How to Fix Your Electric Stove's burners

If your stove burner sometimes works and sometimes doesn't, or if you have to keep jiggling it to get it to work, it's time to replace not only the burner but the receptacle.

Ruined Burner Unit, replace!

If you pull the burner out of the receptacle, you will see why you need to replace both the burner AND receptacle. See the charred metal on the tip? That's not just burned but metal that has sparked across a too wide gap in the receptacle. If you JUST replaced the burner, you leave the gap that is left in the receptacle and you will continue to burn out EVERY burner you place in there! DO NOT change the burners around, it WON'T help and you will damage the entire set.

The replacement parts for this can run anywhere from $5.00 to $60.00. I went to my local appliance store and they charged $45 for just the burner unit and $34 for the receptacle, which had to be ordered. I found the same parts for sale at Amazon. $18 for the burner, and the recpetacle they directed me to another store.

This repair guide is using the GE Electric stove for the picture models.

Remove Tray under stove top

TURN THE POWER OFF TO YOUR STOVE! In most houses, the stove is on it's own circuit breaker. If you are in an older home, you're probably lucky you even have a stove...just kidding! If you had your kitchen updated, every electrician should have wired your stove to its own circuit breaker. Shut off the circuit breaker.

Under the second tray, follow the wires to the switches

Remove all the burners and catch plates under them. You are going to lift the top of your stove up. Once you've done that, see what kind of receptacle you have. You'll now have to shop around to find the part. The local appliance store charged us way too much. Lowe's or Home Depot might not have your parts, or they might. Amazon might have your part and if they don't, they will direct you to someone that will. We could have saved half the purchase price if we'd gone there in the first place.

A quick note The receptacle is wired to the switches at the front of the stove. They complete the entire circuit, so that is the only thing you need to worry about--from the switch to the receptacle.

After the stove top is lifted, you will find another tray under it. If the wires from the receptacles go under the tray to the "on" switches at the front of your stove, you'll have to lift this tray up as well. Remove the tray and any other panels you need to in order to get to the switches.

The backside of the switch harness at the front of your stove

Follow the wires, which should be color-coded for that stove top burner, until you find the switch it hooks to. If you have not purchased the parts yet, go ahead and disconnect the wire from the switch and pull the receptacle from it's aluminum cradle. You'll want these parts to take with you to find their replacements.

note Your new wire receptacle should consist of the housing for the burner to fit snug into, and two wires that extend from the other end. Electricity works in a circle. If the circle is broken, you have a short and that is where the spark comes from- your electrical current was trying to reach the other side and sparked to get there.

If you do have the parts, compare them to the old ones to make sure they are the same. Nothing worse than spending time on a repair with the wrong parts. If you have the RIGHT parts, find the correct end of your wires and just slide it over the terminal at the switch. They might be the screw types. Whatever you have, connect it. It does not matter which one went where. As long as you are using the empty wire terminals you just uncovered with the old wires, you are completing the circle.

Note I have seen some receptacle kits that do not give you enough wire and require you to splice wires together. Not only is that a bad idea, but does not conform to electrical codes requirements and could result in fire. If the new equipment did not come with long enough wire to reach all the way from receptacle to switch, purchase a longer wire at your local hardware store. For a few pennies more you could be saving your family's lives.

Taping down the new wires

Once you have hooked the receptacle ends to the switch harness, tie down the wires alongside the wire bundle until you get to the end.

Fitting receptacle

Attach your burner receptacle to the aluminum clamp.

attach clamp

Attach your aluminum clamp to the stove top.

Step 7

Screw down all the pieces you removed- anything covering the switches and the bottom tray. Put down your stove top and put in place all the shields and burners. Turn the circuit breaker back on for your stove and try it out!