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Dealing with an Electric Range with a Faulty Surface Element: Common Repairs

Dealing with an electric range with a faulty surface element can be frustrating and inconvenient. The surface element is responsible for heating the cookware placed on top of it, allowing you to cook your favorite meals. When this element malfunctions, it can disrupt your cooking routine and even pose safety risks. However, with the right knowledge and guidance, you can easily troubleshoot and repair common issues with the surface element of your electric range. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the most common repairs for a faulty surface element, providing you with valuable insights and step-by-step instructions to resolve the problem.

1. Identifying the Problem

The first step in dealing with a faulty surface element is to identify the problem accurately. There can be various reasons why the element is not functioning properly, and understanding the root cause is crucial for effective troubleshooting. Here are some common signs that indicate a faulty surface element:

  • The element does not heat up at all.
  • The element heats up unevenly, with some areas being hotter than others.
  • The element heats up excessively, even on low settings.
  • The element sparks or emits strange odors.

By observing these signs, you can narrow down the possible issues and proceed with the appropriate repairs.

2. Checking for Power Supply Issues

Before diving into complex repairs, it is essential to ensure that the surface element is receiving an adequate power supply. A lack of power can cause the element to malfunction or not heat up at all. Follow these steps to check for power supply issues:

  1. Make sure the electric range is plugged in securely.
  2. Check the circuit breaker or fuse box to ensure that the circuit is not tripped or the fuse is not blown.
  3. If the circuit breaker has tripped, reset it by flipping it to the “off” position and then back to the “on” position.
  4. If the fuse is blown, replace it with a new one of the same amperage.
  5. Test the outlet with a multimeter to ensure it is providing the correct voltage.
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If the power supply is not the issue, you can move on to further troubleshooting steps.

3. Inspecting the Surface Element

Once you have ruled out power supply problems, it is time to inspect the surface element itself. Over time, the element can become damaged or worn out, leading to performance issues. Follow these steps to inspect the surface element:

  1. Turn off the electric range and unplug it from the power source for safety.
  2. Remove the cookware from the surface element and allow it to cool down completely.
  3. Inspect the surface element for any visible signs of damage, such as cracks, burn marks, or loose connections.
  4. If you notice any damage, you will need to replace the surface element with a new one.
  5. If there are no visible signs of damage, you can proceed to test the element for continuity using a multimeter.

By thoroughly inspecting the surface element, you can determine whether it needs to be replaced or if the issue lies elsewhere.

4. Testing for Continuity

Testing the continuity of the surface element can help you determine if it is functioning properly. Continuity refers to the uninterrupted flow of electrical current through the element. Follow these steps to test for continuity:

  1. Ensure the electric range is unplugged and turned off.
  2. Disconnect the surface element from the wiring harness.
  3. Set your multimeter to the continuity or resistance mode.
  4. Touch one probe of the multimeter to one end of the surface element and the other probe to the opposite end.
  5. If the multimeter displays a reading close to zero, it indicates that the element has continuity and is functioning correctly.
  6. If the multimeter does not display any reading or shows a significantly high resistance, it indicates a faulty surface element that needs to be replaced.
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Testing for continuity can help you confirm whether the surface element is the source of the problem or if there are other underlying issues.

5. Replacing the Surface Element

If you have determined that the surface element is indeed faulty and needs to be replaced, follow these steps to install a new one:

  1. Ensure the electric range is unplugged and turned off.
  2. Remove the cookware from the surface element and allow it to cool down.
  3. Locate the mounting bracket or screws that secure the surface element in place.
  4. Remove the mounting bracket or screws and carefully lift the old surface element out of its position.
  5. Place the new surface element into the designated area and secure it with the mounting bracket or screws.
  6. Reconnect the wiring harness to the new surface element.
  7. Plug in the electric range and test the new surface element to ensure it is functioning correctly.

Replacing the surface element with a new one can restore the functionality of your electric range and allow you to resume your cooking activities.


Dealing with a faulty surface element in an electric range can be a frustrating experience. However, by following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can effectively troubleshoot and repair common issues. Start by identifying the problem accurately, checking for power supply issues, and inspecting the surface element for damage. Test the element for continuity to confirm its functionality, and if necessary, replace it with a new one. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your electric range operates smoothly and safely, allowing you to enjoy hassle-free cooking experiences.

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