Question about Whirlpool RF364 Electric Kitchen Range

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Whirpool electric range - RF196LXMQ - Will not reach 350 degrees

My mother's Whirpool electric oven - RF196LXMQ - will not reach 350 degrees. It will only reach just over 200 degrees. When the oven is in broil mode, the upper heating element is orange and the bottom is not. When the oven is in oven mode at 350 degrees, the bottom element is orange and the top element is not.

Which part do I need?

Thank you very much!

Jeff Boone

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When using Broil, it is normal for only the top element to work and it depends on the oven whether both should be on or not for baking but typically, baking does not use the upper element otherwise it could burn baked goods.
If setting the temperature higher than 350 does not cause the lower element to turn on, then it's likely that the thermostat has failed and can no longer respond to the temperature set.
The fact that both elements work under some conditions means that both of the heater elements are working at least some of the time. Because of the primitive nature of the elements, it isn't possible for them to just become 'weak' but they can interrupt themselves if there is a break in the resistance element but you could only separate the two possibilities by measuring the hot coil and that would be difficult unless you can pull the range out and access the AC feed lines that go to the element. Obviously, the power would have to be disconnected and the measurement done quickly so the element didn't have time to cool and regain continuity.

Posted on Nov 27, 2008

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