Did you know that most all major electric household appliances in your home use a heating element for their source of heat?
REFRIGERATOR – That’s right! Even your refrigerator and icemaker use a heating element. The refrigerator uses a heating element/defrost heater assembly for the defrost cycle and the icemaker uses a heating element to heat up the icemaker tray so the ice will loosen from the ice mold and can be kicked out at the end of a cycle.
OVEN – Your electric oven uses two different heating elements, it uses a bake element for the bake setting and a broil for the broil setting. The bake element is located on the bottom of the oven’s interior and the broil element is located on the top of the oven’s interior.
STOVE – The electric range, stove or cooktop uses surface element burners or radiant elements. The coil surface element is a coiled circle shaped heating element that can be accessed from the cooktop of your stove. The radiant element is underneath a sleek smooth ceramic glass cooktop, only accessible from under the glass.
CLOTHES DRYER – The electric clothes dryer would take days to dry your laundry if it were to just tumble the clothes dry without the help of the dryer heating element. The dryer’s fan draws in fresh air over the clothes dryers hot heating element then into the drum and circulates the heater air throughout the laundry while it tumbles, the moist air is blown out the clothes dryer exhaust vent in a continuous cycle.
Clothes Dryer Heating Elements
DISHWASHER – The dishwasher has a heating element which helps aid in heating the water for the hot wash and rinse cycles and helps aid drying the dishes in the drying cycle.
HOT WATER HEATER – Your electric hot water heater uses heating elements to heat the water in the tank so you can have warm or hot water ready on demand for showers, baths, washing laundry or just brushing your teeth.
Heating elements do have a life span just like an incandescent light bulb filament will simply burn out with no warning signs at the flip of a switch, so can the heating element in your house hold major appliances. You don’t have to start looking for a new appliance just because the heating element has burned out. They are fairly inexpensive to buy and may be replaced fairly easy on some make and models of appliances,
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.