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I have an Inglis Citation Programmable Cooking Self Cleaning Oven stove model IUP 37500. It has two "high speed" and two "simmer" burner elements on the stove top.

Lately it seems that the "high speed" elements don't heat much on a low setting, or they take a long time to heat up. Once they heat up they seem fine.

Do these burner elements wear out in any way, such that they take a lot longer than they should to heat up?

The elements still heat up to full temperature especially on high. I checked the resistance of each of the four elements and they range from about 15-50 ohms.

  • Have you, after switching off the circuit that the oven is on, checked that the electrical connection to the mains is secure and in good condition? Does the oven still heat up as quickly as it used to? – Andrew Morton Jan 3 '17 at 18:47
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They can indeed wear out, though it's much more exciting than what you describe - when the element in my oven (different location, same tech, 40+ years old) blew, it made a lovely arc, and I've heard people describe the same alarming thing happing on the stovetop, sometimes burning a hole in a pot.

I think what you are describing sounds more like the connectors that the elements plug into being dirty, worn, or generally connecting poorly - and once they start doing that, the connector heats up more, and that makes it more prone to corrode more, relaxes the springs, etc. making the problem worse.

There could also be a problem with the "proportional controller" which is what the setting dial adjusts - essentially a timer that sets the element on all the time on high, and turns it on and off when on lower settings, with longer off times and shorter on times at lower settings.

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On our 25-year-old GE slide in range, one of the small burners does not heat at all on a low setting, but as near as I can tell it works fine above that. I attribute this to the controller failing to have any on duty cycle on the low settings. I think this is an expected failure mode for these controllers, and I don't think it is dangerous or is leading to damage to the controller or to other components. The one that is failing is the one we use the most.

If this failure were due to a high resistance connection at some point, localized heating at that point would occur and advertise itself.

I expect that the speed of getting hot of one of these elements that is failing to work properly on low would be unaffected if it is turned to the highest setting.

  • The elements may be prone to getting up to steadystate heat a little slower with time as the element filling may consolidate a bit and the thermal contact with the heating wire and the outer casing is reduced a bit. This effect would be most prononced at low settings as steaty state may not be achieved for a while with the low duty cycle. An ageing controller is a more likely candidate though. – KalleMP Jan 4 '17 at 6:38
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    I swapped the two small burner coils. The location which didn't heat at low before still doesn't. The location which did heat on low still does. Conclusion is that the heating elements themselves are not at fault. – Jim Stewart Jan 4 '17 at 18:42
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    Checking our 25-year-old GE range more closely I find that the location previously identified as bad has lost about 1/3 of its range on the low end. Each of the other three has lost 1/9 to 1/7 of its range. I guess all the controllers are losing the low end. Four years ago the oven controller/timer failed (not available anymore). I sent the controller out for repair ($126) and it has worked fine since. I don't think we will be replacing burner controllers (large 2350 W 240 V $68 ea; small 1500 W $83 ea). – Jim Stewart Jan 4 '17 at 19:22
  • Jim, after market controllers may be an option for you, the basic duty-cycle controllers probably have only a couple of popular electrical variants and then another couple of mechanical arrangements. You may find a on-line shop with a compatible part that you could swap out yourself with care. – KalleMP Jan 7 '17 at 20:02
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    I may just get a new GE part for the one burner with the most loss. My wife doesn't want me to even do that, she thinks (correctly) then I will want to use the old range longer and she wants to get a new one "in a year". – Jim Stewart Jan 7 '17 at 22:27

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