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Electric Cooktop, Oven, Range, Stove Repair Guide

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1. Why won't my electric range turn on?
2. What kind of cookware should I use with my Radiant Smooth Glass Cooktop?
3. What do I use to clean my smooth glass or ceramic cooktop?
4. Why is my electric range not working at all?
5. Why won't my surface burner warm up?
6. Why is the clock not working?
7. Why does the surface element only have one high setting now?
8. Why is the oven light not working?
9. Why won't the door close or open properly?
10. Why doesn't an indicator light work?
11. Why do I hear a lot of clicking coming from the oven area?
12. Why is the oven temperature incorrect?
13. Why doesn't the oven bake?
14. Why doesn't the oven broil?
15. Why doesn't the oven bake or broil, but the top burners are still working?
16. Why should I pre-heat and how important is it?
17. Why does the oven take too long to cook?
18. How can I get foods to bake evenly in my oven?
19. How do I keep foods from burning when I want them browned?
20. Why do I hear a fan running in my oven?
21. Why do I see water droplets inside the oven on the glass?
22. Why isn't the oven self-cleaning?
23. Why is the oven too hot on the outside to touch?
24. Why was there an odor and smoke when I used my oven for the first time?
25. Why does my oven smell so much during self-cleaning?
26. Why does my oven smoke so much when I broil foods?
27. Is it normal for my burner element to glow red when I am using it?
28. Why do the top elements keep turning off and on during cooking?
29. Is it normal for my range to make a noise when I use the oven?
30. Why does my oven temperature seem too hot or not hot enough?
31. Why does it take a glass or ceramic cooktop so long to cook food or boil water?
32. Should I be careful around the switches when I’m cleaning?
33. Can I get the stains off the burner drip pans?
34. Why does my oven door feel soft and spongy when I close it?
35. Why do I always blow fuses or trip my breaker?
36. Why do I see a Fault Code and what do I do about it?

WARNING: To avoid personal injury or death, disconnect your appliance from its power source before you start any troubleshooting or repair work. Use caution working inside any appliance.

Why won't my electric range turn on?

First, check to make sure that the range is not in self-cleaning mode. You will not be able to turn on the oven with this feature running. If that's not the problem, check the fuse-box or circuit breakers, and then the wiring at the terminal in the back of the range. You can test the voltage at the outlet with an appropriate voltmeter.

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What kind of cookware should I use with my Radiant Smooth Glass Cooktop?

It is recommended that you use medium to heavy-weight cookware with a flat bottom. A flat bottom pan is important because the heat radiates up through the glass top to the pan. Keeping a flat pan on the cooktop will keep the heat transfer at an appropriate level. Stainless steel, titanium, and heavy-weight aluminum pans are good, and porcelain and enamel pans are good as long as it is a thick porcelain or enamel. Avoid using cast iron pans as they can have a burr that may scratch the glass surface. Also, avoid stoneware and copper pans.

Before using any cookware, you should visually inspect the bottom of it, and maybe run your hand along the bottom to look and feel for any burrs, gouges, or uneven spots that may cause damage to the surface of your cooktop.

If any plastic or porcelain melts onto or hardens on the glass or ceramic cooktop, it usually bonds to it. The only remedy is to replace the top.

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What do I use to clean my smooth glass or ceramic cooktop?

We recommend that you use a product called Cerama Bryte. This product works very well on all glass and ceramic cooktops. This product can also remove metal marks on the cooking surface from pans, as well as mineral stains from water.

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Why is my electric range not working at all?

The first thing to check if it stops working completely is to make sure that no components have any power. Check all the heating elements on various settings; verify the clock has no power, also check the oven light and timers.

If none of those has power, the next thing you’ll want to check is the fuse box or circuit breaker panel.

If that looks good, the next item to check is the main wiring. Sometimes an electric range is wired directly to house power. In this case, it will be wired to a terminal block in the back of the machine. Check this block for any obvious signs of breaks, melted terminals, or burnt wires leading to it.

