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When oven coils ignite …

So, when your oven makes a weird sound and you look inside to find a little flame coming from a hole in the coil, does that mean you should call a repairman or plan on replacing the whole unit?

Anyone qualified to help me mentally prepare for how big of a hit the ol’ credit card is going to take when Daugherty’s opens on Monday, chime in .

47 Comment(s)

  1. If it’s electric you can just buy a new element and should be able to find one online. They even sell them for older models. I’ve never seen a hole like that in a element. Wow! Cool.

    Wes Scott | Feb 13, 2011 | New Comment
  2. I guess for starters I need to get my terminology down. So, it’s not a coil, it’s an element?

    (Clearly I’m out of my element.)

    Paul Lundgren | Feb 13, 2011 | New Comment
  3. Is it gas or electric? If it’s gas I wouldn’t use it and I’d shutoff the gas supply. You don’t want weird noise and odd little flame to become LOUD weird noise and neighborhood-enveloping explosion.

    dbb | Feb 13, 2011 | New Comment
  4. It is electric, and I’m not using it until the problem is solved.

    And thanks, Wes. It seems a heating or bake “element” is indeed the correct term.

    Maybe I can solve this problem for $60 plus labor.

    Paul Lundgren | Feb 13, 2011 | New Comment
  5. About a year ago, we had a heating element basically disintegrate in our oven. Went to Daugherty’s with the model number in hand, and was able to get a replacement for about $50, like you’ve posted above. It was very easy to replace — basically just unscrew and plug it in.

    MJ | Feb 13, 2011 | New Comment
  6. Like above, around 50 bucks, easy to replace. I just did this past November and got the element from Dey’s Appliance Store on Airpark Blvd as well.

    Joe | Feb 13, 2011 | New Comment
  7. I’ll fix it for some oatmeal chocolate chips cookies.

    Cory Fechner | Feb 13, 2011 | New Comment
  8. I’m with the others, I think it’d be pretty easy to replace. Or is the new element different than the original? The diagram you posted says you’re replacing a plug-in element (easy) with a hard-wired element (a little harder). Even so there’s probably ample instructions on the internet somewhere. It really is a wonderful thing. I managed to replace a t-stat on my dryer. Something I never would have attempted if not for the step-by-step instructions I found on an appliance forum. Good luck!

    Chris | Feb 13, 2011 | New Comment
  9. Cory,

    I’ll take you up on the oatmeal cookies. In fact I’ll scare you up some cookies for just coming to look at our old model and tell us whether or not it is worth saving. We’re having an eerily similar problem to Paul’s.

    Balcum’s was my go to for this sort of thing for about 10 years but they seem to be under different management and I’ve had bad experiences lately. Anyone else experience similar?

    I like Daugherty’s and I really like Johnson Mertz but not sure either of them are in my price range. Then again, not sure a new/used oven is in my budget either.

    wildgoose | Feb 13, 2011 | New Comment
  10. I replaced ours successfully, and I’m pretty much an idiot.

    The one thing I’d note is that at least one how-to website I consulted in advance mentioned that it was wise to make sure that the wires that the element plugs into didn’t fall through the back of the oven when you unplug it. I think I used some pliers to make sure that didn’t happen--piece of cake.

    The Big E | Feb 13, 2011 | New Comment
  11. Easy fix.

    Lojasmo | Feb 13, 2011 | New Comment
  12. This is a heartening thread.

    Lucie | Feb 14, 2011 | New Comment
  13. http://www.applianceaid.com/bakelement.html

    Appliance aid dot com has saved my bacon many times.

    brian | Feb 14, 2011 | New Comment
  14. I agree on applianceaid.com. In one month last summer I used it to order parts and fixed the washing machine and the Swedish dishwasher, saving us gobs of cash and earning massive spousal credit units. I used those up last Homegrown, so I wish something else would break that is dramatic and easy to fix, before May.

    Baci | Feb 14, 2011 | New Comment
  15. I’m not sure if my element is a plug-in element or a hard-wired element, but I think it’s hard-wired, based on the fact that it doesn’t look easy to just unscrew the bastard.

    It looks like I need some funky square-ended screwdriver tool. I’d like to at least get the old one out so I can have it with me when I shop for the new one. (Keeps me from having to answer questions beyond “Which one?” “This one.”)

    The graphic of an element in my comment above is not exactly the part I need, just something that illustrates what an element is.

    Paul Lundgren | Feb 14, 2011 | New Comment
  16. I have a set of square bits to loosen that, looks fairly standard. Have you web searched for the element by model number make of the oven?

    Baci | Feb 14, 2011 | New Comment
  17. Of course this piece of crap doesn’t have a model number on it anywhere, so I’m screwed on that front.

