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How to Test an Electric Range Heating Element (wired type)

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Some electric ranges use heating elements that connect directly to the power wires coming from the switch. The wires are screwed to the terminals of the heating elements. The connection point is covered by ceramic covering (ceramic is a very low conductor of heat and electricity). The heating elements are coil made of nickel and chromium. The coil is covered with sheath containing magnesium oxide. If a heating 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 heating 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. 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. Turn the switches at OFF position.
  2. 2 Remove heating element: Look at the end of the heating element. You should see the ceramic block that holds the heating element. Check if there is any retaining clip or screw. Remove the retaining screw or clip. Hold the heating element firmly and gently lift it up about an inch. The heating element assembly including the ceramic block should come out of its seating place. Make sure that you do not strain the wires connected to the heating element. In some ranges, you will have to remove a clip before you can reach the mounting screws for the heating element. Remove the screws that hold the heating element terminals and the ceramic block together. The block has two halves. Pull the part that holds the heating element from the other part that holds the wiring from the switch.
  3. 3 Test for heating element visually: Check if there is any burns or damaged part in the heating coil or the terminals. If you see any damaged part in the heating element, you need to replace it. If the heating element appears to be good, read the next steps.
  4. 4 Test heating 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 heating element. If the VOM reads infinity, the heating element is bad and you need to replace it.