So you went to turn on your oven only to find that the heating element inside your oven has broken into two. You might find yourself wondering if you have to replace your whole oven and how it happened in the first place. Luckily, replacing the element itself is fairly straightforward.
Over time, heating elements in ovens are more prone to breaking. This is due to a lifetime of expansion and contraction of the element during the heating and cooling down process that comes with each use. Typically, you can replace the element and restore your oven to its full working condition.
Before we explain how to replace the heating element, it is helpful to know why it breaks in the first place.
Why Do Oven Heating Elements Break?
As with any household item, time can weaken your appliances, oven elements included. The expansion of the heating element that occurs every time you heat your oven, followed by the contraction when it cools off, can weaken certain points along the element which can eventually snap or separate.
If your oven heating element breaks within the first year of use, it may be indicative of faulty manufacturing and you should reach out to your retailer or the manufacturer for warranty and replacement information.
Can You Use an Oven if the Heating Element Breaks?
When the heating element in your oven breaks, it also breaks the circuit through which energy flows to heat your oven. With a severed connection in the element, heating will no longer take place. For this reason, you should not attempt to use your oven if an element is broken.
Using an oven with a broken element can be dangerous. If the bottom element is broken and has been removed for replacement, it would still be unwise to use the top element for broiling as the heat would escape through the attachment holes of the bottom element.
It is best to replace any broken elements before resuming the use of your oven altogether.
What to do When Your Heating Element Breaks in Two
When the heating element in your oven breaks, it is best to replace it as soon as possible. The element can be replaced by your or by professional appliance services, especially if it is still under warranty. Ensure that anyone else in the household knows that the element is broken so that they do not attempt to use the oven until the element has been replaced.
How to Replace an Oven Heating Element
While it can seem like a tedious task, replacing the heating element in your oven can be quite straightforward. This video demonstrates how it can be done. Please note that the method can vary slightly based on the make and model of your oven. You should refer to your manufacturer’s guide if you are unsure.
1. Order a New Element.
A new heating element can be ordered online from Amazon or your local appliance store.
2. Unplug your Oven.
Before you begin replacing the element, it is important to unplug your oven to avoid electrocution and other safety hazards.
3. Unscrew the Element from the Oven.
Using an appropriate drill attachment, remove the screws from the area in the back of the oven that attaches the element to the oven.
4. Gently Pull the Element Forward.
Very gently pull the element forward so that the wires attached to it become slightly exposed without detaching from the element. If the wire separates from the element or falls back into the oven, you will have to retrieve it which can be challenging before hooking up the new element.
5. Attach the New Element to the Wires.
With the old element still sitting in the oven attached to the wires, place the new element into the oven so you can easily attach the wires from the old element to the new element without having to worry about losing the wires within the back of the oven. After this, you may remove the old element from the oven.
Pro tip: At this point, you may want to take a moment to clean the inside of your oven before securing the new element into place.
6. Screw the New Element Into Place.
After the wires have been attached to the new element, you can gently push it back into place. Using your drill, secure the new element into the original position.
7. Plug the Oven Back In.
Now that your new element has been installed, you can plug your oven back in, turn your oven on to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and check that the new element is hooked up and heating correctly.
8. Correctly Dispose of the Old Oven Element.
Reach out to your local waste management facilities to find out if they accept old heating elements and the best way to dispose of them.
It can be distressing to discover that the heating element in your oven is broken. Luckily, it is fairly straightforward to replace an oven heating element yourself and if all else fails, you can call your local professional appliance services to assist you.
If you happened to break your oven glass door check out our article here to see what you should do!
Jamie is the Founder of My Home Dwelling. He is a homeowner and enjoys sharing his homeowner tips with others. He has real estate experience working as a new home construction Realtor. Jamie has worked on numerous residential construction sites helping with interior and exterior renovations. He loves refinishing furniture, DIY home projects, and sharing his knowledge online.