DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum (
-   General Appliance Discussion (
-   -   Old GE Electric Range Problem - [pic included] (

djbig 07-24-2009 11:00 AM

Old GE Electric Range Problem - [pic included]
Hello all,

I have an old GE electric range (~20 years old) and the powers do not come to the heating element.
The problem seems to be that the wiring are burnt out as seen in the picture.

Here's the link to the picture of range:
2009-07-24+12.08.36.jpg (image)

How much does it normally cost to replace that wiring switch and who should I call to have it fixed?


Nestor_Kelebay 07-26-2009 08:51 PM


The problem seems to be that the wiring are burnt out as seen in the picture.
I don't see any problems at all in that picture. The wiring is not burned out. Could you please indicate where you see any problem with the wiring?

What you've taken a picture of is a ceramic insulator. It's simply a porcelain piece that's meant to insulate the connection of the wires to the terminals of the surface element. It is highly unlikely that the problem is inside that insulator, but if you want to , you can check. Simply turn OFF that surface element, pry the two metal clips off both sides of the insulator and it will split into two halves. Take the two halves apart and check to ensure that the wires are tightly connected to the screw terminals of the surface element. If not tighten them. If so, put the two halves of the insulator together over the connection and put the clips back on the insulator.

While you have the insulator open, check for continuity across the two screw terminals of the surface element with an ohm meter to confirm that the surface element is good.

It's been my experience that when a surface element doesn't work, the usual cause is a wire burnt off at the switch, a bad switch, or a bad surface element. What you need to do is find the TWO 40 or 50 amp fuses to your stove in your fuse box and pull out the fuse holder they're mounted in. Or, if you have circuit breakers, trip off BOTH 40 or 50 amp circuit breakers to the stove.

Then move the stove away from the wall, turn it around, take the sheet metal panel off the back of the stove and look for a burned out wire going to the switch that controls that surface element. If you don't see anything, then you need to start testing to find out what the problem is. Unless you're familiar with using a volt meter, then fixing this stove would probably be best left to an appliance repairman.

Blue Jay 07-27-2009 08:06 AM

With the bubbles I see on the element I would say that the element is open, an ohm meter would be the way to check it for sure.

Nestor_Kelebay 07-27-2009 10:51 AM

I thought that was just grease or something.

I agree that it would be a real good idea to take the insulator apart and check for continuity through that surface element. It very well could be a burned out surface element.

djbig 07-28-2009 09:19 PM

Thank you so much for your replies!

I have called a repairman to look at it and was told it would take close to $200 to fix this. He said there was no power coming into the coil.

I took a picture with the ceramic insulator opened up and it looks like the wire broke off.
Here's the link to see the pics: Stove - Google Docs

I didn't fix it because I can't afford to spend $200 at the moment.
#1. Is $200 a reasonable/standard price to get this fixed? How much should I expect to spend on fixing this?
#2. Where can I find a reputable and fair priced appliance repairman? Any recommendations?

Nestor_Kelebay 07-28-2009 11:04 PM

We can't tell if $200 is too high if we don't know what's wrong with the stove and what needs to be done to fix it. But, having said that, I'd say that the worst that could be wrong is that the infinite switch on the console AND the surface element would need to be replaced (and the yellow wire to the surface element repaired with a pigtail.

If there isn't power in those wires, then you'd probably need to replace the switch to that surface element as well.

To be honest, what you should do is get the model number of the stove and find out how much an "infinite switch" is for it. And, stove surface elements typically come in "small" (6 inch diameter) or "large" (8 inch diameter) sizes. Any place that sells appliance parts would give you a price on the kind of switch you need and a replacement small or large surface element as well.

They call them infinite switches because they have an infinite number of positions they can be set to between the "Off" and the "Locked on" setting where the switch sends power to the element continuously.

A "universal fit" infinite switch, will typically cost anywhere from $15 to $25.

Check for continuity through your surface element. If you need a new one, it'll cost anywhere from $10 to $20 too.

If you can locate the fuse holder for your stove in your fuse box, or the TWO breakers to your stove in your electrical panel, and pull your fuse holder or trip your stove breakers, I'd try replacing the switch and surface element (if needed) yourself. The problem is that you'll have to test for 220 volts AC to confirm that the switch is shot, and if you can't get a direct replacement for your infinite switch, and have to put in a universal fit model, there may be a few modifications you'd have to make. Since the surface element is just a single coil, the way to wire up the new switch shouldn't be very hard to figure out. Still, if you don't have any experience in this kind of work, attempting to fix this stove yourself may be beyond your skill level.

The best way I know of to find an appliance repairman that'll give you an honest price is to keep your yellow pages phone directories for the past several years. Every time an experienced appliance repairman quits his job working for someone else and starts his own business, the first thing he wants to be sure of is that his business name is listed in the yellow pages. Otherwise he's sunk because he has to be in the yellow pages before people looking for an appliance repairman will even know he exists. So, by comparing the listings under Major Appliances, Repair in your yellow pages, you can tell who's started their own business recently. And people who do that are concerned that in these tough economic times, that new business might not succeed, so they tend to play it safe and keep their prices reasonable so if the business doesn't succeed, at least they know they honestly gave it their best shot.

Blue Jay 07-29-2009 10:27 AM

The picture looks like just the insulation is bad not the wire itself. Since no power to the coil I would say switch as well.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:47 PM.