The useful life of kitchen appliances can often be prolonged by performing maintenance and repairs as needed. Many appliance components are replaceable. Electric ranges may eventually need a control switch replacement in order for a heating element to continue operating normally.
The first indication of a problem with a heating element on an electric range may be uneven heating. You may notice the heat level is lower than usual when a particular heating element is switched on. However, the heating element may become red hot if the heating control switch is adjusted upward by a slight amount. In that case, the problem is likely not with the heating element itself.
Household chefs are not restricted to a few preset heat levels when cooking on an electric range. Instead, a continuous range of heat is typically available.That smooth variability in heating is produced by a control device referred to as an infinite switch. Contact points within the infinite switch can become worn after years of use, causing an erratic level of electricity to flow to the heating element.
Each heating control knob on your electric range is attached to an infinite switch. In the short run, you may be able to stop using a troublesome heating element and use the other heating elements instead. However, some of the heating elements vary in size. The only way to regain full functionality of your cooking range is to replace the faulty infinite switch.
Infinite switch replacement
The infinite switches on an electric range can be accessed after removing the cover panel on the back of the range. The replacement switch must have an identical model number to the faulty switch. Because of the complexity of replacing an infinite switch, many owners of cooking ranges prefer to have a service professional complete the task.
The infinite switch is removed from the back of the range after the control knob has been removed from the front of the range. Before starting any repair on an electric range, the power cord should be disconnected from the power outlet. Each infinite switch is connected to several electrical wires. The wires must be labeled or diagrammed so that they can be correctly connected to the new infinite switch.
Heating element reflector bowls
After the infinite switch is replaced, you might want to inspect the condition of the reflector bowls underneath each heating element. The purpose of the shiny reflector bowls is to reflect heat back upward. You might consider replacing any reflector bowls that have been discolored by heat. Contact an appliance services technician for more information about kitchen appliance repairs.