If the Hot Surface light on your stovetop stays on all the time, it’s difficult to tell when a burner is hot. This Sears PartsDirect video shows how to test the hot surface element switches to determine which one is broken. Once you find the offending switch, all you need to do is replace the corresponding surface element to get the Hot Surface light working again on your range.
For more DIY help with your electric or gas range, check out our repair help page for troubleshooting tips and videos, repair guides and error code charts.
2x4 piece of wood
Hi. Wayne here from Sears PartsDirect. Today we’re going to talk about what to do when the Hot Surface light stays on all the time.
A broken hot surface switch on one of the radiant surface elements (also called burners) causes the Hot Surface light to stay on constantly. To find out which surface element to replace, you’ll lift the glass cooktop and test each of the hot surface switches.
You need a Phillips screwdriver and a sturdy prop such as a 2-x-4-piece of wood to prop open the cooktop. You also need a multimeter for the electrical tests.
The cooktop needs to be at room temperature to conduct this test, so let it cool completely before you start.
Next, shut off the house circuit breakers for the range to completely disconnect electrical power.
Open the cooktop to get at surface elements
To get to the surface elements, open the oven door completely and remove the screws from the bottom of the front lip of the cooktop frame. Move the oven door out of the way.
Carefully pull the cooktop forward to release the front lip of the frame from the front cabinet support bracket.
Raise the front of the cooktop slightly to release the frame sides from the front support bracket and then pull the cooktop forward to release the hinge tabs from the slots in the backguard.
Lift the front edge of the cooktop and place the prop where it’s steady, so the cooktop won’t fall. Don’t damage the oven insulation when propping open the cooktop, or you’ll have to replace the insulation.
Testing the hot surface switches
On this range, the black and gray wires connect to the hot surface switch on each of the radiant surface elements.
To test the first switch, use a multimeter set to measure resistance. Pull the black and gray wires off the switch—be careful not to knock the glass cooktop off its prop. Touch one meter probe to each of the switch spades.
If the switch is working, the multimeter will display OL, which means there’s no continuity through the switch. Reconnect the wires to the switch and test the switch on the next element.
If it measures near 0 ohms of resistance through a switch, that hot surface switch is the problem. You’ll need to replace the element that contains this switch.
Reconnect the wires to the switch and reassemble the range until you get the replacement element.
You can still use the range in the meantime. Just be aware that the hot surface light will be on all the time.
Once you receive the new element, follow the steps in our video Replacing a range radiant surface element to install it.
What to do if your range has thermal limiter
By the way, a few ranges have the thermal limiter (which includes the hot surface switch) separate from the surface element.
If you see the thermal limiter listed separately on the parts diagram for your model, you only need to replace the thermal limiter and not the entire radiant surface element.
We hope this video helps you out today. Check out the other videos here on the Sears PartsDirect YouTube Channel and subscribe to be notified when we post new videos.
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