5 Signs Your Oven’s Heating Element is Broken

Exterior closeup of a kitchen oven
Before you replace your range, make sure you don’t need to replace the oven’s heating element. (DepositPhotos)

Do you think it’s time for a new range? It could be. The average range’s life is 10 to 15 years. A new gas or electric model costs about $300 to $2,200, depending on its features.

However, replacing the oven’s heating element might be all that’s needed.

Replacement heating elements cost as little as $25, in addition to a possible installation charge.

But first, you need to know whether the heating element is causing the problem or if the entire appliance should be replaced.


Closeup of an oven heating element
Your oven’s heating element is located on the bottom inside the appliance. (DepositPhotos)

What Is a Stove Heating Element?

In an electric oven, the heating element, also known as the baking coil, is attached to the oven’s back wall and located near the bottom. There is also a broiling element near the top.

An electric range also has burner coils. Replacing stove-top coils is easily done by unplugging an old one and plugging in a new one. In fact, these should be unplugged and washed and dried whenever necessary.


Signs of a Broken Heating Element

Do you think your oven’s heating element might be broken? Look for these signs when you suspect something is wrong:

Partially lit oven heating element
This partially lit heating element needs replacing. (DepositPhotos)

1. The Element Isn’t Bright Orange

The heating element you’re checking should be bright orange when fully heated (about 10 minutes after it’s set to 350 degrees). This shows it’s functioning normally.

If it isn’t bright orange, or if only parts of it are, this probably means the element is burned out and needs to be replaced. You or an electrician can confirm with a continuity test.

2. The Element Has Signs of Wear

Look for burns, blistering or cracks on the heating element. You might need to remove the element to check more thoroughly.

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