How to Replace Your Oven Heating Element

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Oven heating elements are the heart of an oven. Without the elements, nothing heats and food cannot be cooked. Often, before an element dies entirely it will stop cooking evenly. You can see this when half or portions of a heating element glow while others are dark. If your oven struggles to reach temp or if your heating elements are clearly damaged, it’s a good move to simply install replacements.

These steps are generalized and can vary by model and brand.

Here’s how to install a new oven heating element. 

Tools Needed

  • Screwdriver
  • Work Gloves
  • Replacement Heating Element

Remove Oven Racks

You will want space to work. Remove your oven racks and take this opportunity to soak and scrub them before reinstallation. 

Gently Warm the Oven

Oven heating elements are made of a unique alloy that carries heat well but also becomes very brittle over time. If you try to move an element while it is completely cold, it can shatter under pressure. However, if you warm the oven a small, safe amount, the element will be more integral to work with.

Heat your oven to a very low setting and stop it partway through the preheat. Then commence with the other repair steps. 

Unplug the Oven

The heating element is, naturally, an electrical component of the oven. To replace it, you will need to handle wires. Not to mention avoid accidental roasting. Unplugging your oven eliminates the possibility of powered mishaps. More commonly, unplugging the oven keeps you from getting a shock or shorting a circuit. 

Wear Work Gloves

The element is rough to the touch and some pieces can be sharp around the edges. It is always safer to approach an oven repair with work gloves on to protect your hands. 

Unscrew Element Mounting Clips

Your heating element is connected to the oven interior wall with mounting clips, bands of metal that either hold the element to the wall or lift it up away from the wall. Remove the screws holding the mounting clips and the whole structure should come loose. 

Detach the Wire Harness

Before you can remove the element, you’ll need to detach it from the wires that power the heat. This is in the form of a wire harness that will become apparent when you lift the element. Carefully press on the tab to release the wire harness and release the element from the oven infrastructure. 

Remove the Old Heating Element

You are now free to pull out the old heating element. Throw it away or recycle it, or keep it to take apart and better understand later. The heating element can be dangerous or sharp to touch, so be careful. 

Opportunistic Oven Cleaning

While your oven is completely empty of racks and element, this is a good opportunity to perform a complete cleaning. Run a self-clean process or spray leave-in product into your oven while the oven racks soak. 

Attach the New Element Wires

Grab your new oven heating element and fit it into place. Connect the two loose wire harness ends to each other and ensure that they snap together. 

Securely Mount the New Heating Element

Reattach the mounting clips and their respective screws. Twist the screws until they are tight but not over-tightened. 

Return the Oven Rack

Return your cleaned oven racks to the oven and choose where to place them based on your cooking style. 

Test Your Success

Finally, you’re ready to test the new element. Plug the oven back in and power it on. Set it to preheat and watch if the new heating element glows red evenly in a few minutes. If so, your replacement has been a success. Contact us for more helpful repair guides or local appliance repair services.

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