Question about Ovens
Alright, start with a visual inspection. For this part of the testing, kill power to the oven. That means to turn off the circuit breaker. Inspect the element with a flashlight, look for obvious burned spots or separations.
Next if everything looks good, then test the oven element. This will include basic electrical measurements since the element can look fine from the outside (and usually does) but the inner core, the part that electricity flows through and gets really hot, can be electrically open.
So, we’ll start with a simple resistance measurement of the bake heating element. To do this, you have kill power to the oven and then remove the visible and obvious element retaining screws. Then remove at least one wire from the element; you can, of course, remove the entire element from the oven. You’ll be making the measurements with a multimeter available at any electronics store like radio Shack on the element’s terminals.
Measure the resistance with your meter; anything less than 50 ohms is good. If you’re seeing a high resistance reading, like something in the thousands of ohms (denoted with the “K” on most meters) or infinite, then just found the problem and need a new element.
If the element tests good, then it’s time for live tests. That means voltage on the circuit.. If you don’t know how to safely make live voltage measurements, then stop reading right now and call a professional. You’ll also need the wiring or schematic diagram of the oven– these are usually hidden inside the control panel compartment, some disassembly required. Make sure you’ve killed power to the oven before going any further.
Before we get into the actual live test, it would helpful for you to know how the bake element works so you’ll have some insight into how the live test is done. A bake element operates at 240vac, 120vac is supplied to each side of the heating element. One side is tied more or less directly to L1 or L2 (both of which are tied to 120vac)– see your model-specific wiring diagram, I’m just ’splaining the strategery here.
The other side of the heating element is connected to the electronic range control either directly or through some intermediary controls.
Now, here’s where the real strategery comes in. The basic idea is that when the bake element is turned on, BOTH sides of that element should get 120vac (remember, the element is supposed to have 240vac to heat up properly). So we’re going to split the problem in half by seeing which side of the bake element power circuit isn’t coughing up its 120vac.
Power Leads to an Electric Bake ElementOk, here’s how we do the live test:
* kill power to the oven (which you already did earlier, right? ;) );
* disconnect one wire from the bake element and then secure it so it doesn’t touch anything else
* clip the common side of your meter to any known ground point, like an unpainted metal surface in the oven;
* re-apply power to the oven;
* measure voltage at both of the element power wire leads;
* the one that isn’t giving you 120vac is the circuit you need to troubleshoot; you can ignore the other side.
See, you just cut the problem in half! Now kill power to the oven again and focus on the wiring diagram and locate your problem circuit. Then identify the next component in line between the end of the heating element wire with the missing voltage and wherever it ends up, be it the circuit board or one of the power lugs on the terminal block in the back of the oven. The rest is trivial. Continue applying this essential data until you find the missing voltage in that circuit. Let me know how this turns out.
Posted on Jul 27, 2009
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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