Kenmore stoves are very reliable. However, there are times when things just do not operate as they should. Before calling a repairman to fix the stove, do some troubleshooting yourself. The most common cause of stove problems is heating elements. These are not difficult to test and you could save a lot of money by replacing them yourself.
Top Elements Do Not Work
There are a few things to look for when the top elements do not heat well. If only one element is not working right, it may be a defective element or terminal block. To check the terminal block, remove the nonworking element by lifting it up and pulling it out of the terminal. Remove a known good element in the same manner and insert it into the bad element's location. If the element still does not work, you have a bad terminal block that needs to be replaced. If the element works, the original heating element needs to be replaced.
The infinite switch should also be inspected. Unplug the range from the wall outlet and pull it away from the wall. Remove the rear panel from the range and find the control terminal for the bad element. Label and remove the wires from the control terminal. Set a volt-ohm meter to RX1 and place a probe on two of the terminals. If there is a reading other than zero, replace the switch.
Oven Does Not Heat
The first thing to check when the oven will not heat is the heating elements. See if there are any breaks in the element itself. Remove the screws from the bracket that holds the baking element in the bottom of the oven. Pull the element forward and disconnect the wires from the terminals. Using a volt-ohm meter set at RX1, place a lead on each of the element terminals. A reading of 20 to 25 ohms should be seen. Any other reading, and the element should be replaced.
Broiler Does Not Work
The broiler element should be checked in much the same way the baking element was. Remove the rear panel from the range and disconnect the wires from the broiler element terminals. Inside the oven, remove the two screws that mount the broiler to the back of the oven, then pull the element toward you. Set the volt-ohm meter to RX1 and place a probe on each of the terminals of the broiler element. If a reading other than 15 to 18 ohms is seen, the element should be replaced.
Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. His work has appeared in both print and online publications, including "The American Chronicle." Crawford holds an associate degree in business administration from Commonwealth College.