I live in an apartment building that is 100 years old. My electric range burners don't all work the same way and they have hot spots on the elements. I only use one element as the others can't be trusted. Even on the element I use, food has to be watched carefully as it will burn in one spot even on a medium setting. The oven is unpredictable even after calibrating the temperature as best I can. I have been trying to figure this out. The landlord replaced the very old electric range with another used range. The problems are are the same on both ranges. The outlet for the range is hanging out from the wall. I have no access to the circuit breakers or power box. I tried to explain to the landlord that it is very unlikely that 2 ranges would have the same problem unless it is related to the power source. Any electricians out there who knows the answer to this? Thanks!

  • 1
    This isn't enough information for even a guess. Please add: the country you're located in, the name and model of the two ranges, and pictures of both the outlet where the range(s) connect, as well as the range's plug itself. It'd also help to know if the ranges in other apartments operate correctly on all elements. Commented May 18, 2021 at 22:54
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    Sounds like the elements need to be replaced with new ones. Most just pull out and new ones pushed in. The hanging outlet is not code and needs to be fixed.
    – crip659
    Commented May 18, 2021 at 22:55
  • Picture of the range would be nice. Does it turn red unevenly? What do the elements do that can't be trusted? Might be the cookware?
    – rogerdpack
    Commented May 18, 2021 at 23:13
  • What shape/size are the hotspots on the elements, and where are they located WRT the center of the element? (You may want to rent an IR camera from the local tool-rental shop for this, even, although you can do a rough measurement with a pyrometer and some time/patience) Commented May 18, 2021 at 23:57
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    Not the power source, just old, broken ranges.
    – user69795
    Commented May 19, 2021 at 0:21

1 Answer 1


Electric coil elements with "hot spots" are failing and should be replaced with new ones, not a different range with old ones (possibly the same old ones, if they swapped parts from one to the other, as they are pretty interchangeable and your landlord reads as "cheap".) When they fail all the way, the arc can blow a hole in the bottom of a pot...just not a fun thing to let happen, particularly for a part that's typically $10-$12 or so.

An "unpredictable" oven is vague as heck, but typically you need an oven thermometer to hit temperatures reliably on any oven you don't already know the mapping of "dial to reality" for, as they are rarely accurate. I've had an oven element blow once, which was quite the show, since it arced wonderfully without exceeding the amperage of the range breaker, so it just kept arcing. I was happy that I was in the the kitchen and heard, then saw, it so I could shut it down. It was not subtle.

The range outlet hanging from the wall (or the power supply in general) would not affect either of these, but does reinforce the "cheap or outright slumlord" impression you're giving of your landlord. Often the only real solution to that is finding a new place to rent, though sometimes you can get a tenants rights organization to help you in attempting to fight with them, but it's often a losing (or pyrrhic) battle.

  • Some jurisdictions have laws which require landlords who provide cooking facilities (here, stoves) to provide working appliances. Such laws sometimes give tenants considerable leverage to force compliance. Commented May 19, 2021 at 3:17
  • Not only that, but coil "burners" are consumable parts, very cheap and easily replaced... and it's the position of some landlords that these are like light bulbs and tenants should be responsible for changing them as they fail. Commented May 19, 2021 at 3:35

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