Most people think of an oven as a metal box that gets hot. When your heating elements break, that’s the end of the oven, right? Not necessarily.
An oven is actually a very well-built and highly insulated chamber with a small computer that controls the temperature and timers for the appliance. The heating elements are one electrical component that, while essential, can also be easily replaced. Whether your oven is heating unevenly or the elements have fully gone kaput, you can replace your oven heating elements safely at home. Here’s how to do it:
Start by gathering your supplies. This is a simple repair so you only need four things. The most important item, of course, is the replacement element. Be sure to get one that fits the oven make and model. The most useful supply is the clip. You’ll need something that clips with a spring to make this repair about ten times easier. A chip bag clip will do.
- Work Gloves
- Clothespin or Chip Clip
- Replacement Element(s)
Now to get ready. Prepare the oven for repairs by following these three steps.
Remove the Racks
Pull out the oven racks and set them aside. They will get in your way replacing the oven element. This is a good time for a soak and scrub if you’re so inclined.
Warm and Cool the Oven
Heating elements are surprisingly fragile. A cold heating element will shatter if you try to move it. For this reason, you want to warm up your oven a small amount. Turn it on to the lowest possible setting and wait ten minutes. Then turn off the oven and wait until the inside is warm but not hot to the thouch.
Unplug the Power
Lastly, unplug your oven. Replacing the element(s) is an electrical repair so you’ll want to eliminate the risk fo electrocution or nasty shocks.
Remove the Mounting Screws
Now that you’re ready, open up your warm-but-not-hot oven and locate the element(s) you want to replace. Most ovens have two elements, the baking element and the broiling element located at the floor and ceiling of the oven chamber respectively.
You will find between four and twelve mounting screws securing the heating element to the oven chamber. Use your screwdriver to remove them and set them aside somewhere safe.
Disconnect and Clip the Wire Harness
Now the heating element is loose except for the electrical connection. Wearing your work gloves (to avoid cuts or burns), gently lift the heating element away from it’s mounting brackets and then pull it forward until you can see the wires trailing from one end into the back of the oven.
Grab the wires and pull until you find the wire harness, the clip that holds the element wires to the oven wires. Holding both sides of the harness firmly, press the clasp and pull the halves apart. Now, here’s the important part: Do not let go of the oven-side wires. Hold onto them and then use your clip to secure the wires to the edge of the opening. If the wires fall away into the oven housing, you’ll have to take the oven apart to get them back.
Remove the Old Element
It is now safe to remove the old heating element and throw it away. Pull it carefully out of the oven and wrap the heating element in plastic or paper before putting it in the trash. The element is sharp and can rip trashbags, so be careful with it. You may want to take steps to dispose of the element as a recycled piece of electronic equipment.
Connect the New Wire Harness
Place the new element into the oven and align it with the brackets. The new element’s wire clip should now be in place. Grab the oven-side wires and remove the clip, then connect the two halves of wire harness to install the new heating element.
Secure the New Element
Now that the new element is conencted to the wires, grab the mounting screws and secure the element into the brackets. There may be two brackets or half a dozen, depending on the design of the oven. Be sure to use all the screws, but don’t over-tighten.
Test Your Success
Finally, you’re ready to test your repair success. Return the racks to the oven, plug the oven back in, and fire up the heating elements. If the new element glows evenly as it heats up, then it’s time to congratulate yourself on a successful oven repair. For more helpful repair guides, contact us today!