How to Replace Your Oven Heating Elements

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An oven that does not cook evenly is a serious problem, from toasting bread to homemade pies and casseroles, you need your oven to create an even warm temperature with both elements to fully enjoy the benefits of owning an oven. If one (or both) of your oven elements has stopped working properly, it’s time to replace it. Oven elements are fairly straightforward to replace but there is a very specific sequence you need to go through in order to see the best results. 

Equip Yourself

Start by gathering your equipment. Wear work gloves for this one, as there are several aspects that are dangerous for direct skin contact. You will also need a screwdriver and you will likely want an old towel that may get a little dirty.

  • Work Gloves or Safety Gloves
  • Screwdriver
  • Old Towel
  • Replacement Element(s) for Your Oven

The steps below are generalized and it can vary by model and manufacturer.

Unplug the Oven

The next step is very important. Once the oven is sufficiently warm, unplug your oven so that it can no longer run an electrical current. Your elements are electrical parts and you risk a shock if the oven is not unplugged before you begin. 

Remove the Old Heating Element

– Unfasten All Mounting Screws

There may be two or more brackets holding your oven elements in place, both top, and bottom. Remove all the relevant screws and set them aside on the towel. If the brackets come away, set them on the towel with the screws.

– Pull the Element Loose

Pull the element straight outward to release it from its socket. You will see wires exposed and a wire harness or clip.

– Unclip the Wires

Press the release latch if there is one and pull apart the two halves of the wire harness connecting the element(s) you are removing. Be careful not to let the wires fall back into the oven housing.

– Set the Old Element(s) on the Towel

Set aside the removed element or both elements on the towel to avoid staining your floor with old char. 

Install the New Heating Element

– Line Up the Element

Take your new heating element and hold it in place.  You may need a friend to hold it while you do the connecting.

– Connect the Wire Clip

Push the two halves of the oven wire harness and the new element wire harness into place until they click in connection.

– Push Into the Socket

Firmly push the new element into the given socket until you feel it hit home.

– Return Brackets and Fastening Screws

Resecure with the same brackets and screws or a new set if they came with your element. Be sure to tighten the screws securely, but do not over-tighten. 

Test Your Work

– Plug the Oven Back In

You are now safe to plug your oven back in and find out if your replacement did the trick. 

– Heat Up the Oven and Watch the Elements

Turn on your oven to its lowest setting with the door open and watch how the new element or elements heat up. If they turn red evenly and if your hand can detect warmth near the opening, then you have probably done everything exactly correct.

– Bake an Experiment

For the final test, make yourself a cake, pan of cookies, or a pizza. Something that will be evident if your oven is cooking evenly or not. Chances are, you will have an evenly-cooked and delicious victory snack to celebrate.

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