Common electric oven problems

oven image by Evgeny Rodionov from

Electric ovens use a heating element to cook food. If your electric oven won't work, you will either need to replace one of the elements or troubleshoot faulty wiring issues. The oven elements wear out over time, so you will need to perform a little repair work. Fortunately, the elements are inexpensive to purchase.

Power Issues

The easiest way to resolve an electric oven problem is to check the oven for power. Blown fuses can affect any appliance in the home, including the oven. If the surface burner on the electric oven glows, you know that you have power. The surface burners will sometimes heat up slightly when one side of the 240V circuit drops out. However, if the burners turn red hot, you have electricity. Make sure that the cable connecting the power supply to the oven is secure. Sometimes the main wiring will burn out and will need to be replaced. Check the fuse/circuit breaker.

Preventive Measures

If you must repair your electric oven, disconnect the oven from the power source first to avoid hazardous electrical shocks. Turn off the connection at the circuit breaker or power box.

Heating Element

Look at the heating element to make sure that it appears intact. If the element has broken pieces on it, you will need to replace the entire element. Elements generally cost £13 to £19.

Bake Element

If the heating element works, either the bake element is damaged, or there's a wiring issue. The bake element is on the bottom of the oven and is the size of a pencil and black in colour. This element typically connects to the oven by two screws. Remove both screws and pull the bake element out. Then attach a 240V circuit to the element terminal. Reconnect the oven to the power supply and turn the oven to bake. If the light comes on, the bake element is burnt out, and you will need to replace it. Sometimes the food will cook partially even when the bake element burns out because the broil element in the oven is heating the food. If the light does not come on, you have a problem with the wiring.

Wiring Issues

The oven wiring is on the back panel of the oven. Look inside the back panel for burnt wires or terminals. If you find a burnt terminal, remove it and replace it with a high-temp, nickel-plated terminal.

Broil Element

The broil element can also burn out, causing the oven to only bake. The broil element attaches to the top of the oven and is a black, pencil-like tube. You will need to replace the broil element when the element no longer glows red hot.


If the oven cooks at a really high or really low temperature, check the thermostat sensing bulb. Sometimes this bulb can come loose and ends up on the floor of the oven or the heating element. Otherwise, the thermostat might need recalibration, which requires the work of an experienced technician.

Intermittent Burners

Sometimes a burner will work but only intermittently. The burner might have a bad contact to the receptacle that the element plugs into. Lift the element up and look for any damage and make sure that the burner is plugged in.