How to Change a Bake Element in an Electric Oven

An oven with an active element
peapod labs / Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons

An oven element is a simple part that is easy to replace in most ovens and electric ranges. Ovens typically have two elements: one at the top for broiling, and one at the bottom for baking. The bake element usually has metal feet and simply rests on the oven floor. It connects to the back wall of the oven with a plate or bracket held by a couple of screws. Behind the plate, two metal prongs connect to two wires inside the oven. The wires typically have female crimp connectors that slide onto the...MORE element's prongs. 

You can buy a replacement oven element through the oven manufacturer or through online appliance parts retailers. All you need is the appliance's model number. This should be printed on a metal plate that's located in one of ​several places: 

  • on the oven door jamb, at the top, sides or bottom, when the door is open
  • on the frame below the door, when the bottom drawer is pulled out
  • under a burner on an electric cooktop, if the burners are removable
  • under the cooktop cover, if it can be lifted up
  • on or in the vent duct, on models with down-draft venting

 

Warning: Electric ovens and ranges use 240 volts and up to 50 amps of electricity and can deliver a deadly shock if you touch the element wiring while the power is on. Unplug the appliance from the wall outlet before working on the element. If the appliance is hard-wired (no plug-in cord), turn off the oven's circuit breaker and test the wiring for voltage before touching any wires. 

Supplies Needed

  • Screwdriver
  • Replacement oven bake element (specific to oven model)
  • Non-contact ​voltage tester (as needed)
  • Needlenose pliers (as needed)
  • Electrical or masking tape (as needed)
  • 01 of 06

    Replacing an Oven Bake Element: Step 1

    Make sure all of the oven or range controls are OFF. Unplug the appliance at the wall outlet. On freestanding ranges, the cord is usually accessible if you remove the bottom drawer completely and reach through the drawer cavity from the front. 

    On hardwired ranges and ovens (or if you can't reach the cord), turn off the appliance's circuit breaker in your home's breaker box. It will be a double-pole breaker, typically labeled for 30, 40 or 50 amps. You must test the wires (step 3) to...MORE confirm the power is off before touching them.

  • 02 of 06

    Replacing an Oven Bake Element: Step 2

    Open the oven door and remove all of the oven racks. Locate the mounting plate or bracket at the rear of the faulty bake element. Remove the screws securing the plate to the oven wall, using a screwdriver.

    Note: Some elements connect to the oven in two places. In this case, each end of the element will have its own mounting plate and will connect to one wire inside the oven. 

  • 03 of 06

    Replacing an Oven Bake Element: Step 3

    Gently pull the element away from the back wall of the oven. Slide the element toward you just a couple of inches, so you can see the wires connected to the element. The wires may be surrounded by insulation, which may pull out a bit; this is normal. Confirm that the circuit power is off by touching the probe of a noncontact voltage tester to each of the wire ends. There should be no voltage present. If the tester detects any voltage, you have not shut off the correct breaker. Turn off the...MORE correct breaker in the breaker box and test the oven wires again. 

  • 04 of 06

    Replacing an Oven Bake Element: Step 4

    Carefully disconnect each wire connector from the element. You may be able to pull them off with your fingers, or you can use needlenose pliers. Pull only on the metal connector; never pull on the wire itself. Make sure each wire will not slip back into the oven before letting it go. If necessary, temporarily tape the wire to the oven wall with electrical or masking tape. Remove the old element from the oven. 

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Replacing an Oven Bake Element: Step 5

    Install the new oven element by sliding each wire connector onto one of the element probes. Use pliers, if necessary. Make sure the probe is fully inserted into the connector. Slide the element into place so the mounting bracket is against the oven wall and the screw holes are aligned.  

  • 06 of 06

    Replacing an Oven Bake Element: Step 6

    Secure the element mounting plate with the screws. Plug the oven into the wall outlet or turn on the circuit breaker to restore power. Put the bottom drawer back into place (if you removed it) and the oven racks back into the oven. Turn on the oven to BAKE to check the new element for proper operation. It should glow with a consistent bright-orange color while heating.