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I recently had my bake element fail. I initially thought it was the broil element so both elements have been replaced with new OE parts.

After replacement, the bake element works properly. But the broil element is only warm, not hot. Using the broil element only, the max temp the oven can achieve is 190F (and even that takes a long time). The broil element is acting like it only has 120V instead of the 240V I would expect.

The obvious answer is that I did something wrong, but I'm confused as to what. There are two spade connectors for the broil element, both of which were connected.

Any ideas out there?

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  • A bad connection somewhere. I would first turn off the breaker for the oven and then try to install the element again, first taking a good look at the connections.
    – crip659
    Aug 14, 2023 at 19:13
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    Do you still have the old broiler element? Can you put it back in and see if it works?
    – JACK
    Aug 14, 2023 at 19:15
  • What oven model is this? On some, the broil element is not intended to heat the whole oven, it is only used to broil items placed directly under it, and does not come on, or operates at reduced power, unless the control knob is turned to "Broil".
    – kreemoweet
    Aug 14, 2023 at 19:49
  • @kreemoweet Model # definitely matters. There are many ovens where when initially heating both elements will be turned on to get it to temperature faster. Aug 14, 2023 at 19:50
  • The obvious conclusion for me is that the broil element is of the wrong spec. Aug 14, 2023 at 20:13

1 Answer 1

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If you have the installer's info sheet on the range it should give the wattage of each oven element. If it would give the resistance in Ohm of the elements, then the calculation below would not be necessary.

From the given power of an element in watts W you can calculate the resistance of the element. Measure the resistance of the old element that still works to check your work, then measure the resistance of the one which you think is not working.

For example, in my GE range the broil element is listed as 3400 W and the bake element 2500 W. The formula for resistance given the voltage V and the power P is R = V^2/P. So for 240 V, R = 57600 / P.

The calculated resistance of the broil element: R = 57600 / 3400 = 17 Ohm

The calculated resistance of the bake element: R = 57600 / 2500 = 23 Ohm

EDIT

To estimate the correction for resistance measured cold versus resistance at operating temperature I pulled out the four surface burners and measured the resistance cold (FLUKE 115 TRUE RMS MULTIMETER).

The specs on the installer's sheet for the four surface elements in our GE exposed coil stove (two small surface elements and two large) given on the installer's sheet are: small 1325W 43 Ohm; large 2350W 25 Ohm.

I measured (Ohm) small#1 38.6; small#2 38.1; large#1 23.2; large#2 22.5. So overall the values of resistance measured cold are approx 90 % of the stated value. The large burner coils are 91 % and the small are 89 %.

So to correct the resistance measured cold to the resistance at operating temperature for comparison to specs one would divide the cold meaurement by 0.9.

This correction factor might only apply to the exposed coil type of resistance element. The resistance element type for a ceramic or glass top range might be different because those elements might operate at a higher temperature.

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    The calculation is fine, but some elements change resistance drastically (resistance increases) when they heat. If OP's heating element is this kind then it's not trivial to estimate the wattage of the element from a cold resistance measurement.
    – Greg Hill
    Aug 14, 2023 at 22:09
  • @Greg Hill good call. I measured the resistance cold of the four surface elements in our GE exposed coil stove (two small and two large). The specs given on the installer's sheet are: small 1325W 43 Ohm; large 2350W 25 Ohm. I measured (Ohm) small#1 38.6; small#2 38.1; large#1 23.2; large#2 22.5. So overall the values of resistance measured cold are 90 % of the stated value. The large burner coils are 91 % and the small are 89 %. Aug 15, 2023 at 20:55
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    That's good information - it (yours) doesn't have such a strong temperature coefficient as I would have guessed.
    – Greg Hill
    Aug 15, 2023 at 21:49
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    @GregHill they use a PTC conducting alloy where resistance increases with temp, allowing it to find an equilibrium aside from pure thermal losses only, so that they get (roughly) as hot at 110v as they do at 125v.
    – dandavis
    Aug 15, 2023 at 22:44
  • @dandavis of course the oven elements and the surface elements are operated at 240 V. The range rating sticker on our GE stove states that at 208 V the rating is 10.0 kW and at 240 V the rating is 13.3 kW. These figures mean the mfgr assumes the resistance will be the same at 208 V and 240 V. This is seen by P = V^2/R so if, and only if, R is the same at 208 V and 240 V, would P240, the power at 240 V, be related to P208 by P240 = (240/208)^2 x P208 = 1.154^2 x 10.0 kW = 1.33 x 10.0 kW = 13.3 kW Aug 16, 2023 at 1:17

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