Sometimes there is a main fuse or switch inside the range that all the power is routed through. Check your owners manual for this.

One thing to remember in electric ranges is that most use 110v and 220v power, so some components may work and others won’t. High-heat elements draw 220v. This can mean that everything but the element may work, and you will have no heat, but the clock, timer and lights may still work.

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Why won't my surface burner warm up?

Many times a surface burner element can burn out. Look for obvious signs such as breaks or bubbles on the surface, loose or corroded wire connections, and test the elements for continuity. Sometimes the element receptacle or the element ends can get burned out or loose, causing a poor connection or no connection. If this is happening, you should turn the power supply off, and remove the element to inspect the plugs and receptacle. If you see burn marks or corrosion, it's time to replace the bad part. You can also check the terminal ends by lifting them out and looking to see if they got bent and have lost connection. Straighten the ends and re-seat the element if it had bent ends.

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Why is the clock not working?

Mechanical clocks on electric ranges don't usually last for very long. The problem with that is the clock is integral to the self-cleaning and timed-bake features. They’re not easy to repair, but sometimes they can be. If a mechanical clock is not working, it usually means that it is broken. Most clocks are not repairable, and need to be replaced. Electronic clocks usually have many features integrated into them, so if it's not working correctly, it can affect other functions of your range. Usually if something else is causing the clock to malfunction, the clock gives a code that shows what the problem is. Sometimes you have to replace each component separately, like the touch pad, circuit board, or both, as well as the clock itself.

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Why does the surface element only have one high setting now?

If your burner only has one setting now, and it had a lot before, the infinite switch is burned out and needs to be replaced.

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Why is the oven light not working?

The oven light is usually a standard 40 watt appliance bulb. First, remove the cover and check to make sure the bulb is not loose. If it's loose, tighten it. If yours has stopped working completely, change the bulb. If this doesn’t fix the problem, then the problem may be with the door switch on the oven’s frame, the socket itself, or a separate switch by the main controls. If the switch doesn’t work, or only works sometimes, you need to replace it. If your oven has a self-cleaning feature, the oven light may not operate during this time.

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Why won't the door close or open properly?

The oven door moves with two hinges. If your oven door stops closing or opening properly, chances are that the hinges have gotten bent or warped. Putting heavy items on the door or kicking or standing on an open door can also cause this type of damage. It is recommended that you replace both hinges for two reasons; one is that you need to prevent uneven wear in the hinging system, and the other is that once bent or warped, straightening it out may only be a temporary fix. Once bent, it will usually bend again. Once metal experiences fatigue, it easily bends again. If you are having trouble closing the door, it is likely that these hinges have been damaged. There are also springs on each side of the door that may have gotten too stretched out to be of much use. It is also recommended that both of these be replaced as a set.

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Why doesn't an indicator light work?

Sometimes, you will be able to replace just the bulb, but usually, you have to replace the entire light assembly. Other times, you may just have a loose wire that can be soldered back into place.

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Why do I hear a lot of clicking coming from the oven area?

It is perfectly normal to hear clicking sounds coming from the oven area. There are two causes of clicking sounds in the oven. The first cause is the metal expanding and contracting as it heats and cools, and the second cause is the relays in the oven cycling the broiler or bake elements off and on.

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Why is the oven temperature incorrect?

The oven temperature control is usually controlled by a thermostat that uses a capillary and liquid filled bulb. When the bulbs’ liquid gets heated up, it expands and puts pressure on a diaphragm which opens and closes a switch that allows power to the heating element. Just set the dial to what you need the temperature to be. Over time, it is possible for your thermostat to lose its calibration.

Digital display models use a sensor to control temperature. If this is faulty, replace it. Other ovens use a mechanical system to control the temperature.

On many models, you can adjust your oven thermostat using a small screwdriver. The adjusting screw is located on the thermostat valve stem. Remove the oven thermostat knob and you’ll see the screw underneath it. You want to turn the oven on and run it through at least two cycles while watching a calibrating thermometer in the oven for high and low temperatures. Adjust the screw as necessary to fine tune the temperature.

