Replacing an electric stove or oven element

Occasionally, you may need to replace an oven or stove element. Luckily it's much easier (and much cheaper) than replacing the range and you shouldn't need an expensive repair bill.

Replacing an electric stove or oven element

Replacing bad elements

  • If you have an electric stove, you heat your food on elements, those bull's-eye-looking coils of wire that are covered with nonconductive material. Sometimes they get past the point at which they'll ever be clean again, and sometimes they just up and quit on you. Neither is cause for worry because elements are easy and inexpensive to replace.
  • Unplug your stove (and if you want to be extra cautious, cut the power at the breaker box, too). Then check the element's connection to the stove's wiring — it'll flip up, plug in, or be soldered in. (The first two options are easy to do for yourself. If it's soldered on, you really should have it replaced by a professional.)
  • Plug in elements can just be tugged out. With flip-up models, you'll just have to remove a screw or two from an insulating block before you detach it.
  • Once you've detached the element, bring it (and the stove's model number) to an appliance store for an exact match.

Replacing electric oven elements

  • If your electric oven's not cooking properly, its element may be burning out. (Oven elements are bigger versions of stove elements.)
  • Cut power to your oven, let it cool, then remove the screws that hold the element in place. (You may need to remove the door to gain access; check the manual for specifics.)
  • Pull out the element and test it with an electrical continuity tester; most have one probe and one alligator clip.
  • Touch the tester's probe and clip to the two element terminals. If the element is good, the tester's bulb will light.

Replacing oven seals

  • Open your oven door and inspect the slender gasket clipped to the front of the oven. (Not all models have them.) If it's damaged, burned or soiled, you can probably replace it with an identical gasket (also called an oven seal) from an appliance-parts store.
  • Don't attempt to replace seals on self-cleaning ovens; leave that to a pro.
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