    Paul Lundgren | Feb 14, 2011 | New Comment
  18. When you do unbolt the element, be aware that there are a couple of wires attached — most likely some ind of spade connector. Grab the wire with something like a hemostat so that when you disconnect the wire from the element that the wire doesn’t slip into the hole. If it does, the oven will need to be pulled away from the wall so you can take the back off.

    Timk | Feb 14, 2011 | New Comment
  19. Oh, I’ve got the back off already and the entire kitchen turned sideways.

    Paul Lundgren | Feb 14, 2011 | New Comment
  20. This seems like something that has potential as a web video. Anyone there to document your foray into appliance repair?

    Chris | Feb 14, 2011 | New Comment
  21. I’m at this solo, Chris, trying to get it done today as a sort of West-Duluth-style Valentine for my true love. “Guess what honey? I fixed the oven. Now make me dinner.”

    It seemed like the next logical move was to go to Menards and buy square-recess screw drivers of every available size.

    The #1 seems to be the right fit, but of course it’s just stripping the little square into a circle and not budging it at all.

    I guess I should return the tools and just buy some nice flowers already.

    Paul Lundgren | Feb 14, 2011 | New Comment
  22. An odd set of square drivers makes a nice gift, too.

    pH | Feb 14, 2011 | New Comment
  23. I believe they use those hex headed screws so only serviceman can do it and charge us about $50 bucks an hour! But I think if you find the correct element you can do it. Go to the hardware store and get the proper screwdriver or even one that goes on a socket driver. There is always Wikihow! I love the Internet as I’ve fixed cars from advice online. Save the money and DIY!

    Wes Scott | Feb 14, 2011 | New Comment
  24. That close up of your oven certainly looks like a regular square drive. Is it just stuck in there really good from years in place? Well if it doesn’t work, maybe she’ll still admire the effort and make you some Hot Pockets in the microwave.

    Sorry for the double post (I think) my Blackberry told me that my post was unsuccessful. Not sure why my phone and this site don’t get along. Hopefully it will be a moot point when I switch to an iPhone in a week or so.

    Chris | Feb 14, 2011 | New Comment
  25. WD-40 that mofo!

    Baci | Feb 14, 2011 | New Comment
  26. FWIW

    Seconds Dey Appliance -- the people there are good, and can often can tell you how to replace the part as well. I’ve even just brought the old/dead part in and they knew what I needed (w/no model info).

    Another bit on the Model Number, on several ovens I’ve owned, the model info can be found inside of the oven door (on the oven, not the door) upper right corner on a little metal tag or kind of stamped/engraved in.

    ruby2sd4y | Feb 15, 2011 | New Comment
  27. Apparently when something is subject to intense heat, like an oven, that will make unscrewing things more difficult. I guess WD-40 will be my next move … hopefully there’s no chemical in WD-40 that will spark up when subjected to 450-degree heat if I ever get the thing working again.

    I called Daugherty Appliance for advice on locating the model number. It’s not inside the door or anywhere else. I’ve basically got to get the old element out and bring it in to be sure I’m getting the right replacement.

    Paul Lundgren | Feb 15, 2011 | New Comment
  28. You may want to try that liquid silicone lubricant (comes in pen-type for pinpoint application) or Liquid Wrench -- supposed to be non-flammable vs WD-40. Works a charm on stuck stuff.

    ruby2sd4y | Feb 15, 2011 | New Comment
  29. Yup: get some PB blaster or some other breaker fluid. Spray the shit out of the bolts. Grab a cup of coffee and wait. An hour later spray it again. Return the screw drivers, and buy a set of square bits, which are cheaper. Return home. Find the bit that fits, turn counter clockwise. Voila!

    Lojasmo | Feb 15, 2011 | New Comment
  30. I agree with ruby2sd4y. WD-40 is essentially worthless. Does nothing.

    Carla | Feb 15, 2011 | New Comment
  31. I’ll be back on the job tomorrow and spray that sucker with something and see how it goes.

    Paul Lundgren | Feb 15, 2011 | New Comment
  32. WD-40, when applied properly works magnificently, but yeah, it’s flammable, but it should work to free a seized bolt or coupling … when (if?) you do get it taken down, use some neverseize, and you won’t have that problem again.

    Two: give the square driver a whack or two with a hammer while it’s in the bolt. That might also knock it free.

    Dude, seriously just call me next time.

    Three: if and when you get the thing switched out, for pete’s sake, hose down all the couplings and connections with Formula 409 and watch for bubblies.

    Nevermind. It’s electric.

    Meh.

    zra | Feb 15, 2011 | New Comment
  33. WD-40 is essentially kerosene with propane for propellant. It’s kind of dangerous if you think about it. JB80 is supposed to be safer, but I don’t know its composition. Amsoil makes a similar, though synthetically based product that I have used and personally prefer.

    Timk | Feb 15, 2011 | New Comment
  34. 8th grade science class day @ Paul’s house (only with booze)…lol

    Go the Homer/Bevis & Butthead explosions FTW!

