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How to Test a Baking Element of an Electric Range

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The baking elements are resister wires made of nickel and chromium. The wire is covered with sheath containing magnesium oxide. They are bent into rectangular or some other shapes to distribute heat uniformly. The two ends of the long wire form the terminals for the baking element. The terminals of the baking element are connected to the electric wires coming from the oven switch. When the switch is turned ON, electricity flows through the baking element and creates heat because of high resistance in the baking element wire. If a baking element does not produce heat, you can test the element easily and replace it if required. You can follow the steps below to test the baking element.

  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 (baking, broiling, surface, etc). 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 power is completely OFF. Turn the switches at OFF position.
  2. 2 Remove baking element: The baking element can be removed with the door in place. However, removing the door will make it easier for working with the baking element. Open the door and remove the racks. Remove the screws by using a screw driver. Pull the baking element gently until you see the terminals and wires connected to them. Label the wires using masking tape indicating which terminals they connect. Remove each wire separately from the baking element terminal by using screw driver or by disconnecting the connector. Attach the end of the wire using tapes so that it does not fall through the hole. After you removed the wires from terminals and secured those using tapes, remove the baking element from the oven.
  3. 3 Test wire connectors visually: Check if wire connectors are burned or damaged. If the connectors are bad, replace them.
  4. 4 Test baking element using VOM: Set your VOM (volt-ohm-meter) for continuity testing (RX1). Zero out your VOM (volt-ohm-meter) by touching its two probes. Hold the two probes at the end of two terminals of the baking element. If the VOM reads infinity, the baking element is bad and you need to replace it.