My Oven (Westinghouse Freestyle) has stopped heating up properly. The problem happened when the safety-switch connected to the switch-box was triggered, not sure of the cause though it was raining heavily at the time, and the oven was on for about 30 minutes.

After switching back the safety switch, the Oven's light/fan/broiler all work, though the fan element doesn't heat up at all. I am thinking it's fixable by replacing the element.

My question is from the pictures, does this wiring look OK to replace an element with? Or did the event which caused the element to go also wreck the wiring. I want to know this so I can avoid replacing the element to find it doesn't fix the problem.


Oven element after detaching from back plate (with fan cover off)

Picture of wires leading to terminal on Right

Wires leading to terminal on left

Picture of right terminal wires

Picture of right terminal wires

  • 1
    The element can be checked where it is, by a careful person with a multimeter. Sep 13, 2020 at 4:05
  • The element should be checked with no power. breaker / safety switch off. The center conductor for cal rods Is usually between 12 ohms and 50 ohms depending on wattage the measurement from the center conductor to the outside should be open or infinite with a normal meter. If you look close the 2 wires are probably connected to the center conductor.
    – Ed Beal
    Sep 13, 2020 at 4:55
  • 1
    they won't be able to do a full insulation test with a multimeter.
    – Jasen
    Sep 13, 2020 at 6:05
  • I was thinking about checking the voltage before buying a new element per the advice here (learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/how-to-use-a-multimeter/…), I have never measured voltage before, it recommends to use a non-contact tester with anything AC. Also the advice here recommends pointing the multimeter at the terminal wires dengarden.com/appliances/… as part of Step 1. Also, if checking the element with the safety switch off, doesn't that mean there would be no voltage sent?
    – Chris T
    Sep 14, 2020 at 8:36

2 Answers 2


The wiring looks alright. the problem is probably either the control switch for the element or the element itself. it's unusual for a bad switch to trip a safety switch so it's probably the element.

  • Given this information I might just buy a replacement element as it is inexpensive and easy to install, then testing will prove whether anything else is at fault. Thanks
    – Chris T
    Sep 14, 2020 at 8:47
  • @ChrisT I would suggest that the insulation on the white wires looks a bit burnt. Since there seems to be a reasonable amount of slack, I'd cut off what looks like damage then strip and crimp on new connectors. It may be just fine as is, but for the cost of a couple of crimp on connectors, replacing them while you've got it disassembled seems like cheap insurance.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 14, 2020 at 16:01
  • I replaced the element in the end, and did not touch the insulation. This was about 13 months ago, and it worked (so indicates the problem was the element). However the other day the exact same thing happened. So either the element only had a year longevity or there is something else causing this. Any ideas? The unit is from 1998 so isn't new, it's a chest height oven.
    – Chris T
    Nov 12, 2021 at 23:24

When the oven in our GE range would not heat I first tested the thermistor which was OK. The fault was in the oven controller module (aka oven timer).

The oven was so old I could not get a new timer or even a rebuilt one. I sent ours to a repair place in Ontario, Canada which specializes in oven timers. They repaired it and returned it promptly giving us another 10 years out of the range. It is still doing fine.

  • 1
    Interesting, The oven timer on my model is a simple knob which you turn manually and then let it tick down to 0. It seems to work in terms of functioning, and isn't necessary to even run. the Oven (i.e. you don't have to set the timer to heat up the oven).
    – Chris T
    Sep 14, 2020 at 8:50
  • 1
    @ChrisT Majority of the timer is able to shut off the heating element. Even though you've never set it, it can fail in such a way to permanently turn off the heating element.
    – Nelson
    Sep 14, 2020 at 9:30
  • In our GE range in service since about 1990 the oven controller and the timer are combined in one electronic module. Sep 14, 2020 at 23:36

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