Fixing a Burned-Out Oven Element


You never know when your electric range’s oven element will burn out. It never fails to occur around the most inconvenient periods, like the week leading up to the holidays.

Before they ultimately burn out, most elements do give some warning. Before they ultimately burn out, they’ll usually have a bright spot that the homeowner can see. Replace the element immediately if it has a bright spot. It’s not a good idea to wait for the element to burn out, as this can affect the oven’s thermostat or other electric components.

Safety must be the priority in every facet of this work. Don’t skimp and use aftermarket replacement components; stick with the real deal. If you don’t have the time and patience to fix things properly, don’t even bother trying. Remember that you will work with 240 volts, double the voltage of standard residential outlets. You should only try this fix if you have a responsible adult with you.

If you can do it without burning yourself, here’s how to swap out an element in your oven.

First, disconnect or switch off the breaker that supplies power to the range. Take the range away from the wall to get at all the shelves.

Second, remove the range’s back panel to get to the element wiring. Determine which component you think may have burned out.

Third… Delicately disconnect the element’s wiring. Typically, these have connectors that are screwed on. Don’t use your screwdriver carelessly. Otherwise, you can damage the connections or strip the screw head.

4. Advance to the firing line’s forward position. Find the screws that hold the element in place within the oven. Because they are typically so filthy, you may need a flashlight for this. Take extra care not to scratch the screw tops, like before. It may take some time and effort to carefully unscrew the screws without causing any damage. If the screws are stuck, you can drill them out using a power drill. Take care not to chip the oven’s interior if this becomes necessary.

Number 5. Take out the heating element. Don’t put your bare hands near the shards if it’s broken. Sharp edges are a potential hazard with these items. The white powdered insulation also has compounds that are bad for you.

Six… Go to the nearest auto parts store and pick out a replacement. Don’t forget to provide the manufacturer, product type, and serial number. Many different materials are used in production. The range’s model, type, configuration, and wattage needs will determine your range’s element.

Seven… Screw the replacement part into place. It may be necessary to make holes in the cabinet’s inside if the mounting plate’s holes aren’t perfectly aligned. Ensure you use a high-speed drill carefully when drilling holes into the cabinet. Don’t let the drill slip, as doing so could result in chips or cracks in the liner.

Reconnect the element wiring from the back of the stove in step 8. Avoid damaging the wiring or stripping the screw threads. Burned wiring requires stripping down the insulation to reveal the underlying wire. Get out your knife or wire stripper and remove the insulation.

Reconnect the power to the stove after replacing the element. Put the dish in the oven and set the timer for five minutes. Turn off the power and swiftly run your fingers along the insulation covering the element connections in the wiring. They need to feel warm, not heated. A connection that gets too hot to the touch can indicate a bad connection or the potential breakdown of other oven parts. If it gets too hot, remove it and start over. When finished making connections, put the unit back into the counter.

10. Put the oven through its paces. Everything needs to turn on and off usually.

11… The last thing to do is to do a temperature test in the oven. If you have an oven thermometer, let the oven cool down by cycling on and off three or four times at the typical baking temperature. When the dial on the oven is set to a specific temperature, the thermometer should read the same temperature. Make a batch of muffins or cookies to use as a proofing agent.

As we’ve seen, fixing a burned-out element is simply replacing it. But it’s one that only a person comfortable working with electricity should try. Call an appliance repairman if you feel unsafe working with high voltage.

A repairman may replace your element, test it, and get your appliance back in service in less than an hour. It won’t take you longer than that to find the component. They will also have all the necessary equipment, including testers, to complete the task efficiently and securely.

Donald Grummett 2006 All Rights Reserved. Legally, that is. Looking for advice on how to fix or maintain your home’s appliances? Grummett, Donald, 35 years of experience at your service. More helpful details can be found at

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