How to Replace a Heating Element in a Kitchen Oven

It’s surprisingly easy to replace a heating element in a kitchen oven. To replace a heating element in a electric range is the ability to use a screwdriver and some basic knowledge of electricity (this is so you don’t get shocked or short something out). Oven heating elements seem to last forever but as with all man-made things, all good things come to an end. You’re going to need a screwdriver and a flashlight to do this job. Before you get started, take a look at the fasteners that attach the heating element to the oven wall to see if you’ll need a Phillip’s Head or a Slotted screwdriver. You also want to know where your breaker box is so that you can shut off the power to the oven or you could just unplug it at the electrical receptacle. This is a very important step because you don’t want to touch something that will shock you, so don’t skip this step. Now you’re ready to look at how to replace a heating element in a kitchen oven.

Turn the Power Off

Check the oven controls on the range to make sure the oven is off before you get started. Set the oven control to the “Off “ position if it isn’t already in that position. Locate the breaker box and flip the range breaker to the “Off” position. An option to flipping the breaker would be unplugging the range at the receptacle or you could do both to be on the safe side. Once this is done you’ll be ready to clear out a workspace inside the oven.

Take the Oven Door Off

Before you take hold of anything inside the oven, make sure it’s cool to the touch. You can remove the oven door on some ranges by opening the door slightly, removing the hinge screws, and sliding the door up off of its hinges. Do this if you can to make it easier to get to the heating element screws. Make sure you can get the door back on before you take it off. It’s better to work around it than to struggle to get it back on. You can make more room to work inside the oven by taking everything out of the oven, including the oven racks. The heating elements should be the only things inside the oven at this point. Now that the power is off, the door is off the range, and the oven is cleared out, you can remove the heating element.

Removing the Heating Element

Older kitchen ranges have a simple heating element connection. The element is attached to the back of the oven wall with screws. Unscrew the screws that attach the heating element to the oven wall and slowly pull the heating element through the opening in the oven wall. Pull the element out just enough to expose the electrical connection between the element and the range. The oven element passes through the oven wall where it attaches to the ranges electrical wiring. The end of the oven element (terminal) is a metal female connection. The range wiring (terminal) ends in a metal male connection. Carefully slide the range wiring off of the element terminal without bending or breaking it. Now you’re ready to take the heating element to an appliance parts dealer to help the dealer match the element you need to replace. The big box home supply stores are also good place to shop when you need to replace a heating element in a kitchen oven.

Replacing the Heating Element

Now, you can replace the heating element in your kitchen oven. To install the new element, attach the range wiring to the terminal ends of the new oven element. Put the connection through the hole in the oven wall and line up the holes to attach the oven element to the oven wall with screws. Once the screws are in place, flip the breaker back on and/or plug the ranges power cord back into the electrical receptacle. Turn the oven on bake or broil accordingly to test the new element. Give the range time to heat up and it should heat properly. If it doesn’t, turn the power off like you did before and check the terminal connections. If your new element isn’t defective and your connections are good, the new element should heat properly. To finish replacing the heating element in a kitchen oven, replace the oven racks and door.

The heating element in kitchen ranges usually lasts a good long time. Do you remember all of those Sunday dinners and Thanksgiving dinners you had with the family when you where growing up? Well, you should be thankful for the heating element in Grandma’s kitchen oven. So when the heating element stops working, you’ve got to replace it because another generation is looking forward to those Sunday and Thanksgiving dinners with the family.