    DOH!

    ruby2sd4y | Feb 16, 2011 | New Comment
  35. It’s the PDD Major Appliance curse. I woke up this morning to a flooded basement from a leaking water heater. See you at Daugherty’s, Paul.

    If these happen in threes like celebrity deaths, anyone want to guess the next failure?

    I’m guessing Don Ness’ onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackPageview','/yoast-ga/outbound-comment/http://www.youtube.com']);">Diaper Genie.

    brian | Feb 16, 2011 | New Comment
  36. Oh, the water heater is fun. The one I replaced is still downstairs. If I had the gear, I’d chop it lengthwise and weld H frames out of 2″ round stock and make planter boxes.

    Whoever installed the one I replaced … whenever it was … did it DIY, and that DI should definitely not have been Y. More like DI Why the hell didn’t you hire someone else to do the job? required no fewer than 6 trips to the hardware store. flex>PVC>Brass>Galvanized>PVC, or something to that effect.

    Fun. Not.

    And re: my earlier post, if you’re dealin with gas: soap those joints and fittings and make sure you get the vent right. Easiest way to do that (according to Gary Best, of Best Home Inspections) is to light a match and blow it out, holding the smolder below the vent on top of the heater. If the smoke gets drawn into the vent and up, then the vent and ducting is adequate to handle the co2 from the heater.

    zra | Feb 16, 2011 | New Comment
  37. Thanks for the curse, brian, found out yesterday that my washing machine is so busted that I gotta buy a new one.

    Curse you PDD, for your major appliance curses!

    davids | Feb 16, 2011 | New Comment
  38. David, blame Paul, he started it.

    I think I’m back up and running other than the cleanup of the carpet and stuff. Ugh.

    Zra, mine’s electric, so I didn’t have to worry about exhaust and CO. Just electrocution and slipping on my butt while wheeling it down the icy driveway. But I can’t really tell if it’s actually working until I wait several hours to see if the water warms up.

    Every time I have to dig into one of these projects I’m reminded what a frightening and horrible idea indoor plumbing actually is. There’s 1/32″ of copper holding back complete disaster.

    brian | Feb 16, 2011 | New Comment
  39. Again with the electrics. I still want to convert my electric range to gas.

    Much better to cook with, IMO … and more efficient. Though I still love our new(er) glasstop electric with the double oven. Thanksgiving means you can do pretty much the whole meal all at once.

    zra | Feb 16, 2011 | New Comment
  40. With the help of WD-40 and Cory, the bake element has now been removed!

    That got me to thinking … hey, since the bake element is out, I should probably clean the oven, because it will be easier to clean with the bake element out.

    The flaw in that logic, of course, is that if I can’t find a replacement element or install it properly, I just cleaned an oven that will be going to the dump.

    Adding to my stupidity, I also forgot to put rubber gloves on when I wiped the nasty oven cleaner chemicals out. So now my finger nails will probably fall out and my skin will turn green.

    Paul Lundgren | Feb 18, 2011 | New Comment
  41. The Element of Victory!

    After six days, the mission is now accomplished, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for Cory are in the works.

    We’re modifying a chocolate mint cookies recipe from the Denfeld Talk Around the Table Cookbook of Recipes and Trivia. Debbie Christensen, class of 1972, wouldn’t do us wrong, would she?

    Paul Lundgren | Feb 18, 2011 | New Comment
  42. Six days to replace the lower element in an electric oven has got to be some kind of record.

    TimK | Feb 18, 2011 | New Comment
  43. I was thinking what Tim k said, just figured I’d let someone else say it. You should have taken the oatmeal cookie offer, Paul.

    Chris | Feb 18, 2011 | New Comment
  44. I did take the cookie offer. They are in the works right now, as referenced above.

    Although this took six days, it was probably only three hours of effort — and most of that time was spent blogging and commenting about it. The rest of the time was spent ignoring the problem and eating out.

    Paul Lundgren | Feb 18, 2011 | New Comment
  45. Sorry, I just skimmed the first part of your post and didn’t read the part after the picture at all. Appliances can be a hassle to work on. I’m having issues with our dishwasher as we speak. I had one problem that I fixed but apparently caused some other issue where the drawer doesn’t close anymore. Definitely not my forte. Maybe I can find a plumber who will work for cookies.

    Chris | Feb 18, 2011 | New Comment
  46. I’m glad to hear that my selection of lubricant did the trick for you. All those others are fine fine options so I won’t poo poo them as lubricant choices. And for safety reasons, all wise directions to go, I especially like PB blaster for seized motorcycle parts. Paul, can you now infer the stove make & model by the element required?

    Baci | Feb 20, 2011 | New Comment
  47. I suppose it would have been possible to figure out the model number once the part was matched, but I didn’t bother. I was too busy eating cookies.

    Paul Lundgren | Feb 20, 2011 | New Comment

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