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How to Replace the Baking Coil in an Electric Oven

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Your oven isn't heating the way it should be,d you're not sure what to do about it. It's easy to feel overwhelmed when your oven stops working the way it's supposed to. You might not know how to fix the problem or where to start. 

When they stop heating, the solution is usually to replace the heating element. Ovens have two elements, including one at the bottom for baking and one at the top for broiling. The baking element has metal feet and rests on the oven floor. It connects to the oven bak wall with a plate or bracket held by a couple of screws.

Behind the plate, two metal prongs connect to two wires inside the oven. You can buy a replacement oven element through the oven manufacturer or online appliance parts retailers.

Before You Begin, Know Your Oven Functionality

Before you even conclude that your oven has a problem, you have been sure that you know how to use a toaster or electric oven. Once you’re sure that all is well, make sure all of the oven or range controls are off. Unplug the appliance at the wall outlet. On freestanding ranges, the cord is usually accessible if you remove the bottom drawer completely and reach through the drawer cavity from the front.

On hardwired ranges and ovens, turn off the appliance's circuit breaker in your home's circuit breaker box. It will be a double pole breaker, typically labeled for 30, 40, and 50amps. You must test the wires to confirm the power is off before touching them.

Also, with some ovens, the bake element is hidden. The heat still disperses evenly but the element itself is hidden beneath the bottom plate of the oven. You may even have a hidden broil element as well, but this is less common. A hidden bake element is considered a cleaner, more attractive design for an oven but it's not possible to work with.

This guide will help you replace your hidden and non-functional bake elements:

What You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Nut driver
  • Non contact voltage tester
  • Electrical or masking tape
  • Replacement baking coil
  • Work gloves
  • Old towels

Remove the Heating Element Mounting Plate

The first step is to locate the baking heating element and the bracket that holds it in place at the bottom rear of the oven. This is usually the first culprit to look at whenever you’re wondering why your oven won’t heat up. To clear the way, remove all of your oven racks. Remove the oven door.

Remove the Heating Element Mounting Plate
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Reach in and open the oven's bottom plate. You'll see a square metal mounting plate held to the oven with two screws on top, two screws underneath, and a pinch clip. Remove the screws securing the plate to the oven wall, using a screwdriver and nut driver.

Test for Electrical Current

Gently pull the heating element and mounting bracket away from the back wall of the oven. Before you start unplugging wires, test for electrical current to ensure that the oven isn't still live and could shock you.

Test for Electrical Current
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Using a non-contact voltage detector, put one probe on each of the two wire leads leading out from the bottom plate, which is where the element is mounted, and look for the “On” light to come on. If it does not come on, then you can safely continue to work on the oven without the risk of electrical shock.

Disconnect the Heating Element

Pull wire connectors apart. The wires of the elements are connected to the oven wires with small connector clips. Release these and you'll be able to remove the heating element. Use needle hose pliers for greater precision.

Disconnect the Heating Element
Image credit: https://www.thespruce.com/

Before releasing all the wires, make sure you have a firm hold on the oven wires or clip them. Do not allow them to fall into oven housing. Remove the old heating element once the wires are released. Pull the old heating element and throw it away or set it aside for reclamation.

Attach and Mount the New Heating Element

The new heating elements are shipped with pre-attached wires. Connect the wires while holding the new heating element in place on an oven rack. Reattach the connector clips to secure the new oven element, making sure that it is tight against the bottom of the oven housing.

Slide the element into place so the mounting bracket is against the oven wall and the screw holes are aligned. If your new element didn't come with a fresh packet, find your mounting screws and plate. Fit on the plate and fasten the screws. Secure them tightly for safe heating, and your new heating element will be fully installed.

Reattach the Mounting Plate and Test the Oven

When you're confident about the heating element, put the oven racks back into place. Choose the level for each shelf carefully, considering its distance from the baking and broiling elements.

Fully check the oven and surrounding area for dropped screws, tools, hair ties, or whatever else might be there. When the oven heats up, you don't want to bake anything unintentionally. Plug the oven into the wall outlet or turn on the circuit breaker to restore power to the oven.

Finally, turn the oven to bake to check the new element for proper operation. It should glow with a consistent bright orange color while heating. If you removed the bottom drawer, slide it back into place. Return the oven racks to the oven.

FAQs on How to Replace the Baking Coil in an Electric Oven

How long does it take to replace an oven element?

It takes about ten to fifteen minutes to replace an oven element.

How do you remove the bottom drawer from a GE electric stove?

Remove the screws from each side of the drawer. Lift up on the front edge of the drawer to release its catches at the rear and free it from the base.

Final Thought on How to Replace the Baking Coil in an Electric Oven

As you can see, replacing the baking coil in an electric oven is a very simple task that will take almost no time at all. It's also a straightforward process if you're confident and have the right tools. The essential points are having the right replacement element and the correct safety precautions. 

Kristina Perrin

Kristina Perrin

Kristina is an expert DIY home remodeler and mom to three. When she's not cooking or experimenting with new recipes, you can find her working on new home improvement projects or writing about her favorite kitchen appliances or DIY projects on Kitchen Infinity blog.

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