Common Cooktop Parts Glossary

Browse our common parts glossary for helpful definitions and explanations of common cooktop parts at Sears PartsDirect. We have a list of common parts and their functions to better help you understand the ins and outs of your cooktop.

Coil surface element

The coil surface element—also known as the coil element—plugs into the terminal block in an electric cooktop. It's controlled by a surface element switch (also called a surface burner switch or infinite burner switch) and sits above a drip pan. It heats that location on the cooktop.

Electronic control board

The electronic control board is a circuit board that regulates the electric current going to the surface elements to control the heat. When you choose a heat setting, the electronic control board receives signals from the control panel, to determine the level of heating for the elements.

Gas surface burner head

The gas surface burner head sits above the orifice and distributes the gas evenly around its edge to produce a uniform burner flame.

Glass top

The glass top of ceramic glass cooktop provides a flat, smooth cooking surface. The heating elements attached under the cooktop provide heat.

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Limiter

The limiter is a limit switch on a radiant element that shuts off the element to protect the ceramic glass cooktop from overheating. One some models, the limiter can be replaced as a separate component, but on some it's incorporated into the element. If a surface element fails to heat, or the limiter isn't regulating the maximum temperature properly, replace the limiter.

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Power cord

The power cord connects the cooktop to the wall electrical outlet. One end of the power cord has prongs that fit the electrical socket. The other end of the power cord connects to power supply wires in the cooktop.

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Pressure regulator

The gas supply line for the cooktop connects directly to the pressure regulator. The pressure regulator is a mechanical device that reduces the incoming gas pressure to a safe and constant level for the cooktop burners.

Radiant surface element

The radiant surface element is mounted on the bottom of a ceramic glass cooktop and provides heat for that area of the cooktop. It's controlled by a surface element switch (also called a surface burner switch or infinite burner switch). The radiant surface element has a limit switch that shuts off the element to protect the ceramic glass cooktop from overheating.

Spark igniter electrode

The spark igniter electrode provides an ignition spark to light a surface gas burner. It's an insulated electrode that sends a spark to the burner head when the spark module provides voltage. It sparks with a ticking sound when you turn the control knob to the Lite position.

Spark igniter switch

The spark igniter switch, or surface burner igniter switch, is mounted on the burner gas valve. When activated, it sends a signal to the spark module. The spark module sends voltage to the electrode which sparks or ticks when you turn the control knob to the Lite position.

Spark module

The spark module receives signals from the burner switches. When a burner control knob is in the Lite position, the spark module provides voltage to the burner igniter electrodes and lights the surface gas burner.

Surface element receptacle

The surface element receptacle is the heavy-duty wire receptacle for the coil surface element. It's under the cooktop at an opening for a coil surface element. The connection prongs of the coil surface element plug into the surface element receptacle to provide electrical power to that coil surface element. The wires that are connected to the receptacle go to the burner switch that turns the coil surface element on and off and also controls the heat level.

Surface element switch

The surface element switch (also called a surface burner switch or infinite burner switch) is mounted on the control panel of an electric range or cooktop. It's an electrical switch that turns on and off the associated surface element and also controls the how much heat the element produces.