Some models don’t have an adjustable thermostat, and you will have to replace the thermostat if you want to resolve the problem.

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Why doesn't the oven bake?

Check the automatic cycle timer first. If your oven has an option for choosing Delay-Cook or Delay-Start, make sure that this feature is not currently running. Some ovens have a lock-out feature. If this is selected, your oven will not work until it is de-selected. The most common reason for an oven not to bake is that the heating element is burned out. Check for continuity across the terminal ends. Look for obvious signs of burning, bubbling, or blistering on the element. A properly working element glows cherry red.

Sometimes there is a break in the wires between the element and the back wall of the oven. Test for continuity. A bad element will show no continuity. Replace any bad elements or repair the wires. Check for proper thermostat operation.

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Why doesn't the oven broil?

Check the automatic cycle timer first. If your oven has an option for choosing Delay-Cook or Delay-Start, make sure that this feature is not currently running. Some ovens have a lock-out feature. If this is selected, your oven will not work until it is de-selected. The most common reason for an oven not to broil is that the heating element is burned out. Check for continuity across the terminal ends. Look for obvious signs of burning, bubbling, or blistering on the element. A properly working element glows cherry red.

Sometimes there is a break in the wires between the element and the back wall of the oven. Test for continuity. A bad element will show no continuity. Replace any bad elements or repair the wires. Check for proper thermostat operation.

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Why doesn't the oven bake or broil, but the top burners are still working?

Check the timer control and make sure the oven is not in the automatic cleaning cycle. If your oven has an option for choosing Delay-Cook or Delay-Start, make sure that this feature is not currently running. Some ovens have a lock-out feature. If this is selected, your oven will not work until it is de-selected. Test the heating element for continuity. Following that, you’ll want to check the common wiring, selector switch, and thermostat. Sometimes there are screw-in fuses that control the current to the bake and broil elements. These are usually 30 amp fuses, one for each element. Consult your owner's manual for their location, and replace as necessary. Look over the heating elements to see if there is any bubbling, burnt spots, or broken spots in the element. If there is, you will want to replace the element.

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Why should I pre-heat and how important is it?

Pre-heating is important because many baked goods only require a very short time to cook. By pre-heating, you get the proper temperature before you start the cooking process. Ovens with hidden elements take from about 15 to 20 minutes to pre-heat while ovens that have the element visible in the bottom take only about 5 or 10 minutes to pre-heat. Depending on the voltage your range was installed at, this time can vary. If the voltage is less than 220V, it may take a few minutes longer to pre-heat. If you don't pre-heat according to the recipe, you may wind up with improperly cooked foods.

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Why does the oven take too long to cook?

Often the oven uses both the bake and broil elements to pre-heat or cook. Sometimes the bake element can go bad and only the broil element is heating the food, cooking the top, but leaving the bottom food undercooked, and vice versa with the broil element, the food on bottom will cook faster and the food on top is undercooked. Over time, it is also possible for your thermostat to lose its calibration. Check the oven temperature. You can monitor the oven with a calibrating thermometer to check whether or not your thermostat is off. Make sure you pre-heat your oven if the recipe wants you to pre-heat. A couple of minutes cooking at the wrong temperature can make a world of difference in how baked goods come out.

Try not to open the oven door while cooking. This will cause the oven to lose heat and will lead to an increase in cooking times. You also want to check your rack position, and the cooking pan placement on the racks. You want to leave an inch or two between the pan and the walls, and the same amount of space between pans. If you are using two racks, you will want to offset or stagger the pans to allow free air circulation.

A lot of people like to line their oven racks with foil to prevent food spills or drips. Unfortunately, this blocks proper airflow in the oven. If you need to use foil, use it on the rack below the one you're using, and use just enough to catch the drips from that pan. You should never foil the entire rack. Ovens with convection features in use should be about 25F lower in temperature than the recipe calls for because the convection feature heats foods more evenly.

