This article was updated on 05/14/20
This article describes how to troubleshoot your electric range and oven. These are essential steps to take to diagnose your problem and work towords a solution. A Fluke digital multimeter comes in handy in locating malfunctions.
Even though theres a large selection of gas ranges and ovens on the market today, the electric range (or electric stove) takes the cake in sales. Almost every house has one since youve got to eat, and face it, your favoriterecipes deserve the best.
The competition between manufacturers is tight; Maytag vs GE, Hotpoint against Viking; the list goes on and on. This article shows why troubleshooting and repairing your electric range is within your grasp.
Many of these tests are just continuity tests using a Fluke digital multimeter or a similar brand. Any similar analog multitester will work as well. A general knowledge of basic home wiring wouldnt hurt.
Basic Electrical Operation
Even though electric ranges might look complicated, dont be intimidated. Youll find some minor differences between most brands and their various models, but the operation is basically the same. Because of this, troubleshooting is quite generic. However, the replacement parts are usually specific to the manufacture and model.
They function on a 240/120 volt circuit. The 240V portion drives your heating elements. The 120V portion powers virtually everything else: the clock, operating lights, and everything else. Since you have dual voltage requirements, there are two breakers or fuses associated with this appliance. This means that there will be two places to look at if theres no power. This is a basic difference than when troubleshooting a refrigerator.
It also means there are two spots to disengage electricity when performing maintenance tasks or installing appliance replacement parts.
Electric Range/Stove Troubleshooting Guide
Note: If youd rather not mess with this job yourself, at least read on anyway so you'll know what to expect from a technician.
No Power Anywhere
No power to the unit? Ensure that its plugged in and the circuit breaker isnt tripped.
Is the electric cord damaged or loose? Test the cord. This is an easy fix.
Oven Door Wont Close as Expected
Is your door hinge broken? Replace it or call for service.
Is your oven door mis-aligned? Adjust it.
Have the door springs loosened up or been broken? Adjust or replace them.
Your Stove Surfaces Heating Element Produces Only High Heat
Has your burner switch gone on the fritz? Replace the switch.
The Oven Light will not Come On
Is Your bulb loose or has it burned out? Replace or tighten it.
Is your light socket defective? Replace it.
Is the light switch itself malfunctioning? Test it to find out; replace it if it tests bad.
Running the Electrical Oven Results in Excessive Condensation
Has your oven vent clogged up over time? Clean out your vent and the associated duct.
All the Heating Elements Stay Cool, or Only Heat Partially
Defective power cord or a bad connection on the terminal block? Test them and replace where necessary.
Is your range only getting partial power? Check out the circuit breakers or fuses.
Just the Range Surface Elements Dont Heat at All
Do the element terminals have any loose connections? Reposition the element/s.
Has a range element shorted out? Find out by continuity testing; replace as needed.
Bad burner switch? Find out by testing; replace if needed.
Do you have a bad element receptacle? Find out by testing; replace if needed.
Self-Cleaning Oven wont Clean Properly
Is the smoke eliminator malfunctioning? Call for service or refer to users manual.
Is the broiling or baking element on the fritz? Perform a continuity test; replace if necessary. Usually this is a plug and play repair.
Is your temperature control defective? Find out by testing; replace if needed.
Is your oven door lock not engaging properly? Be sure the door is locked and try again; this is a safety mechanism.
Is the clock timer bad? Check on the clock timer fuses and replace if needed.
Is the oven selector switch defective? Find out by testing and replace if needed.
And in Conclusion:
The above steps should methodically guide you on how to troubleshoot and repair an electric range. For more detailed information or electrical schematics, consult your model-specific literature.
Kelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation, financial, and energy-trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.