I was cooking last week and right in the middle of cooking, the baking and broiling element wouldn't work. Door engaging button still works as convection fan turns on and stops when I open the oven door. Everythng else still works!
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When the broil function is off, check for continuity between the broiler relay output terminals. If there is no continuity, check for an external short. If there is continuity when the broiler is supposed to be off, you need to replace or repair the board.You can get your old board repaired at appliancetimers.com.
I'm going to take a wild guess and say that you oven has two heating elements. A lower one for general baking and an upper one for broiling (this means that you don't have a broiler "drawer").
If this is the case, then the problem exists with the pilot/ignition system for the lower heat element.
The systems vary by manufacturer, but the type that I'm familiar with involves and electrical heat element that ignites the gas once it starts glowing. It's possible that a wire has been damaged/disconnected or that the heat element has malfunctioned.
If your oven has a pilot, then it's possible that the pilot went out on the lower element and not the upper. Last option would be an electric "spark" style ignition which may have suffered from the same problems as the electric heat element mentioned above.
CHECK FOR 240VOLTS AT THE TERMINALS OF THE BAKE ELEMENT. GAIN ACCESS BY REMOVING THE BACK PANEL OF THE RANGE. SOMETIMES THE TERMINAL WILL BURN OFF OF THE WIRE GOING TO THE ELEMENT. THE WIRE WILL JUST BE HANGING THERE. BE SURE TO UNPLUG THE OVEN BEFORE REMOVING BACK PANEL. IF THE WIRE IS BURNT, REPLACE THE TERMINAL AND REATTACH TO THE ELEMENTS TERMINAL. IF THE TERMINAL IS DAMAGED, REPLACE BAKE ELEMENT.
IF THERE IS NO VOLTAGE TO THE ELEMENT, REPLACE CONTROL.
It is very common for elements to "catch fire" when they fail. It is really electical arching. But to answer your question you shouldnt be concerned if it ever happens to the bottom element immediatly kill the breaker it will stop instantly. dont use a fire extinguisher as it wont stop the arching. And most ovens do use the upper broil element for baking for very short intervals like 10secs on every minute or so to brown the top of product. Some models (especially older builder line ) do not
Shaffy, When baking only the bake element should heat. When broiling only the broil element (upper) should heat. Your oven is a Kitchenaid, you have a 5 year warranty on any electronic element or control board. You may have a temperature sensor that is not working right. The oven just might need to be calibrated, the instructions would be in your owners manual. Your bake element might be failing, it would have to be ohmed out. You also need to verify that the bake element is getting 240V. when turned on. Catriver...post back