Another thing to check is the oven vent itself, you don't want anything blocking or covering it. Lastly, make sure the oven is level.

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How can I get foods to bake evenly in my oven?

To get your foods to bake evenly, make sure that your oven and racks are level, and that you keep some space between the walls and other pans to allow air circulation. Using the correct pan material and size is important too. If you use foil to cover the racks, make sure you only cover the minimum area necessary. That foil can block the air circulation. Make sure to follow any pre-heating instructions that your recipe calls for.

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How do I keep foods from burning when I want them browned?

In order to brown food the way you like it, set the oven to Bake, not Broil, and then use the right pan. First, shiny pans do not let food brown well, so if you want browned foods, use a darker pan. Secondly, some foods call for the oven to be pre-heated. If you don't preheat when the recipe calls for it, you will probably over-cook and burn your food. Finally, place the pan in the middle of the oven on the centre rack to promote even heating. Also, check the rack position. You want to centre the foods as they cook.

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Why do I hear a fan running in my oven?

If your oven has a fan in it, it's a cooling fan, and they normally run when cooking, as well as when cooling. This fan is used to cool the electronic parts so that they don't get burned, and is also used in convection cooking to keep hot air flowing around the food. Convection cooking reduces the time needed to cook food, and it saves energy. Many ranges automatically lower the cooking temperature an average of 25 F so that your food will not get burned.

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Why do I see water droplets inside the oven on the glass?

The reason you see water condensation on the glass is probably because you're cooking some food that has a high moisture content and it is collecting on the cooler glass like dew on grass.

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Why isn't the oven self-cleaning?

The self-cleaning systems on electric ovens are pretty complex. To properly understand and use your model's self-cleaning system, you need to read the owner's manual. If you have problems with this system, visit the manufacturer's website or call a professional appliance repair person.

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Why is the oven too hot on the outside to touch?

It’s normal for ovens to get pretty warm on the outside during use. Sometimes the front door can get too hot to touch. If the door seal is faulty, heat can escape from the oven and cause excessive overheating. Replace the door seal, or call a professional appliance repair person.

Many ovens have a door lock that will prevent you from opening the oven during the self-cleaning cycle. Sometimes you have to actually flip the lock into place to activate the self-cleaning cycle. During self-cleaning, the air inside is super-heated from 750F - 1,000F in order to burn off any food particles or greases in the oven. If you open the oven door during this time, you can get burned very seriously.

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Why was there an odor and smoke when I used my oven for the first time?

This may be from the binding agent used in the fiberglass insulation. It is recommended that you turn the oven on at 400F for a half hour or so, with a window open to vent any fumes or smoke. You may want to use the oven's self-cleaning feature to burn off the smells faster. If your oven has a ventilation fan, turn it on to help clear smoke and odors during the self-cleaning cycle.

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Why does my oven smell so much during self-cleaning?

You are smelling a lot of burning grease, food, splatters, and drippings in the oven. Self-cleaning works by raising the temperature in the oven to over 750F. The high heat burns everything in the oven. The burning is what's causing an unpleasant odor. That is why it is important to ventilate the room your oven is in when you are using the self-cleaning feature. If your oven has a ventilation fan, turn it on to help clear smoke and odors during the self-cleaning cycle. You can wipe down the inside of the oven cavity of any excess residue before the self-cleaning cycle to help reduce odors from the food debris getting incinerated. You can also remove the oven racks and clean them by hand.

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Why does my oven smoke so much when I broil foods?

It is possible that your oven has accumulated a buildup of grease that is now burning off. Another reason could be that the broiler pan is upside down and enabling the grease drippings to burn up from the broiler. You should also make sure to give the meat enough clearance from the flames.

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Is it normal for my burner element to glow red when I am using it?

Yes, burner elements glow red when they get hot. That red glow can also be a visual cue to help protect you from touching a hot burner element.

