Replacing an Electric Stove Heating Element


It's not as hard as you might think!

No appliance lasts forever. And when it comes to DIY fixes for electric stoves, ovens, and cooktops, you might think they are the most intimidating. After all, anything with 240 volts of power surging through glowing, super-hot coiled electric stove burners and big oven heating elements demands healthy respect.

It's those two kinds of elements we want to talk about today. They repeatedly go through heating and cooling cycles, and they take the brunt of bubbling boil-overs and gooey, nasty drips. The stove top coils also get added wear and tear from pots and pans sliding (or banging) on their surfaces. Oven elements can also become melted if your oven has a self-cleaning feature.

So, although today's electric stoves and ranges have a general lifespan between 13 and 15 years, their heating elements do not. Over time, there can be a loss of electrical efficiency, perhaps complete failure, and tragically, even fire.

If your electric stove isn't performing as it should, don't put off dealing with it. The fix may be cheaper than you think! And the improvement in your appliance's performance will save you both time and money.

However, before we get started, let's establish some terms.

  • Oven is the enclosed space where baking and broiling is done. This can be a separate unit like a wall oven or a part of a range/stove.
  • Cooktop or stovetop is the flat surface where pots, pans, and griddles are used. This, too, can be a separate appliance that is placed countertop-level over cabinetry or incorporated into a range/stove.
  • Range or stove combines the oven and the cooktop/stovetop into a single unit.

Electric stove top coils are found on cooktops/stovetops and the top of ranges/stoves. And the oven baking element is in the bottom of an oven whether standalone or a part of a range/stove. They should not be confused with broiler elements or convection elements.

But first, some background.

When was the electric stove invented?

In 1892, Thomas Ahearn filed a Canadian patent for an electric oven. In 1897, William Hadaway received a US patent for an "Automatically Controlled Electric Oven." But it wasn't until electricity became commonly available in the 1930s that electric stoves become a viable alternative to gas ones.

The resistive heating elements used in many devices, including today's stovetop's coiled burners and the oven's baking and broiling elements, are a time-tested technology. In fact, in 1927, the Edison Electric Appliance Company (GE) filed for the trademark name of Calrod for their use of the technology. For those of you who like throwback, old industrial films, check out this 1928 silent film about Calrod. It shows how these branded elements were manufactured in GE's Hotpoint Works plant in California.

How do I know if it’s the element and not something else?

There can be several reasons why your electric stove coil or baking element isn't turning bright orange and giving off heat. Of course, if it's cracked, blistered, or broken, it's obvious. However, some stove top coil elements made after 2018 may only partially turn bright orange and that's by design. There's nothing wrong with those. That's simply the new protocol put in place in 2018 (see "The 2018 update to electric stove top coils" below).

Regardless, replacing the element is inexpensive enough that you should consider doing that first before you call in a repair person.

How to find replacement stove top coils and baking elements

Whether they are from a stove manufacturer or from an aftermarket supplier, all parts will list one or more compatible part numbers. So, if you have the stove's manual and/or parts list, awesome! If you at least have the model number of the appliance, then you're able to start researching online for part numbers. suggests three places to search for model numbers if you don't have the manual:

  • On the bottom, top or sides of the interior door jamb
  • On the metal frame inside the bottom drawer opening
  • Under one of the electric burners on the cooktop

You will find that aftermarket suppliers parts are less expensive than manufacturer-supplied parts. Make sure they are UL or ETL/Intertek listed. That means the part meets industry standards. For example, Certified Appliance Accessory surface burner range elements and oven bake elements are UL listed.

Other things to look for include:

  • Stove top coils are labeled either 6 in. or 8 in. Just think of them as small and large because those numbers are not precise.
  • Stovetop elements also have varying "turns"—the number of times a single coil is spun to create a spiral heating element.
  • If actual measurements are provided, you can compare them against your own.
  • Oven baking elements come in a wide variety of patterns which can help find a match.
  • However, for all elements, there are differing wattages, even if they are similar in shape, size, or turns. You certainly don't want to overload a connection or underpower the element's performance.

Because of all those variables, it's important you choose the right part. Remember, part listings should include the most used industry part numbers and brands to ensure you find a correct match.

Also, a manufacturer may make appliances for several different brands, which is why you may find that GE and Hotpoint are often linked together. Same with Whirlpool, Kenmore, Frigidaire, and Maytag. Of course, some companies switch back and forth between manufacturers, so year matches can be important too.

Finding the right part can take time. More time, in fact, than installing the part, as you're about to discover.

