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How to Test a Surface Element Receptacle

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Many electric ranges use plug-in heating elements. The elements are plugged into receptacles. The receptacles serve as sockets for the burner element. Power wires are attached at the back of this receptacle. There are metallic contacts inside the receptacle. Electric power flows through the wire at the back and finally enters the heating element via the contacts. To test if a receptacle is bad or not, you need to test all the components connected to the receptacle. You can follow the steps below to test the receptacle.

  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 Get access to receptacle: In most cases, you will have to remove all the heating elements and the cooktop to get access to the receptacle. If so, remove the heating elements, drip pans, chrome rings and the cooktop. You should see the receptacle.
  3. 3 Remove receptacle: Remove the mounting screws for the receptacle. Pull out the receptacle from its seating place. Make sure you do not strain the wires connected to the receptacle.
  4. 4 Test receptacle visually: Check for burn or other types of damages at the contacts and the terminals. If you see any damage either in the contacts or the terminals, the receptacle should be replaced. If the receptacle appears to be good, read the next steps.
  5. 5 Locate burner switch: With power OFF, locate the switch that is connected to the receptacle. You can do this by following the wire from the back of the receptacle to the switch terminals (normally marked with H1, H2 or numbers).
  6. 6 Test receptacle 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 one probe of VOM at the H1 terminal of the switch, then touch the contacts with the other probe of VOM one after another. If you notice continuity (meter reads zero), make note of the contact which showed continuity. Now, repeat the test by touching the H2 switch terminal and the other contact of the receptacle. If either of these tests fail to show continuity, the receptacle is bad and you need to replace it.

    Note: If you do not plan to replace the receptacle immediately, correctly install all the parts that you removed from the range in their original places.