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I have a Kenmore electric range, model 790.94344700. I don't know how old it is; it came with the house.

One of the 9" burners has been driving me insane. It's finicky to get to the temperature I want to begin with. It's a single, standard burner, not one of the power boil, simmer, or dual size burners. Frequently it will unexpectedly jump to high heat and incinerate whatever I was cooking, even though I obviously didn't set it to high heat. Sometimes it will not turn off even though I completely turned it off, and all I can really do is flip the breaker or keep rotating it back and forth to the off position until it turns off. I also noticed just now, while moving the unit to begin inspection, that the burner was slightly warm and I could see the element faintly glowing even though I haven't used the stove in many hours and it was turned off (the "in use" indicator was off as well), so that's awesome.

My guess is that the temperature regulator in the switch has sufficiently corroded or become fouled and thus sticks, or the switch is broken in some other way. However, I don't know for sure or how to verify this. I also don't know what parts to get or where to get it in terms of replacing it.

Any advice?

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You may want to get an Appliance Repairer, they are worth it. Otherwise, you need to take stuff apart (with the breaker[s] off) just to know the right part to get. These are symptoms of a bad switch, it could be the $20 switch or the $90 switch... see

  • Thanks. I was able to find the correct part for a bit cheaper here searspartsdirect.com/kenmore-range-parts/316021501/0022/628/… – HackedByChinese Jan 6 '16 at 9:48
  • Beautiful! Hopefully it gets you back to brand new for a good long time. – Iggy Jan 6 '16 at 13:24
  • Did that part solve your problem @HackedByChinese? – rmp251 Jan 5 at 20:42
  • That should've been it. He had heat, he just didn't have control of it. So, no burner element replacement was needed. The switch or control is the only other part of the equation in this case and he didn't come back with any further issue. – Iggy Jan 6 at 4:51
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The control knob for that element is on the way out the door -- replace it before your stove decides to permanently leave that element on max heat, possibly taking your house with it. (There's nothing else in your average electric range that can cause such a failure.)

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