Why Doesn’t My Electric Burner Work at All?

Fred's Appliance
December 9, 2019
Oven Repair

There are a number of problems that may plague your electric cooktop over time. The burners could get too hot despite the control knob setting or could get not hot enough no matter how high you set it, but the problem you might expect to come someday is that the burners will no longer work at all. It is the most common thing to happen to your electric cooktop but is also an issue that can be easy to determine.

Whether it is one burner that no longer works at all or it is all of them that are no longer functioning, we can help you troubleshoot that so you can make the correct repair.

Lack of Electricity

Obviously, if the electricity is out to your home, your electric burners won’t be working. However, less noticeable, there is also the possibility that the electricity is out to your stove alone. The fuse may have blown at the circuit breaker or it could have come unplugged from the wall. When this happens, you may notice a lack of indicator lights on your stove when turned on or no clock or display if you are using an electric range. Furthermore, all your burners will fail to work. When it is an actual malfunctioning part, typically only one burner will fail to function as they work with independent parts that use an independent flow of electricity.

If you have discovered that there is no power to your electric cooktop due to a blown fuse, you simply need to change that out. However, you will want to look into why the fuse the blown in the first place. Certainly, it could be a fluke, but if it begins to trip frequently, you will want to investigate as to why. It could be a short circuit that needs to be addressed. If the fuse is fine or your electric cooktop is not hardwired, you will want to look into a faulty outlet or even if the electrical cord to your stove has become damaged.

Faulty or Damaged Burner Coil or Burner Terminals

If your burner is no longer working, and your electric cooktop still has electricity, then your first suspect should be the coil or the terminal block it plugs into. A really handy troubleshooting method for this is to unplug the coil and switch it with the neighboring coil of the same size. It is important to use the same size here as it receives different amounts of power and that will have an effect on its function.

If the coil works in the new location, then it could very well be the terminal block that is the problem. You can look for visible damage or test it conclusively with a multimeter, but if the coil works in a different area, then this is a pretty good indicator that the terminal block is the problem. Of course, there is also the potential that it is not the terminal block, but rather the infinite switch, so you will want to test that as well.

Alternatively, if the burner coil does not work in the other terminal block, then it is the coil that is faulty. If you inspect the terminals at the end of your electric stove coil, they might look blackened or pitted, which means the coil is going faulty and has been arcing inside the terminal block. This is, however, usually a good sign that your terminal block is on its way out as well. So you may just want to replace both at the same time to prevent your new coil from becoming damaged by an aging terminal block anyway. Typically you will also find that the coil might intermittently work as it makes contact inside the terminal. If you, before even unplugging the coil, notice that it has a chunk missing or is physically damaged on the coil area itself, you will want to replace it anyway. This will eventually prevent the coil from working, but it also means it can put you at risk for electric shock.

Faulty Infinite Switch

When you turn the control knob on your electric cooktop the infinite switch is the part that opens the flow of electricity to the burner. If this infinite switch malfunctions, it could prevent electricity from flowing to the burner, and as such, it will not work. Similar to the terminal block, this can be tested conclusively with a multimeter that will tell you that it is this part that is malfunctioning. Unfortunately, while each burner has a separate infinite switch, many electric cooktops have them all daisy-chained together with wiring. This means that when you have to replace one infinite switch, you actually have to replace them all. However, this replacement is much less complicated than you would think. Once you have access to the infinite switches, located behind the control knobs, really the most difficult part of the replacement is disassembling your electric cooktop to actually reach the infinite switches.

Faulty Wiring

This is the least likely problem that can occur. However, it is possible that all of your parts are working as designed, but the wiring that connects them is damaged. Typically if this is the case, you can tell. You will be able to spot scorched, warped, or physically cut areas of wiring that run between the infinite switch and the terminal block. If the wiring looks fine during your investigation, then you will definitely want to look into the other culprits above. However, if you can see any damage, then this should shoot up your list as a suspect.

While you can definitely troubleshoot this issue on your own and narrow down what is wrong, you may not feel comfortable making the actual repair, especially if it is something like damaged wiring and you may not be sure how exactly to go about repairing it. However, for those situations, we have your back. If you need any appliance fixed up fast, contact us today so Fred’s Appliance Service can help you get everything back up and running.

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