Repairing Your Electric Cooktop

How Does an Electric Cooktop Work?

An electric cooktop is a cooking appliance that uses surface heating elements powered by electricity. Using switches you can control the electric current reaching the heating elements vary the temperature being used. The control system for an electric cooktop will vary depending on the model and may include a motorized timer and lots of dials, or it may be all digital.

An electric cooktop may and can be part of a large appliance called an electric range or stove that also includes an electric oven.

What Can Go Wrong with an Electric Cooktop?

Electric cooktops last a long time, but they can eventually fail. Certain elements can burn out through wear and tear. Switches and burner receptacles can fail. The control panel fuse, timer/clock, and electrical receptacle can fail.

Identifying Your Electric Cooktop Problem

  • If a surface element does not heat, first disconnect power to the range, then nudge the terminals of the element securely into the receptacle. If that does not cure the problem, check the element that it is working properly; and lastly test the switch.
  • If nothing on the range comes on, check the electrical service panel and test the electrical cord.
  • If one of the accessories on the control panel fail, they can easily be replaced.

What You Will Need to Repair Your Electric Cooktop

Electric cooktop repair and replacement parts are available from the manufacturer and aftermarket suppliers and from major appliance parts stores. Contact the store where you bought your cooktop or higher a licensed electrician to do it for you. The basic tools you will need to fix an electric cooktop will include:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Wire caps
  • Multimeter

Below are some of the possible repairs that your electric cooktop will need.

Test an electric cooktop burner switch:

  1. Unplug the range or disconnect power at the electrical service panel.
  2. Remove the screws or spring clips at each end of the control panel, located on the front or back of the cooktop. Move the panel to expose the controls and wiring.
  3. Disconnect one wire from each pair of terminals corresponding to the suspect burner. Turn the switch for the suspect burner to the on
  4. Set a multimeter to RX1 (resistance times 1) and test for continuity. Replace the switch if there is no continuity.


 

Replace a malfunctioning electric cooktop clock/timer:

  1. Unplug the range or disconnect power at the electrical service panel.
  2. Remove the screws or spring clips at each end of the control panel, located on the front or back of the cooktop. Move the panel to expose the controls and wiring.
  3. Remove leads and unscrew the timer from the panel, then remove the timer.
  4. Install a new timer by reattaching leads in the same way they came off the old timer.

Testing and replacing a faulty electric cooktop control-panel receptacle:

  1. Unplug the range or disconnect power at the electrical service panel.
  2. Test the electrical receptacle with a multimeter. If the receptacle is faulty, continue with step 3.
  3. Remove the cover from the control panel (see above), pull the receptacle through the front of the panel, and remove the leads.
  4. Install an exact replacement receptacle, connecting the leads in the same way they came off the old receptacle.

 

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