Where's The Heat? Tips For Troubleshooting Oven Heating Elements

Construction & Contractors Blog

When your electric oven is producing inconsistent or insufficient heat, there is a chance that you may have a bad heating element. Heating elements are replaceable, but you'll need to make sure that it is the source of the problem first. Luckily, you can check the heating elements in your oven on your own. Here are the steps to check the heating elements in your oven to find the one that's malfunctioning.

Identifying the Heating Element

The first step is to know exactly what the heating element is. When you open the oven door, you can see coils sitting at the bottom and top of the oven. These coils are the heating elements – they control the heat production in the oven when you turn it on. The upper heating element is typically used for broiling, while the lower heating element is known as the "bake" element, and it is used in most every oven function.

Testing the Broil Element

The upper heating element typically heats up quickly, because the broiler is a high-heat component. Turn your oven knob to broil and wait about five minutes. Then, open the oven door and inspect the upper heating element. If it's working as it is intended, it should be glowing orange, indicating heat production.

If the element isn't glowing orange, or there are parts of it that aren't glowing orange, you have a defective element. Make sure that you turn the broiler off and wait a few hours for the element to cool before you try to replace it.

Testing the Bake Element

The lower heating element is the one that sees the most use in your oven, so it's the most likely to wear out. To test the lower element, set your oven temperature to 400 degrees and then wait about fifteen minutes for the oven to start warming up. Open the oven door to check it after the time has passed, and your oven should be hot inside. If it isn't, that means your bake element is failing.

If the oven is heating up, but you aren't sure it's getting to the right temperature, put a thermometer inside and test temperatures in various locations. If the temperature isn't matching what you set the oven to, you'll want to talk with an appliance repair technician to rule out the thermostat before replacing the element.

Using these tips, you can narrow down the source of your oven's heating problem. Once you know which element is the problem, you can have an appliance repair technician like Ace Appliance Service replace it, or you can buy a new element and replace it on your own.

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