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Why do the top elements keep turning off and on during cooking?

This is done to regulate the temperature. Higher heat settings will let the element stay on longer, while lower settings will turn it off sooner. Even on high, the elements may turn off periodically because there is a switch called a temperature limiter. Its job is to keep the element from overheating.

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Is it normal for my range to make a noise when I use the oven?

As metal heats, it expands; as it cools, it contracts. It is normal to hear sounds like pings or dings as this occurs.

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Why does my oven temperature seem too hot or not hot enough?

The oven thermostat is preset at the factory. Many models will allow you to adjust the thermostat. Over time, it is possible for your thermostat to lose its calibration.

You may be able to adjust your oven thermostat using a small screwdriver. The adjusting screw is located on the thermostat valve stem. Remove the knob and you’ll see the screw underneath it. You want to turn the oven on and run it through at least two cycles while watching a calibrating thermometer in the oven for high and low temperatures. Adjust the screw as necessary to fine tune the temperature.

Some ranges have a calibration ring instead of a screw. The ring is located on the back side of the thermostat knob. Refer to the owner's manual for your product if you want to calibrate your thermostat.

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Why does it take a glass or ceramic cooktop so long to cook food or boil water?

You have to use cookware that has a flat, smooth bottom. The heat conducts up through the cooktop to the cookware. If the cookware isn’t flat, the limiter may tell the element to shut down to prevent any overheating damage.

If you have a smooth cooktop with the elements under translucent glass, you can still see the red glow as the elements cycle on and off to maintain the desired heat setting. Elements in the smoothtop don't respond as quickly to changes in the heat setting as do regular coil elements. You should start out with lower heat settings and gradually increase the heat setting until you have the desired heat. It is very important to use heavy gauge, smooth, flat-bottomed pans when cooking on a smoothtop cooking surface. This is because the cooking heat transfers by conduction, and if the pan isn't flat, the heat won't transfer very well. Furthermore, the cooktop has sensors to detect when uneven heating is occurring, and will cycle the elements off and on to protect them from thermal damage. This can mean increased cooking times.

Because the cerama-glass surface retains heat for a while, you can turn your elements off to finish cooking with the retained heat when the food is almost done. Many smoothtops have Hot Surface indicator lights that remain lit until the surface is cool enough to touch.

To determine if the pans you want to use are appropriate, you can use the flat-edge test. Hold an item such as a ruler or a level with a straight edge to the bottom of the pan you want to use. There should be no space between the surface and the flat edge. Some people like to use a boiling water test as well. Put a little bit of water in the pan you want to use and turn the element to high. As the water starts to boil, look for uniformity of bubble formation across the bottom of the pan. If it appears that bubbles are forming evenly, it's probably a good pan to use, if not, don't use it.

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Should I be careful around the switches when I’m cleaning?

When cleaning around switches and knobs, first spray some cleanser on a cloth, and then wipe the surfaces. Electric parts do not like any liquids.

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Can I get the stains off the burner drip pans?

The burner drip pans may get stained over time. Once they are stained, it’s very difficult to clean them. You can try a mild cleanser. Some people like to replace the drip pans every two to three years.

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Why does my oven door feel soft and spongy when I close it?

When you close the oven door and it feels squishy soft as it closes, it's normal. The seal should have a little give to it. That means the door seal is in good shape. If it loses that soft feel, you will need to replace the seal.

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Why do I always blow fuses or trip my breaker?

If this is happening to you, you need to test the bake and broil elements in your oven. There is also a terminal block on the inside back of your range that is wired to the household power supply. Sometimes this terminal block can short out causing you to trip breakers or blow fuses.

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Why do I see a Fault Code and what do I do about it?

Most fault codes are model specific, and you either need to look at your owner's manual, or go to the manufacturer for information regarding fault codes. Sometimes unplugging the appliance for a minute and then powering it up again will clear a fault code. Usually though, you will need to do some type of repair or call a professional appliance repair person.

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