Stove Top Burner Surface Element Not Working

Stove Top Burner Surface Element Not Working

This is a list of some of the most common reasons why a burner or heating element on your stove or cooktop will not heat or is not functioning properly.

Always make sure that the surface burners are not hot and have cooled down before handling them.  If one of the surface burners have stopped working on your oven or stoves cooktop you can simply do a visual check and see if there is a break in the element or if the element has bubbling, a burned hole or blistering.  If the element does have visible damage it is more than likely bad.  However, you can’t always tell if an element is good or bad by just examining it with your eyes.

Check to make sure that the surface element has not become loose from the terminal block that it is plugged into.  Some surface burners simply plug into the receptacle – terminal block requiring no tools for removal or replacement.  Other coil burner elements have a screw attaching them to the receptacle – terminal block.  Make sure that the screws are tight and have not come loose, a regular or Phillips head screw driver will be required.

If the coil element still does not heat up after the above procedures have been performed you will need to do a continuity test.  If you have a multi meter or OHM meter you can check the element for continuity, if the element shows continuity then it is good.  If it shows no continuity then the element is bad and will need to be replaced.

Surface Element Parts

If the damage is on the terminal ends of the element with corrosion buildup or signs of charred or burnt spots it is a good idea to replace the terminals as well or else you might not have good electrical contact after the new element has been installed.

If you have checked the coil burner element for continuity and it is good, next you need to check the receptacle terminals and wires for obvious damage such as burnt spots, melted plastic, arching or corrosion, if damage is found you need to replace the terminal block with a new one.  If you have checked the coil element and the terminal block receptacle and have determined that they are both good and in working order, you will need to check the infinite switch – surface burner switch for continuity.  It is the switch that the coil burner selector knob is attached to on the console or top of your oven/stove, depending on the make and model.  If the switch is bad replace it with a new one.

More stove/range/oven repair help

Above I have listed the most common reasons why a stove/oven cooktop coil element will not heat or function properly.  If you are not able to repair your oven/range/cooktop with the repair help that I have listed above you should call a reputable and qualified service technician who can, hopefully get your oven back in working order.


My GE Double Oven Quit Heating The Day Before Thanksgiving

My GE Double Oven Quit Heating The Day Before Thanksgiving

If your GE oven is not heating up, check the bake element for burnt spots, breaks or any other visible damage to the element.


The day before Thanksgiving 2017 I was preparing dinner for our family that was driving in the next day.  I have an older GE double oven and rarely use the bottom oven.  I was getting ready to bake the ham, turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes and everything else yummy for Thanksgiving dinner.  I turned the top oven on and placed the turkey in it then turned on the bottom oven and as I was placing the ham in it, discovered, much to my surprise, it was not heating.  Guess that’s what I deserve for waiting until the last minute and not thinking ahead.

Since it was the day before Thanksgiving there was no way I could schedule a repairman to come out and fix my oven.  My husband did some trouble shooting and found that the bake element had a burnt spot on it and figured that is why it was not heating.  

We did get through Thanksgiving dinner but it would have been so much easier with two ovens.  We went online and ordered a bake element for the bottom oven and at a very reasonable price.  My husband installed the new bake element after watching a few “how to” appliance repair videos on line.  These were extremely helpful because this was something he had never done before and we wanted to make certain it was done correctly and safely.

Oven Bake Elements

After the bake element was installed we turned the oven on and it began to smoke.  We were alarmed that maybe the bake element had somehow been installed incorrectly so we went back online to a very informative how to video and it explained why bake elements smoke after being installed in electric ovens.  It stated that the elements are coated to stop them from rusting.  Makes sense huh…

I never realized the luxury of having a double oven while preparing large dinners, I had always just taken it for granted that they would be working properly.  

More Oven Repair Help
When doing repair work on electrical appliances that you are not familiar with, it’s always a good idea to find a reliable video showing step by step how to repair the appliance.  In the case of replacing the bake element, be certain to turn off the 220 breaker supplying electricity to the unit or to unplug the oven from the wall outlet.