Electric stovetops are convenient and reliable appliances. Nevertheless, things can go wrong with stove burners. Knowing the reasons your stove burner may be acting up can help know where to start troubleshooting. To help you get started, here are some possible reasons why a stove burner is not working:

Loose Plug

If the power plug is loose or your stove isn’t plugged in, the appliance will not work. This is one of the easiest problems to fix. It also means there’s probably nothing wrong with your appliance. Carefully move the stove away from the wall so you can check the plug. If it’s out of the socket, plug it in; if the plug seems loose, push it in all the way. Then turn on the oven.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

Assuming the plug is secured and the cable is in good condition, look at the circuit breaker. Some stove burner cooktops are hardwired to the home electrical system. At the breaker box, look for the breaker that controls the circuit for the stove; switch it off and then back on. The stove should work, but beware there may be an underlying issue that caused the breaker to trip. Watch for any further problems that may warrant calling a technician for repairs.

Surface Element Switch Problem

Each burner is served by a switch that allows voltage to reach the surface element coil. If a stove burner is not working, test the switch by swapping out the surface element with one of the same size. If the other burner doesn’t work, the switch has failed and needs to be replaced.

Faulty Surface Element Board

A control panel regulates power to the cooktop burners. The board has likely failed if more than one burner stops working. A bad relay is another possible cause. The surface element board can be tested with a multimeter; if it doesn’t show a normal reading, you probably need a new board. 

Dirty or Damaged Burner Coil Prongs

To access the prongs, gently lift and slide out the burner coil. Check it for damage. If it appears broken or worn out, the coil must be replaced with a part of the same size. To clean the coil, use water and mild dish soap to remove any residue; then dry the coil before reinstalling it. Burner sockets can become faulty or dirty as well. Cleaning them can restore function; if this doesn’t work, replace the socket.

Broken Infinite Switch

The infinite switch is what allows you to achieve precise temperature settings. If it is faulty, the burners will only heat at one level, as the switch controls a power level dial. A faulty ignition switch can also cause a temperature control problem.

Faulty Control Switch

A control switch issue may not only result in a stove burner not working. It can cause the display or indicator lights to not turn on. A burnt-out bulb in the cooktop can cause similar issues. A repair technician can replace either of these components.

Damaged Heating Element

While a gas cooktop normally produces sparks as it starts up, this is not the case with an electric stove burner. Sparks can mean the unit has been damaged due to high temperatures or heavy objects on top of it. Loose wire connections can cause sparks as well. If you see sparks, you’re in immediate danger of electric shock.

Contact Wilshire Refrigeration & Appliance

We are factory certified to repair leading-brand ranges, stovetops, and ovens. Clients throughout Southern California and Las Vegas can depend on us to quickly resolve the problem when they have a stove burner not working. Our technicians have the highest industry certification and receive continuing education on the latest products and service methods. To get started, request service online or call 800-427-3653.