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I have a fan oven at home that's only a few years old. About six months ago it started intermittently emitting a horrific sound, that I was able to trace to the fan at the back of the oven scraping against the heating element that surrounds it.

Closer inspection suggested that the heating element had warped, so I bought a replacement online and fitted it.

So far so good, until a few weeks ago when the same sound started. Same problem, but this time I'm just not able to get the heating element into a sensible position.

The photo below shows (with a panel removed) where the heating element is scraping against the fan (Note that this photo was taken after I had fitted the new element, and all was well).

Scraping issues

The small screw in the bottom-right corner allows for (limited) adjustment of the shape of the heating element.

Adjusting the heating element

And there are three clips that hold the two windings of the heating element in position with respect to one another (one of which also has the adjustment screw mentioned above attached).

Three clips

The heating element is attached to the back of the oven by the flat silver plate in the top-left corner, and there's no scope for adjustment there.

Can anyone suggest what is going on here? How roughly can I attempt to manoeuvre the element into position before I damage it?

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It sounds like the problem might be with the fan. You may need to access the fan from the back (outside) of the oven; or maybe to access the fan you would unscrew the screws circled in red.

enter image description here

Edit- If the fan is not the problem (and the warranty is expired) then I would order a couple more of those retaining clips. If the clips don't come with screws, then you could probably use high temperature screws (like for stoves).

Edit2- Manuvering the element while is it hot and pliable would be the best way to avoid cracking it. Generally speaking, this is kinda dangerous; if you do this you should be prepared. Have a friend ready to call for an ambulence. Of course you should wear gloves. And if you don't get hurt, you might still need to order a new element.

But (that being said) you could try heating it up and manipulating it with a couple pairs of pliers or channel locks. After repositioning the element and allowing it to cool off, you would then intall the extra clips.

Edit 3 if the price for the element is cheap, then I would get another element rather than try to fix the old one... or if you tell them it warped after a couple weeks, they might give you a new one or some kind of discount.

  • I'm not sure what those screws unscrew... When I replaced the heating element I went in from the back of the oven: there's a door that hinges open and you can access the screws in the top-left corner (that hold the silver plate in place) through small holes in the insulation. The issue to me seems that the heating element is forming an oval shape rather than a circle... – Richard Everett Jun 14 '16 at 21:27
  • @RichardEverett I see this, but did you check to see if the fan was bent or missing a screw, or basically just off center? I would try to locate the fan. – Ben Welborn Jun 14 '16 at 21:31
  • I think that the fan is correctly aligned, but will check later in the week. – Richard Everett Jun 14 '16 at 21:31
  • The element was pretty cheap, and fitting it was easy (once I'd figured out how). Annoyingly I seem to have lost the records of where I purchased it from, and I'm reluctant to just buy another without understanding what went wrong with this one (since it could just happen again). – Richard Everett Jun 14 '16 at 22:07
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    @RichardEverett As the element heats up, it expands and unwinds. I have had (and have seen elsewhere) this same issue with many stove ranges; the coil often breaks free from it's base and has trouble fitting in the "element well" (drip pan area, it's the technical name for the hole on the range). When the element is hot, it is a little softer (than when it's cold) and can (maybe) be bent. I've had practice (I've worked in a forge), but it's okay if you're not comfortable doing that. In essence my answer is simply to batten it down (if you can't adjust the fan). – Ben Welborn Jun 15 '16 at 12:29
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In the end we got a local cooker repair person out to help solve this problem. He fitted a new heater element, and also trimmed about 3mm from the tips of the fan blades.

Fan blade tip

  • Presumably you saw Neil's comment as an answer -- did it keep working? I'd have looked into bending/spacing (with washers) the clips. – Chris H Dec 8 '17 at 16:51
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Unless they cut of the EXACT same weight of metal from each blade then it will be unbalanced now and the fan bearing will eventually let go. I really can't believe a repairer did that, lol.

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