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How to Replace the Burner Heating Element

Replacing a stove burner heating element is an easy task. The burner element may need to replaced if the coil does not heat or does not heat to full temperature. Also, if there is visible damage to the burner, it should be replaced.

Electrical current travels through the element. Resistance to the passing of electrical current causes the element to heat up. A precise temperature cannot be set for a burner, instead it is turned on and off repeatedly by the control to the achieve an average temperature. When it is set to a low temperature, the element is cycled on and off more frequently. For high temperatures, the heating element is energized longer with fewer on and off cycles. Some burners have two elements, with the second only being used only for high heat settings.

Caution: Please read our safety information before attempting any testing or repairs.

Before replacing the heating element, unplug the appliance or shut off the power at the fuse box or breaker panel to avoid an electrical shock hazard.

When a burner does not heat at all, or only heats up to a lower than expected temperature, the problem is likely to be with the heating element, the temperature control switch, or the wiring. If it only heats at the highest temperature, the problem is with the control or an electrical short, not the burner. If the burner works only intermittently, the problem is likely in the wiring or connectors. To test the heating element, try the following steps.

First, disconnect the heating element from the stovetop. In most cases, this is done by lifting up the burner on the side opposite of the terminals (the part of the burner that disappears under the stovetop). Remove the decorative ring.

Inspect the style of connection. If the burner element has visible blades that fit into the receptacle block, grip the block with one hand, and pull the heating element free with your other hand. If the terminal block clamps over the element, the housing must be removed and the burner wires disconnected. Unsnap the metal piece or remove the screw that secures the receptacle block and then disconnect the element.

Connect the new element in the same way you removed the old one. Replace the trim ring and position the burner in place.

Plug in or restore power to the range and turn on the element at low temperature. Once you confirm its operation at low temperature, turn it to high and wait until it glows bright red. Turn off the element and make sure it shuts off completely.

That's it.

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