When things on your electric range quit working, cooking dinner for the family becomes even more challenging. Before you start shopping around for a replacement, it's time to do a little troubleshooting to find out if the problem could be fixed quickly. At the very least, you'll have a good idea of what could be the problem so that you can share your ideas with a repair technician.
Entire Unit Failure
If the entire range has stopped working, there are a few things to check:
Go to the breaker panel and make sure that the breaker hasn't tripped.
Get a multimeter and test the outlet to determine if it's getting adequate power.
Inspect the plug and make sure that it is securely connected to the unit and plugged into the outlet entirely. Look for any damage on the pigtail cord.
Check the wiring inside the range. The back panel of the unit can easily be removed with nothing more than a screwdriver. Just make sure to unplug the range before you begin removing screws or tinkering around inside. Once you've opened the back, examine all of the wiring for breaks or loose connections. If you see damaged wiring, do not plug the unit back in — you will need to replace the damaged wiring before it will be safe to use again.
Oven Doesn't Heat
If the problem you are having is an oven that won't heat up to the desired temperature, the problem is likely a bad heating element, which is easy to replace.
Set your oven to preheat to any temperature. Look at the heating elements on the top and the bottom — they should be glowing orange. If not, the element is either loose or needs to be replaced. Wait for the unit to cool, secure the connections, and give it another try.
You can also test the heating elements using a multimeter. Clip a probe to each end and get a reading. It should provide a continuity reading of no more than 30 ohms. If not, the element will need to be replaced.
Range Top Heating Element Failure
If you have two burners the same size, you can remove the working one and use it to test the connection. If the working burner fails to work, there's a problem within the range. If it works, you'll just need to order a replacement burner.
If you've done all of these things or don't feel comfortable doing so, talk with your local home appliance repair technician for assistance.