is having trouble.
If both elements aren’t even turning on then you may have a more serious problem on your hands. That can indicate a failure at some point along the electronics circuit rather than just element failure.
What Causes Element Failure?
An electric heating element works similarly to an incandescent bulb. They’re a coiled resistor that absorbs large amounts of electric energy. This causes the energy to convert to heat and light, which causes the characteristic glow when they’re functioning properly.
In most cases, it’s simply age that takes out an element. Something inside the resistor breaks and opens the circuit, causing the whole thing to fail since there’s no longer electricity moving along the length of the heating element.
In other cases, something a little bit more serious occurs: the internal heating coil touches the outer sheathe and causes a dead short. You’ll most likely notice if this happens, it generally pops the circuit breaker and causes a bit of noise and light.
If you’re suffering from either type of failure it’s recommended that you not use the oven elements, even if one is still working, until they’ve been replaced.
In most cases, you’ll still be fine to use the stovetop. If the stovetop isn’t working either then the problem is most likely the board and your only real option is going to be to hire a professional to handle the problem.
Keep in mind that not all element failures are directly related to the element itself. There are quite a few things that can go wrong between the controls and the element itself.
What to Do About a Faulty Heating Element
If your element has failed then you’ve got a couple of options.
For the DIY-minded it’s not impossible to get the part yourself and replace the element. Exactly what you’ll have to do depends on the individual oven but the most important part of the process is to make sure that you have the exact part matched off.
Any element other than the one indicated can cause serious problems.
Replacing an element is fairly simple as long as you have the tools and you know how to do basic electrical work. After all, you’re essentially just attaching a new filament.
Like any appliance repair, however, care needs to be taken to avoid making things worse. You should be able to find a schematic, and possibly instructions, in your owner’s manual for the appliance.
The repair process will require tools and know-how. There’s another element involved as well: if the oven heating element isn’t working at all the problem may be farther along in the circuit. Most often this will be a circuit board failure or a mechanical failure in the controls.
Diagnosing an electronics problem is beyond the skills and tools of most handy types. If you have a multimeter and some skill with electronics you may be able to diagnose it. That said, it’ll take a lot of time and then you’ll have to search out the failed component.
In all honesty, most people will be better off scheduling a repair with a professional.
They’ll be able to properly diagnose the problem and ensure that you’re getting the right parts without having to dig through warehouse websites.
It also saves you time. Vetting a reputable company is easy and you’ll be able to rest well knowing that the repair will last for a long time to come. It’s the fastest and easiest way to ensure the problem is handled.
Ready for a Fix?
Are you suffering from a busted electric oven element? If so then you’ll need to move things along so you can get back to cooking as soon as possible.
You’re also in the right place. Why not schedule a repair with us?