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How to Repair an Electric Range Burner That Won't Heat Up

I'm not an electrician, but I have fixed a couple not-hot electric burners in my time, and here's what I learned.

If your electric oven range won't light up and glow, this might be an easy fix.

If your electric oven range won't light up and glow, this might be an easy fix.

How to Repair Your Electric Range Burner

I am not certified in appliance repair.

With that in mind, I have twice repaired my friend's electric oven. In both cases, one of the burners on the top of the stove range (you know, those metal coil-thingies you put the pots on that get bright orange when lit) would not get hot.

I'll admit right away that this might not work for you, but it worked for me, it was ridiculously easy to do, and you'll probably want to try it to see if it works on your range to possibly save yourself the expense of hiring someone.

For safety, it's not enough for the range to be Off.

For safety, it's not enough for the range to be Off.

Step 1: Turn OFF the Electricity

The most important thing to do first is to turn off the electricity to your oven range. If you do not know how to shut off power from your circuit breaker or fuse box, then you'll either need to ask someone who knows how to do this or pull out and unplug the unit yourself.

I'm serious: You don't want to risk electrocution. When working on any used appliance, there could be frayed wire insulation or worn or faulty electrical connections. It is best to completely eliminate the power supply to the oven.

Just having the electric oven and range "off" is not enough.

I lifted the top with a table knife.

I lifted the top with a table knife.

Step 2: Open the Range Top

Getting the top open on your oven might vary from the one I worked on, but I simply put a table knife in the edge and lifted it up. It actually comes right up. So open the top.


Step 3: Check to Make Sure Your Burner Plug Is Connected

Here's where I fail in photography and photo editing . . . see the picture below? Look closely. See the circles I drew in black? Each circle indicates a plug that leads to the burner. What happens is that electricity passes through a wire, then through the plug (circled), then into the burner that gets hot from the energy.

See how the arrow I drew points down toward the lower-left portion of the picture? That is a plug that fell out. That plug, by no coincidence, is the plug leading to the faulty burner. The arrow on the same line pointing up shows the area that the plug plugs into.

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OK, because the picture above is so tough to look at, check out this picture. Here is the area that the plug should be plugged into. This is the area, in the picture above, where the 'up' arrow points to. This area for the plug connects directly to the burner.


Here is a better photo of the plug that fell out. This is the plug I tried to show you with the 'down' arrow (and miserably failed doing so).

This plug (circled in the picture) is, of course, attached to a wire. Electric runs through the wire into the plug and into the burner. Without the plug connected, energy can not get to the burner and it will not heat up.


Step 4: Grasp the Plug and Reinstall

Take the plug and reinstall it as shown. Make sure you plug it in all the way. Check to be sure it fits in there good and won't fall back out.

What If the Burner Isn't Unplugged?

If your oven has the same problem mine did above then, yes, it really is that simple. However, it likely might be more of a problem. Here are a couple of other scenarios:

  • The wires leading into the plug might have deteriorated. This happened another time on a different burner. I noticed this when I gently tugged on the wires that lead to the plug and they popped right out. I then went to a hardware store and bought a whole new plug and wire assembly and replaced it.
  • It is possible that the burner (aka heating element) might need to be replaced. I suppose this could happen if you notice that the heating element prongs that the plug plugs into are corroded or damaged. If that is the case, the plug might be in bad shape too. That said, replacing the element/burner is easy as 1) waiting for the oven to completely cool; 2) shutting off all power; 3) pulling the burner itself out just like you would a plug from a socket; and 4) buy a new one at the hardware store and replace.

That is it! Hope that helps!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

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