The heart of an oven is its heating element, which generates all the heat necessary for cooking. Unfortunately, that part can stop working for several different reasons. Learning how to troubleshoot the problem will minimize your downtime and get the oven working again.
Your Kenmore oven heating element won’t work if it has burned out. That can happen due to damage or excess heat inside the oven cavity. A faulty temperature sensor will also prevent the element from turning on if it mistakenly senses that the oven is hot even when it’s not. Lastly, check for electrical problems or a failed main control board.
Whether you call a technician or fix the problem yourself, you’ll want to read this article until the end. Then, you’ll discover why the heating element stops working and what solutions are needed to get the oven working again.
Why Isn’t My Kenmore Oven’s Heating Element Working?
An oven heating element that doesn’t work will indeed affect your cooking plans. So, here are the most likely reasons you’re facing that problem and the solutions you can use to fix them quickly:
Burnt Out Heating Element
The first and most common reason your oven’s heating element stops working is that it has burned out.
Manufacturers use durable materials to produce heating elements, making them withstand extreme heat. But, unfortunately, those materials can and do wear out eventually. When that happens, the heating element burns out and cannot function anymore.
Aside from natural wear and tear, excess heat can also be a reason your element burns out. For example, the heating element will become dirty after several years. As a result, it must work harder to achieve the same temperatures as before. Unfortunately, that can also cause the heating element to burn out.
You should also note that a heating element doesn’t necessarily burn out all at once. Instead, you might find that only some parts of the element glow brightly while others do not.
Still, even a partially burned-out heating element will cause problems. The element will result in uneven baking or cooking, affecting the end result of your
The solution: Once your oven heating element burns out, you cannot restore it in any way. The only solution you have is to replace it with a new one. Not only will that allow your oven to function again, but it’ll also ensure you get the heat necessary to cook correctly.
With the oven disconnected from its power source, you can remove the existing heating element at both ends. Then, simply plug the new heating element in the same way.
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Faulty Temperature Sensor
Another crucial component in your oven is the temperature sensor, closely related to the heating element. The sensor continuously measures the temperature inside the oven to see if it matches your set temperature.
The sensor will trigger the heating element to turn on when the temperature is too low. Once the oven is hot enough, the sensor will shut the heating element off.
Assuming your heating element is in excellent condition, it won’t work if the temperature sensor is faulty.
The sensor can’t measure the oven’s temperature accurately, so the heating element never receives the power it needs to heat up.
The solution: Firstly, you’ll want to test the temperature sensor to confirm whether or not it’s the root cause. To do that, disconnect the oven from the electrical power and remove the sensor.
You can use a standard
If that’s the case, you can replace the sensor with an identical one.
Power Supply Problems
After you finish ruling out the heating element and its temperature sensor, the next thing on your troubleshooting list is to check for power supply problems. Your heating element is likely not working because it’s not receiving the power it needs to function.
Remember: those elements generate heat using electrical resistance. So as the electrical current flows through the element, the resistance causes that electricity to convert into heat.
A lack of power could happen for three different reasons, which are the following:
- Low voltage: Firstly, an electric oven is a high-voltage appliance that needs a lot of power to function correctly. The oven’s lights and controls will still turn on in a low-voltage condition. However, the heating element won’t work simply because it doesn’t have enough electrical voltage.
- Faulty wiring: Even if the oven has sufficient voltage, that won’t mean anything if it cannot get to where it’s needed (i.e. the heating element). That could be due to faulty wiring connected to the heating element. Those wires could have come loose, undone, or burned due to heat exposure near the element.
- Blown thermal fuse: Appliances like ovens are protected by a thermal fuse. Unlike ordinary electrical fuses, a thermal fuse will blow when temperatures rise beyond safe levels. A blown thermal fuse will prevent electricity from flowing to the heating element, preventing it from working normally.
The solution: You must restore power to the heating element to get it working again. So, check to ensure that the wall socket and power cord are in good condition to ensure that the appliance receives the correct voltage.
If that doesn’t work, replace the thermal fuse if it no longer works.
Lastly, faulty wiring must be removed and replaced with new wires. Replacing the wire is easy, but it’s time-consuming to find the affected wiring section first.
Failed Control Board
Once you’ve ruled out all of the above, the last possibility is that the oven’s control board has failed.
For example, the heating element and everything else could be in excellent condition. Still, they won’t work if the control board is affected.
You can inspect the control board to look for damage signs. Typically, you’ll find burn marks or notice burn smells that occur due to electrical faults like short circuits and voltage spikes.
The solution: Control boards can’t be fixed once they fail, even if the damage seems minor. A replacement is the only option, though that can often be expensive.
That’s why you must only consider the control board last after you troubleshoot all other possibilities. Then, you must inspect the board closer to confirm it’s no longer working as it should.
The control board has plenty of wiring that connects it to other oven components. So, be sure to reconnect them to the new board the exact same way as before.
The heating element is one of the most critical components inside an oven. It produces the heat necessary for any cooking you’d like to do with the appliance. When it stops working, you must first look for signs that it has burned out.
Next, check for a failed temperature sensor preventing the oven from turning the element on.
If those two components are fine, you must troubleshoot for an electrical problem like low voltage, bad wiring, or a blown thermal fuse. Lastly, consider the main control board that has likely failed, causing the oven not to behave correctly.