Introduction: Stove Top Repairs
Wouldn’t you know it I just fixed the oven and a stove top element blows. Luckily I salvage the elements and other parts from stoves put out for garbage so I have a ton of parts to make this repair. Stove tops are the easiest part of a stove to disassemble, you don’t even need tools to remove the elements, pots and control nobs.
The only repair I do not make on a stove is replacing the oven controls, the oven controls change so much every year it is almost impossible to get replacement oven control parts. Stove top parts change little over decades, from the controls to the elements there is little difference between maker and years of manufacture. This makes salvaging parts from old stove tops cost effective and stove tops repairs environmentally friendly since it keeps them out of the landfills.
I don’t need to replace the element controls on this repair however at the end of this Instructable I will cover replacing the element controls and what to look for in a repair person.
Step 1: Safety First
I cannot express this enough SAFETY FIRST; this stove runs on 240 volts at 30 amps that is 7500 times what is needed to kill you so turn off the power before you do anything inside the stove. If your stove is hardwired turn off the breaker or remove the fuses, don’t just loosen the fuses take them out. It may be a pain to go back and forth from the breaker box every time you want to test something but it is not as painful as being fried at 240 volts and 30 amps.
I am lucky my stove plugs in so all I have to do is unplug the stove when I want to do a repair. First I pull the stove out and unplug the stove, if you don’t get back there often this is a good time to clean behind the stove and retrieve your pet’s toys.
Step 2: The Damaged Parts
At first glance the stove top looks like just the element has blown, this is an easy repair just unplug the old element and plug in a new one. But on a closer exam the socket the element plugs into is damaged.
Remove the element, the pot and disconnect the element socket from the pot hole and put the screw back in place so you don’t lose it, then set your multi meter for the max setting for AC voltage before connecting the multi meter to the ends of the element wires and plug the stove in.
When I test the wires to the socket I get source voltage when the element control is turned on and no voltage when the control is turned off. This tells me the element control should be good.
Step 3: Parts & Tools
1. two contact 8 inch element
1. long lead element socket.
And just in case I still need to replace it 1 element control.
Total cost if you were to buy new parts about $75.oo however mine cost me only time to collect and store for later use.
My stove top has two 6 inch and two 8 inch, two contact elements, two long lead front burner element sockets, and two short lead back burner element sockets. All the stove top element controls are the same. When I get the chance I salvage these parts from stoves put out to the garbage.
Some older stoves bolt the wires to the element and insulate the connection with ceramic covers; these elements are designed to plugin or bolt to the leads.
Step 4: Opening the Stove
The control head on stoves opens three ways, some have a panel just on the back of the head, some you remove the whole back and some the control head comes forward like my stove. Start by removing the screws holding the back panels on the back of the stove exposing the wires and put the screws back in place so they won’t be lost. Then remove the screws on the back of the control head and tip the head forward making sure none of the wires in the back of the stove bind or get damaged in the process.
At this time I discovered the schematics of the stove hidden in the control head, on the bottom of the schematics is the caution “Disconnect Current Before Removing rear Cover.” Great time to tell you after you remove the rear cover, I gave them to my wife without reading so she can file them.
Step 5: Replacing the Element Socket
If you are working on an old stove don’t be surprised if all the live wires are black or dark brown, if you run into this have some masking tape and a marker to label the wires. Newer stoves have color coded wires for easy repairs.
There are two white wires and two dark brown or black wires tied together that go from the element control behind and under the stove top. The white wires are the short leads (back element socket wires), and the dark brown or black wires are the long leads (front element socket wires).
Untie and unclip the wires so they can move but don’t disconnect them from the element control or pull them out from under the stove top.
At the front of the stove tie the new socket leads to the ends of the old leads with tape and using the old leads as a snake, pull the new leads through the stove top to the element control.
Reconnect the element socket to the pot hole.
Disconnect the new leads from the old leads.
Disconnect the old leads from the element control and connect the new leads to the element control.
Then reassemble the control head and put the panels on the back of the stove.
Step 6: Test Assemble Test
Once you reassemble the control head and put the panels on the back of the stove test the socket one more time making sure the pilot light comes on and the socket shows source voltage when the control is on and no voltage when the control is off. Remember to set your multi meter for the max setting for AC voltage.
Make sure the control is off and remove your meter, replace the pot in the pot hole and plug the new element in. Test one more time to make sure the element heats up and shuts off automatically, remember to put something on the stove or the element can over heat and burn out.
Step 7: Replacing Stove Top Element Controls
Almost all stoves made today are built to the same standard of color coded wires depending on your regional standards.
Although these controls look different the oldest one is thirty years old the youngest one is five years old they are virtually the same element control. 240 volts 15 amps with a pilot light switch and they all connect the same way.
Step 8: Control Markings
When replacing the element control remember to fallow these connections and settings.
The controls are marked TOP for the top of the control switch this is to make sure off is in the correct position.
L1, for line 1 or live 1, usually a red wire, inside the control it connects to H1 and PL.
L2, for line 2 or live 2, usually a black wire, inside the control it connects to H2.
H1, for heating element lead 1, inside the control it connects to L1 and PL.
H2, for heating element lead 2, inside the control it connects to L2.
PL, for pilot light lead, inside the control this connects to L1 or on a control that has it, (as in the second control), PL connects to P
P is an external power supply for the pilot light and it can be connected to red or black, a good practice would be to connect it to the red wire like the internal connection of the element control.
These can be confirmed by setting your multi meter for continuity, turning on the switch and testing the connectors. Before doing this, be sure the stove is unplugged first or you will trash your meter.
The 120 volt pilot light connects to PL on the control switch and the white wire.
The 240 volt pilot light connects to PL on the control switch and the black wire.
Other than the element leads the wire coloring tells you what the wire is or does.
The power into your stove should be four wires red (live one), black (live two), white (neutral), and green (ground).
Green goes to the body of the stove grounding the stove to protect you from shorts.
Red and black gives you 240 volts.
Red and white or black and white gives you 120 volts.
Step 9: The Repair Person
A good repair person will explain everything to you, upgrades, substituted parts, and they will show you the parts that need to be replace, or explain why your stove cannot be repaired if that is the case.
The most common reason they cannot repair your stove for less than buying a new one is:
Your stove needs too much work.
The parts needed are no longer available and there is no substitute, very common with oven controls and housing parts.