Electric Stove Not Getting Hot? Here’s Why (And How to Fix It)


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When you’re ready to get cooking, your oven and stove are at the heart of the operation. However, when things don’t heat up as they should, you may wonder what to do and how to get things cooking. Unfortunately, several problems may arise with your stove. 

To figure out why your electric stove isn’t getting hot, look for an electric short, problems with the temperature sensor, an issue with the oven control thermostat, a defective surface element switch, blown fuses, issues at the breaker, issues with the knobs, or an engaged self-cleaning feature. 

Here, you will find some of the most common signs of a problem with your electric stove and the best way to fix them. This will help ensure your stove is back up and running quickly. Keep reading to learn more about these common issues and what steps you should take to get things cooking again.  

Electric Stove Not Getting Hot

An Electrical Short in the Burner

If your stove uses the older-style plug-in burners, they can collect moisture and grease in and around the receptacles where the burners plug-in over time. This debris often gets into the power source receptacle. If the build-up becomes significant, it can cause arcing, which creates an intermittent electric short. If the problem continues, the element may burn out completely. 

How to Fix It

  1. Remove the burner.
  2. Clean the tips of the element and inside the receptacle. 
  3. Don’t submerge your burner in the water when cleaning it since the plug-in tips on the element contain porcelain, which absorbs water. 
  4. Never replace the burner without ensuring it is completely dry as wet elements can cause severe problems, including electric shock or irreparable damage to the appliance.  
  5. Prevent cross-contamination issues by returning the heating element to the receptacle it came out of. 
  6. Never line your drip pans with foil as the reflection of the heat can cause hot spots when cooking. 

Here’s a quick video that goes step-by-step through the cleaning process:

The Temperature Sensor 

Your oven may remain cold because of the temperature sensor. This is designed to regulate the temperature inside your oven and is found in most newer models. It works just like the thermostat in your home. 

It is located on the back wall, inside the oven, close to the broiler. The broiler is found near the top wall of the oven. With newer ovens, you may see a fault code displayed. 

How to Fix It

  1. Look at your owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s website to find the proper resistance of your temperature sensor.
  2. Unplug the appliance. 
  3. Use a multimeter to see if the sensor is set at the proper resistance. 

I recommend the AstroAI Digital Multimeter if you think you have a faulty temperature sensor. It’s affordable and gets the job done right.

The Oven Control Thermostat 

Does your oven run cold or hot? Does it fail to heat up at all? The issue may be with the thermostat. Like in your home, your oven’s thermostat is part of the “brain” or control panel in your oven. It regulates the bake and broil elements through several temperature-sensitive contacts that send a flow of electricity into the elements. 

Because the thermostat is not usually to blame for the oven not reaching the right temperature, look at other components before inspecting the thermostat. 

How to Fix It

  1. Unplug your oven.
  2. Use a multimeter to check the thermostat’s contacts for continuity. 
  3. Re-calibrate the adjustment screw on the backside of the thermostat using an accurate thermometer. 
  4. Calibrate, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

Defective Surface Element Switch

The heating element is designed to regulate the voltage in charge of controlling the total amount of heat being displaced to the coils. When the element reaches the right temperature, the switch will turn off the voltage. To maintain the designated temperature, the cycle will continue through the entire cooking process. 

Detective switches may keep the element from working. The good news is, finding out the problem and fixing it is relatively simple. 

How to Fix It

  1. Plug in a similarly sized element. If the element works, the switch is the issue. 
  2. Replace the element switch. 

Fuses 

If your oven has fuses, the fuse may blow if there are issues with the unit’s wiring or another internal component. While fuse issues may be harder to detect, fixing this issue may help repair more than one oven problem. 

How to Fix It

  1. Unplug your stove or oven. 
  2. Find the blown fuse. Usually, the fuses are labeled so you can find the circuit with the issues or the short in the wiring that caused a fuse to blow. 
  3. Don’t change the fuse until the underlying issue with the appliance is discovered. 
  4. When changing the fuse, be sure the new one is the same rating as the original. 

Here’s a quick video that shows how to replace a blown fuse:

Breaker Issues 

Stoves and ovens pull a lot of energy when baking and cooking. Something as simple as a power surge may cause the breaker to trip. Luckily, this is usually a more straightforward fix than some of the other issues on this list. 

How to Fix It

  1. Find your home’s service panel. 
  2. If the breaker is tripped, the switch will be stuck midway between the “off” and “on” positions.
  3. To reset the tripped breaker, push the affected switch all the way over to the “off” position, then back to the “on” position. 
  4. If the breaker continues to trip, help from an electrician may be needed. 

The Position of the Stove and Oven Knobs

Do your oven and stove have manual knobs, rather than the more tech-advanced touchscreen controls? If so, have you recently taken the knows off to clean in and behind them? If so, the knobs may have been replaced incorrectly. 

How to Fix It

  1. Remove all the knobs again.
  2. Look in the manual that came with your appliance to find out the proper way to replace the knobs and dials. 
  3. Replace the knobs in the proper positions. 

The Self-Cleaning Feature Is Engaged 

Does your stove have a self-cleaning feature for the oven? If so, you should check to see if the door lever is in the “unlocked” position. 

Some ovens with this feature have a lever that will lock the door to keep it secure during the cleaning process. If the lever remains in the “locked” position, it may keep the oven door from closing fully. This would let hot air escape while you are cooling, resulting in rare food or longer cook times. 

How to Fix It

  1. Open the oven door slightly.
  2. Look for the indication that the self-cleaning lock is engaged.
  3. Move the handle the opposite direction to disengage the lock feature. 
  4. Test the oven. 

Conclusion

This article provided you with an in-depth look at some of the most common reasons your electric stove may not be heating up, along with some troubleshooting tips to help you find and fix the issue once and for all. 

Make sure to check all the potential problems mentioned above before you try to fix, remove, or repair anything. Also, only replace a part or component in your stove when you are positive that is the cause of the problem. Good luck fixing your stove; we hope you are cooking again soon!

Nicole Sutton

Nicole is a writer from Missouri who enjoys horseback riding, writing in her journal, and watching reruns of Friends.

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