Why does my electric stove burner no longer work?

electric stove burner coil

Find the electric stove burner coil for your stove by using your model number.

If the surface burner element on your electric stove is no longer heating, you can replace it. But first, be sure that it is in fact the burner element that is faulty and not some other part.

WARNING! Before attempting to work on any appliance, make sure that all power (electricity) and utilities (water and gas) have been turned off and/or disconnected on the appliance. Read this before you start any repair.  

One simple test – switch the element out with another that you know works (make sure it is the same size). If that element heats up, then your other element might be faulty. Use a multimeter to test the element to be sure.

Next, check the end contacts.  Are they blacked or burnt? You can try

cleaning the element’s contacts with steel wool or fine-grade sand paper, but be careful not to take the coating off of it as it helps enhance conductivity.

Plug-In Surface Unit Kit

Plug-In Surface Unit Kit 330031 by Whirlpool

When you replace the element, especially an element with a burnt contact, it is also a good idea to replace the heating element or surface unit receptacle (also called a “terminal block”) that the element slides in to in order to power the element.

Surface Burner Switch 316436001 Electrolux

Surface Burner Switch 316436001 Electrolux

If you are still having problems, then you might need to replace the stove’s infinite surface burner switch or the electronic element control system – depending on your stove’s model type. The infinite switch provides power to the burner and can become faulty over time.

In summary, before you buy a new stove heating element, first try:

  • Wiggling the element and making sure the ends are connecting properly with the receptacle
  • Cleaning the end contacts
  • Testing the heating element for continuity

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One thought on “Why does my electric stove burner no longer work?

  1. Casey Jones October 19, 2015 at 12:15 pm Reply

    Thanks for all the tips you’ve shared on appliance repair! This one about burner replacement was particularly helpful. I’m glad to find out that I won’t need to buy an entirely new stove.

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