Is Your Stove Giving You Trouble? Handy Troubleshooting Tips for Homeowners

The burners play a crucial role in making your kitchen magic happen. Over time, these burners can experience various issues and even stop working altogether. Additionally, interruptions in power supply may disrupt the heating process. While a non-functioning electric cooktop burner can be pretty frustrating, identifying the root causes of the problem is straightforward. You can easily follow the solutions below with just a multimeter and a few essential tools. One common issue arises when pots and pans come into contact with the burner, causing it to wobble. It can lead to a loose connection between the burner and the receptacle, resulting in sporadic failures, short circuits, and contamination from food.

Start by removing and reseating the burner

  1. Lift the burner slightly and pull it out from the receptacle.
Is Your Stove Giving You Trouble? Handy Troubleshooting Tips for Homeowners
  1. Inspect the prongs on the end for any carbon-like buildup, and clean them using fine sandpaper, a rag, or contact cleaner. You can also use an abrasive cookware pad if necessary. Replace the heating element if the terminals appear pitted or damaged.
  2. Excessive sooty buildup indicates that the receptacle may be worn out and needs replacement.
  3. Align the terminals and reinsert the burner into the receptacle, ensuring it sits flat.
  4. If the terminals feel loose in the socket, try bending them slightly, similar to adjusting a power plug. It is a sign that the burner receptacle is likely wearing out, so be prepared to replace it.
  5. If you have a flat-top electric range and the burner isn’t functioning, proceed to the next solution.

Faulty Burners

Heating elements can fail suddenly or gradually, especially under unfavorable conditions. Inspect the burner visually for bubbles, cracks, or discoloration. Remove the burner and use a multimeter to test the heating element for continuity in Ohms (Ω). The resistance should read around 20-45Ω; if it reads OL (Open Line), replace the element. Loosen the fasteners with a Phillips bit on the flat hob and lift the glass hob. The burners will be attached to the metal bracket, which must remain in place.

Faulty Receptacle, Wiring, or Switch

To determine if the problem lies with the receptacle, wiring, or switch, you can perform a simple test by swapping a known working heating element with the problematic receptacle. This method is most effective when both burners are of the same size.

Faulty Burners

Follow the steps below to switch two burner elements

  1. Remove both burner elements as previously described.
  2. Swap the elements and turn on the switch to test the burner.
  3. If the known working element fails to heat, the issue is with either the receptacle or the switch. Unplug the range, turn off the breaker, and ensure everything has cooled down.

If you notice sooty buildup on the burner terminals, consider replacing the receptacle, as it’s more likely the source of the problem. Other signs of a faulty receptacle include burnt or loose wires, as the heat from a poor connection in the receptacle can affect the wires.

There are two common types of receptacle kits

  1. One has full-size wires that replace the old ones.
  2. Another (a crimp kit) that requires splicing the new receptacle leads to the existing wires.
  3. If the receptacle appears in good condition, use a multimeter to test the switch. To access the switch, you may need to remove the rear panel. Always ensure that everything is unplugged or the breaker is turned off before performing this task.

Check continuity between L1 and H1 and L2 and H2 with the switch turned on. The multimeter should display a reading between 0-1Ω. If it doesn’t, it’s time to replace the switch.

Is Your Stove Giving You Trouble? Handy Troubleshooting Tips for Homeowners
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