Advice on repairing/replacing an oven

burundi and I are less than one week into experiencing the joys and wonder of home ownership – so far, we’re up to almost a couple thousand bucks in unexpected repairs, and up to our elbows in various cleaning solutions trying desperately to expunge the mold, mouse droppings, and mildew from the house. Woo hoo!

When we moved in, the oven was broken. Specifically, the bottom heating element was literally broken, looking like it had burnt through in one spot. Having replaced a heating element on an oven before, I thought this wouldn’t be a big deal. I was wrong.

The element is funky: instead of being shaped like a sigma (two parallel lines coming out from the back of the oven and curving in on one another in the front), it’s shaped like a horseshoe (with both ends of the element nearly meeting in the back). Taking the element out involved unfastening the hex-bolts from the back of the oven, and removing the plate holding the element in place, and then unscrewing two wires from the element behind the plate.

I did all that, figuring I could go to a kitchen parts store tomorrow and get a replacement element. Unfortunately, now the range top doesn’t work. Even after I’ve put the broken element back in, the range doesn’t work. The little range lights come on, showing that a burner is in use, but the burners don’t heat up.

We’ve thrown the circuit switch on our circuit board, unplugged the oven and plugged it back in, tried every burner (and the broiler), all to no avail.

My question, then is twofold:

  1. Does anyone know whether this is a simple problem to repair? I’m pretty unfamiliar with machinery, as my terminology above probably shows, but I can do very basic stuff.
  2. If, as I expect, this is a difficult problem to fix, we’re going to try to purchase a new oven. We’re semi-poor, and probably are going to need to spend less than $400 on the oven, including transport and installation (and neither of us have trucks, so we can’t transport it ourselves). Does anyone have recommendations either of specific models or of places online to research ovens? (The city library is closed on Sundays, or else we’d be down there now, looking at Consumer Reports).

One way or another, we’d like ot get this fixed today. Any advice folks can offer would be greatly appreciated.


At that price, I’d try Sears or some other discount appliance place. It sounds like this stove is on its last legs to me and you’re going to end up sinking way too much time and money into it.

I think when I was buying my stove, I looked at (sort of slow, but OK) and googled particular brands on deja news. I eventually overbought by quite a bit, simply because I liked the look of the high-end stove better. But $400.00 can buy you a nice basic stove with the coiled electric burners. Especially if you can track down a Sears “scratch & dent” outlet.

As for the stove repair, the only things i can think of is that the stove itself has a fuse or circuit breaker or, more likely, you did something to the thermostat of the oven (although why that would affect the burners, I dunno).

Mrs. Blue Sky and I finally replaced our 20-yr avocado green stove with a brand new Kenmore unit for about $400. They hauled off the old one.

You may want to consider looking for a used appliance store in your area. I’ve had very good luck purchasing ranges from them (one for the first house we lived in, and one for our current house). I got a pretty nice one (double oven, too, which is nice on Thanksgiving), delivered (and they took our old one away) for under $200.00. That was 6 years ago, and it still works fine.

Now is the time to decide if you want a ‘standard’ oven or something like a comercial over. If it’s the 1st one then I wuld suggest getting a decent one, if it’s the 2nd, I would recomend getting it now or if $'s tight, gettign the old one repaired, or at the very least get a el-chepo one for now.

Either way plan ahead.

I actually think you have a fixable oven here. You just messed up and don’t realize yet what you did wrong.

You really have to analyze every single action you took and look at it a dozen times to see if that caused it. E.g., did one of the screws you took off have a connector on the other side that came off? Etc.

This is a good site for DIY appliance repair.

There should be a basic circuit diagram tucked away inside the oven somewhere. Use a voltmeter, follow the circuit. It’s not that hard. But remember, there’s live AC on the other end of your meter probes. Getting killed fixing an oven makes for a bad obit.

Hi, folks, and thanks! We hunted around a bit online, found some recommendations, and talked with my father, who recently bought a new range himself. In the end, we got a $369 GE range from Lowes.

ftg, it may have been possible to repair the old one – but given that I reconnected the element in exactly the same way as I’d disconnected it, I think something must have burnt out inside the system. I read over the relevant part of that website (thanks, btw – that’s a fantastic link!), and I’d done everything they’d suggested under the “change a basic bake element” section." The part that describes the range’s current problem is:

I suspect that the last sentence is the most relevant, since the lights are working on the range.

Ah, well. It’ll be good to have a new range; at this point, all the appliances in the kitchen are reasonably new, so hopefully we won’t be sinking too much money into the kitchen in the next couple years.

I have Another thread on a new feature of the stove, if anyone’s curious – it’s got a Sabbath Feature, which baffles me.

Thanks again!