How to replace elements on glass-top electric ranges

Written by lawrence nyveen
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How to replace elements on glass-top electric ranges
The smooth surface of a glass-top range is said to be easier to clean. (pan of onions image by jimcox40 from

Some cooks love glass-top ranges. Some cooks hate them. While it's easy to clean the smooth surface of these appliances, some users complain about residual heat after use, shattered glass or poor heat transfer to a pot that's not perfectly flat on the bottom. Glass-top ranges have one big disadvantage compared to stoves with exposed electric coils: the elements are much harder to replace. Most manufacturers tell you not to do it. Each model stove will have its own quirks. The instructions that follow are generalised but you should be able to adapt them to your unit.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Ratchet set (for countertop ranges only)
  • Lengths of 2-by-4's longer than the stove is wide (for countertop ranges only)
  • Towels or blanket
  • Pencil and paper
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Replacement burner

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  1. 1

    Unplug your unit or set its circuit breaker to the off position.

  2. 2

    Remove the screws that hold the glass surface in place. You'll probably find the screws underneath, in the top edge of the oven-door space. There may be other screws, too.

    If you have a drop-in range, you may have to detach the glass top from the cooking unit. Securely prop up the unit with the 2-by-4's to let yourself have access to the screws or hex nuts on the bottom without having to constantly hold the thing up.

  3. 3

    Many glass-top ranges have the elements attached to the glass instead of to the appliance. If yours is like this, pull the glass forward or prop it up to unscrew or unplug the ground wire and wiring that attach at the back.

    Some ranges feature control knobs on the glass. If yours is one of these, you may have to pry off the knobs so that you'll be able to lift the glass.

  4. 4

    Lift the glass top and set it on towels or blankets to protect it.

    If you have elements secured to the glass, place your glass upside down.

  5. 5

    Draw a sketch of the wiring scheme of the element you need to replace. You don't want to remove it and have to guess which wires go where. These elements are wired directly to the current, unlike exposed stove burners that plug into a block.

  6. 6

    Free your faulty element from the surface to which it is attached. It will be secured by metal straps or clips. Remove the relevant screws to release the holding mechanism(s).

  7. 7

    Pry the wires off the tabs of the assembly to be replaced with needle-nose pliers.

    Most new elements come with the plastic block out of which the tabs project. This piece is called a limiter and you can take out screws to release it from the heating portion of the element if you need to keep it.

  8. 8

    Remove the faulty burner and replace it with the new one. Attach the wires according to your wiring sketch with the pliers. Screw in the clips or straps that hold the element in place.

  9. 9

    Reattach all wiring, including the ground wire, running from your glass top to the appliance if you disconnected it earlier.

  10. 10

    Carefully drop your glass top back in place and screw it back in as appropriate.

  11. 11

    Plug in your oven or turn on the circuit. Your new element should be ready for use.

Tips and warnings

  • Manufacturers may have changed the wiring scheme so that the new element will not function if wired the same as your old element. Read the literature to be sure.
  • You may want to wear work gloves. The metal pieces inside the appliance can be sharp.

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