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How to Replace Burner Switch or Surface Element Switch

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If the burner switch (surface element switch) is bad in your oven or range, you can follow the steps below to replace the switch.

  1. 1 Take precaution: Turn off the power source by putting the control panel switch at OFF position or pulling out the fuse for the range. Unplug the power cord if there is any. Be absolutely sure that the range is not getting power by turning ON the switches for each heating element. With the power OFF and the switches of the elements ON, wait for about three minutes. Put your hand close to the heating elements; avoid touching the heating elements. You should not feel any heat if the power is OFF. Turn the switches at OFF position.
  2. 2 Access control panel: If there is not enough working space at the back side of the range, make space by pulling away the range from the wall. Be careful so that you do not damage the floor or the furniture. Switches are generally mounted at the back side of the range. Remove the screws from the back panel; make sure the back panel does not fall out. Remove the back panel using hands; be sure not to strain any wires.
  3. 3 Locate the bad burner switch: The burner switch will be located behind the switch knob. You can also trace the power wire from the terminal box to the switch. The burner switch has at least four terminals, two for wiring coming from the terminal box and two for wires leading to the burner or surface element. The terminals that connect the wires from terminal box are marked with L1 and L2; the terminals that connect the wires leading to the burner are marked by H1 and H2 or numbers. Label the terminals and wires indicating terminal-wire pair. You can use 1 for a terminal and 1 for the wire it connects to; continue labeling all the terminals using 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, etc. You can use masking tape to attach labels to wires and terminals.
  4. 4 Disconnect knob for switch: Carefully pull off the switch knob and any padding attached to it.
  5. 5 Disconnect the bad switch: Unscrew the bad switch from the range. Note down the make and model number of your range.
  6. 6 Buy a new switch: Go to an appliance parts store with the bad switch and the range model and manufacturer information. Buy a new identical switch from the parts store. The sales person should be able to help you in finding a correct switch. You can also buy the switch from online stores.
  7. 7 Install the new switch: Be sure to turn OFF power and the switches. Put the new and the bad switches side by side. Using the labels on the wires and the bad switch, identify the terminal on the new switch where a certain wire will connect. Attach the wire to the new switch terminal. Continue attaching wires to the new switch using the same method until you are done (including the ground wire). Install the switch assembly in place using its mounting screws. Attach the switch knob and its padding.
  8. 8 Put all disconnected parts back in place: With power OFF, put all the wires and parts back to their original positions.
  9. 9 Test for functionality: Turn ON power to the range. Turn ON the new switch. If the burner (surface element) heats normally, you are done with replacing the bad switch correctly.