Finally, before you replace any part, watch some online videos so you understand what's involved. And make sure you unplug the appliance AND turn off the circuit breaker. You don't want a burned hand or 240 volts coursing through your body!

Replacing electric stove coils

Stove coils found on modern electric stoves have simple ends that easily plug into basic receptacles.


Courtesy Certified Appliance Accessories

This means they are surprisingly easy to replace. All it takes is a small lift on the coil end opposite from the plug and then a careful tug to remove the old element.


Courtesy Certified Appliance Accessories

Angling the replacement coil the same way, a gentle push snugs its terminal contacts into place. Then the new element can be set back down level.

Much older stoves have ends with screws holding them in place as well as added wiring or insulation. If you have a stove like that, stop and reach out to a professional.

The 2018 regulation update to electric stove top coils

A 2020 report from the National Fire Prevention Agency has some sobering facts. Highlights include:

  • From 2014-2018, US fire departments responded to an estimated average of 172,900 home structure fires per year started by cooking activities
  • These fires caused an average of 550 civilian deaths, 4,820 reported civilian fire injuries, and more than $1 billion in direct property damage per year
  • Ranges or cooktops were involved in the 61% of reported home cooking fires, 87% of cooking fire deaths, and 78% of cooking fire injuries
  • Households that use electric ranges have a higher risk of cooking fires and associated losses than those using gas ranges
  • Unattended cooking was the leading cause of cooking fires and casualties

These kinds of unattended cooking statistics are behind the 2018 regulation change. UL858 60A requires any electric stove that uses coiled cooking elements and is manufactured after June 15, 2018, to pass a specific kind of cooking oil ignition test. The goal is to prevent a pan from exceeding 450°F.

UL 858 Section 60A

Courtesy UL


What this means is that if you have an electric stove with coils made after 2018, there is additional coil technology in play. Some coils may utilize a contact button; others may reduce the heat of the outer coils while leaving the inner ones hot. Yet others may employ a technology buried in the stove itself rather than within the coil.

It should be noted that aftermarket replacement coils are not required to meet the new UL858 60A standards.

Replacing a post-2018 electric stove top burner

If you have a post-2018 stove and need to replace a coil, read up on what technology your stove or coil uses so you can make an informed decision.

If you're happy with the new tech, find it doesn't appreciably slow your boiling times, and the tech is all in the coil, then you probably need to purchase a new part from the manufacturer. However, you may be able to find a third-party coil with similar technology.

If you are not a fan of the new tech or prefer to spend less money, you can use traditional stove top coils like those from Certified Appliance Accessories. Just make sure you match all pertinent part numbers and specs.

Either way, you have options to get your newer electric stovetop back up and running.

Replacing the oven baking element

An oven baking element sits on the bottom of an electric oven. Some may be hidden underneath a covering panel.

oven baking element

Courtesy Certified Appliance Accessories

They come in many different shapes as well as wattages. Like the stove top coils, oven baking elements also have easy-connect ends.

oven elements

Courtesy Certified Appliance Accessories

Because changing them out can be tricky, Certified Appliance Accessories strongly recommends you have a licensed appliance professional do the actual installation. If done incorrectly, it can cause excessive heat, damage your oven, or even cause a fire.

Test the replacement element before you call it a day

Restore power, then turn on the coil or oven. Turn the stove element on high and see if it fully glows. For the oven, set it to 350° and use an oven thermometer to confirm temperature.

If you see a little smoking, that's okay. Most elements come with a factory protective coating. But if there's heavy or continuous smoke after a few minutes, something's wrong. If you can do so safely, unplug the appliance. Call the fire department and kill the breaker.

Don't settle for subpar performance from your electric stove

As you can see, replacing a stove heating element can be a DIY project if you are careful. Take the time to find the right part number, then comparison shop. Be sure to consider Certified Appliance Accessories' electric stove replacement parts. They provide a quick and easy way to replace ones that are damaged, broken, or heavily soiled. Parts include oven baking elementsrange surface elements, and drip bowls. There are even replacement power cords if your old ones appear to be in bad shape. And because Certified elements and drip bowls are designed to fit most modern stovetop and ovens in North America, listings include the most used industry part numbers, brands of ranges, and key measurements to ensure you find a correct match. You can purchase them online at Lowe's, Walmart, Amazon, and other ecommerce sites.

Finally, read all relevant instructions and watch informational videos so you completely understand the steps. You'll be rewarded with a fully functioning stovetop or oven so your kitchen can once again be the hub of home-cooked meals.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational and educational purposes only. Certified Appliance Accessories is not liable or responsible for any damages resulting from or related to your use of this information.