Oven won't heat up-is it the element or the switch?


D

David Cook

We have a standard General Electric stove, with an oven.
It is probably about 18-20 years old.

Over the past month, the oven was taking longer and longer
to pre-heat, and now it does NOT heat up at all, when
the function switch is set to BAKE. The bottom element
does not get hot at all now.

(However, when set to BROIL, then the TOP element heats
right up to red-hot within about 1 minute.)

We did a 'concept' test on a WORKING oven, and it appears
that when function-switch is set to BAKE, only the BOTTOM element
is what is supposed to get hot. And, when you switch it to BROIL,
then only the TOP element is supposed to get hot, right?

So, we (naively) figure that the problem lies either in:
(1) The function-switch (BAKE/TIMED-BAKE/BROIL)
(2) The bottom element is bad.

But, we know next to nothing really about oven repair. So,
our questions are:

(1)Statistically, which of these two is MOST LIKELY the cause:
The function-switch or the element?

(2)Is there a third possibility? (e.g. are there an 'fuse-like' things
that are designed to burn-out/switch off in the lower-element
circuit that could instead be the problem?)

TIA...

Dave
 
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D

David Cook

I assume you say that because of the gradual degradation.

We HAVE taken the two screws loose at the back of the element and
pulled it a few inches and inspected the ELEMENT and the two wires
and it looks ok PHYSICALLY.

Can we use an ohm-meter to test it?

Is it possible for the element to be 'bad' even tho it looks ok physically?
(Or, should we just 'bite the bullet' and buy a new one, based on the 20
years
of age? How expensive is an element?)

Cheers...

Dave
 
B

BobK207

can be bad but look good

yes you can test with an ohm meter

make sure the breaker is OFF.

With both element leads removed from element, check elment reistance

Guessing here but the resistance should be failry high;.
Check the resistance foir a 100watt bulb if my conceptual thinking is
correct the element's resitance s/b about 15 to 20 times higher. Or
you could compare it to the broiler element.

Checking is easy but I just replaced an element in a 25 year old GE for
my mother. Element looked good but was bad, I never checked the
resistance.

~$25 online
http://www.repairclinic.com/0003.asp

http://www.repairclinic.com/0070.asp

their part finding hepler is pretty good

cheers
Bob
 
A

Appliance Repair Aid

Hi,
(1)Statistically, which of these two is MOST
LIKELY the cause:
The function-switch or the element?
Element.

(2)Is there a third possibility? (e.g. are there
an 'fuse-like' things that are designed to burn-
out/switch off in the lower-element circuit that
could instead be the problem?)
Burnt wire, fuse is possible but normally would effect the broil as
well, clock set on auto instead of manual ( not all ranges ),
thermostat, selector switch, etc.

How to ohm test an element...
http://www.applianceaid.com/elecrange.html#element

How to change ( if needed ) a common bake element...
http://www.applianceaid.com/elecrange.html#change-bake

jeff.
Appliance Repair Aid
http://www.applianceaid.com/
 
A

Andy Hill

BobK207 said:
Guessing here but the resistance should be failry high;.
Check the resistance foir a 100watt bulb if my conceptual thinking is
correct the element's resitance s/b about 15 to 20 times higher. Or
you could compare it to the broiler element.
Nitpicking, but the resistance of the oven element should be quite a bit lower
than a 100W bulb. Power is V^2/R, and you want your kitchen oven to be cooking
things a bit faster than an Easy Bake.

100 ohms, very roughly (they're usually either "reasonable" or "infinite"...not
much in between).
 
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B

BobK207

Good point Andy.

I messed up my V=I*R & P=I^2*R. substitution. oops!

How about 10 ohms?
cheers
Bob
 
D

David Cook

Yes, I see the logic of your guess that it is the element that failed.

And, to follow up, yes it WAS the element. We purchased a
replacement element (for about $40.00) at a local repair store,
and the oven is working again just fine...the oven now pre-heats
in about 5 minutes, just like a new oven!

Thanks to both of you for the help.

Cheers...

Dave
 
O

Olaf

David Cook said:
Yes, I see the logic of your guess that it is the element that failed.

And, to follow up, yes it WAS the element. We purchased a
replacement element (for about $40.00) at a local repair store,
and the oven is working again just fine...the oven now pre-heats
in about 5 minutes, just like a new oven!

Thanks to both of you for the help.

Cheers...

Dave
Glad to have participated in helping. Damn, I'm glad it wasn't the
thermostat... 8^D
 
D

David Cook

Just to add some relevant facts:
The original (damaged) element LOOKED ok...a little bit
pitted. After we removed it, we put an ohm-meter on it,
and it measured in the 1000's of ohms.
Then we purchased the new replacement element, and out of
curiosity, we put an ohm-meter on the new one before
replacing it. The value was MUCH smaller...about 24 ohms.

So, the bottom line seems to be that you should NOT judge
by appearances. Just remove the element and use an ohm-meter,
and if the value is greater than say 50 or 100 ohms, it is
defective...replace it!

HTH...
 
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