My electric stove won't heat--anyone want some uncooked burgers?
February 25, 2014 5:27 PM   Subscribe

I just went into my kitchen to start supper, and found that neither the burners nor the oven of my electric stove will heat. Everything looks normal, and the element on button is lighting up, but there's no heat at all, and the hot surface button doesn't light. I used the oven last night, and the stovetop this morning, and all was well. When I realised it wasn't working, I went and flipped the breaker switch, off and back on, just in case that was the issue, but that didn't fix anything.

The stove is an electric glass-topped Frigidaire. It's built into the surrounding counters, and is relatively new--probably five to eight years old.

Is there anything obvious I should try to fix this before I take the (dreaded) plan of last resort and call the landlord? I would strongly prefer to fix this myself, or at least feel secure that I've exhausted all the DIY possibilities, before calling someone.
posted by MeghanC to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
It's not that difficult to open most modern stoves. You may have a blown fuse or computer board/controller. It is possible to repair those as a layman but you will have to cough up $75+ depending upon your model.
posted by unixrat at 5:35 PM on February 25, 2014

If the element on button lights up, the stove is getting power, so the breaker switch probably won't do much.

If you have a model name and number for the stove, you might look at Frigidaire's web site for the owner's and service manuals.

If there's an error code or anything printed on the control display on your stove, or other symptom description, maybe you can line that up with the troubleshooting entry table they usually print in these manuals.

Otherwise, if the stove is getting power but not heating elements, then you're probably stuck calling the landlord to call a repair shop.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:37 PM on February 25, 2014

If you're renting and you're not at fault, in many states, it's the landlord's responsibility to repair/replace the appliances that came with the unit. If it were me, I'd have no fear opening it up and looking for obviously blown components, but to be sure that it gets fixed right (albeit not soon), you get the landlord in on this one.
posted by plinth at 5:38 PM on February 25, 2014

Ugh, that's kind of what I was afraid of, but was hoping I was wrong. Thanks for the input.
posted by MeghanC at 6:10 PM on February 25, 2014

If there's a timer function make sure to reset or disable it and see what that does.
posted by The Monkey at 7:30 PM on February 25, 2014

I'd take another look at your breaker panel.

Sometimes a tripped breaker isn't obvious because it doesn't move very far when it trips-- and it's conceivable the indicator lights are on a separate 120V circuit.

Look for a breaker which appears to be in the On position but isn't quite lined up with the other breakers in the same column (if there are any others in the same column).
posted by jamjam at 7:51 PM on February 25, 2014

Seconding that you should check the timer and the clock. I've had ovens where nothing will function (although the lights will come on) without the clock being set to something, and the timer being off. The timer can get knocked on, which stops the oven from working. Or the clock can end up flashing in an off position after a power cut, and the oven won't work again until the clock is reset. Weird design, but I've seen it more than once.
posted by lollusc at 2:15 AM on February 26, 2014

This might sound a bit silly, but is the oven door locked? I encountered a similar scenario once, and it was just that simple. I only figured it out after I was done having a panic attack over repairs/replacement costs on a relatively new stove.
posted by Violet Femme at 6:23 AM on February 26, 2014

Is the breaker a proper, single 220 switch? Or is it a set-up with two 110 breakers tied together? I know that's pretty much frowned-upon today, but I have seen it done, especially in older breaker panels.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:53 AM on February 26, 2014

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