February 20, 2015

How to replace a range solid surface element

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a range solid surface element

This step-by-step DIY repair guide explains how to replace a solid surface element on a range. A sold surface element is a solid metal disc that's mounted on the cooktop surface of the range. Ribbon heating coils under the solid metal disc transmit heat to the surface of the disc and then to the cookware. Replace the sold surface element using a manufacturer-approved replacement part if it's physically damaged or if it's not heating even though it's receiving the right voltage through the surface element switch.

Use this basic procedure to replace a solid surface element in Kenmore, GE and Whirlpool ranges.

Quick links
Tools required
Phillips screwdriver
1/4-inch nut driver
Work gloves
Sturdy prop such as a heavy stick or piece of wood
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less

Instructions

  1. 01.

    Turn off power to the range

    Unplug the range or shut off the circuit breaker for the range.

    Tip: If you pull out the range to unplug it, set cardboard on the floor in front of the range to prevent scratching the flooring.
  2. 02.

    Open the cooktop

    Open the oven door completely to access the screws under the front lip of the cooktop. Remove the screws and set them aside. Remove any side trim pieces, if necessary.

    Carefully lift the front edge of the cooktop and prop it open. Place the prop where it's steady so the cooktop won't fall. 

  3. 03.

    Disconnect the wires

    Take a digital picture of the wires attached to the solid surface element or tag them with labeled masking tape so you can connect them correctly to the new element.  Carefully remove the wires from the element.

  4. 04.

    Remove the solid surface element

    Remove the screws that secure the mounting bracket to the sides of the solid surface  element.  Pull the mounting bracket off the disc heating element and set it aside.

    Pull the surface element up and out of the top of the cooktop.

  5. 05.

    Install the new solid surface element

    Lower the new disc heating element into place in the cooktop. Properly position the mounting bracket on the solid surface heating element and secure it with the mounting screws. Firmly tighten the screws.

  6. 06.

    Connect the wires to the new element

    Using the digital image or marked tape as a guide, carefully connect the wires to the new element.

  7. 07.

    Reattach the cooktop

    Carefully remove the prop that's supporting the cooktop and lower the cooktop into place.  Replace the mounting screws in the front lip of the cooktop and in any trim you removed.

  8. 08.

    Restore power to the range

    Plug the range back into the electrical wall outlet or turn on the circuit breaker. If you pulled out the range to unplug it, push the range into position and ensure that the rear leveling foot is properly engaged in the anti-tip bracket.

Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.

Symptoms common to all ranges

Choose a symptom to see related range repairs.

Main causes: faulty temperature sensor, electronic control board problem, control thermostat failure, weak burner igniter, oven door problem
Main causes: broken broiler element, weak or broken boil burner igniter, control system failure, faulty temperature sensor, wiring failure
Main causes: bad bake element, broken burner igniter, control system failure, blown thermal fuse, faulty temperature sensor, wiring failure
Main causes: power supply failure, blown thermal fuse, bad relay control board, damaged terminal block, wiring failure
Main causes: broken oven door lock assembly, wiring failure, electronic control board problem
Main causes: power supply problem, control thermostat or electronic control board failure, broken element, bad burner igniter
Main causes: food splatters, spilling food on the oven door, allowing liquid to drip through oven door vent when cleaning the door

Repair guides common to all ranges

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your range.

July 20, 2018
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a range oven door switch

The oven door switch detects whether the oven door is closed and helps control the oven light. Replace the switch if it doesn’t control the oven light properly.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
February 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a range oven door lock assembly

Oven door not locking? You can replace the lock assembly in less than 30 minutes. Here's how.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all ranges

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your range.

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