If temperature inconsistencies and insufficient heating have plagued your electric oven, it's time to check the heating element. Heating elements are easy to replace, but you need to be sure that the element is, in fact, the source of your problem. Here are some tips to help you check your oven's heating element on your own before you call an appliance repair technician.
Locating the Heating Element
The first step is making sure that you can easily identify the heating element in your oven. Open the oven door and look at both the very bottom and very top of the oven. There should be coils mounted in both places. These coils, which often turn red when the oven is heating up, are the heating elements. The upper element is usually reserved for broiling, while the lower one is the baking element. This lower element is typically used in every oven cycle.
Checking the Broiler Element
The upper heating element usually heats rapidly, because the broiler setting is a high-heat feature. Turn the oven knob to the broil setting and wait five to ten minutes. Then, open the oven door and check the upper heating element. When it's working properly, it'll be glowing red as a sign that it's heating.
If the element either isn't glowing or is only glowing in a few places, that's a sign that the element is bad. Turn the broiler off and let it rest for a few hours so that everything is cool to the touch before you do anything else with it.
Checking the Bake Element
The lower element is the one that typically turns on any time you heat up your oven for baking. Since it's used so frequently, this element is the most common one to burn out. Test the lower element by turning your oven's baking temperature to 400 degrees. Wait fifteen minutes or so, then open the oven door to check the temperature. If the element isn't red, or the oven isn't hot inside, that's a sign of a bad element.
If the oven is warm but you aren't sure that it's warm enough, place an oven thermometer inside and test several temperatures on your oven dial. Your oven thermometer should match what you've set your oven temperature to, and if it doesn't, that means there's a temperature regulation problem in the oven, such as a failing thermostat.
Using the information here, you can narrow down the source of your oven's heating problem to either the thermostat or the heating element. Once you know where the problem is likely to be, you can call a used appliance repair technician to help you fix it. Contact a company like 5 Corners Appliance Company for more information.