ApplianceGeneral Electric Range
Level of DifficultyReally easy
Time to do repair15 - 30 mins
Age of ApplianceMore than 10 years
Moved into a house built in 1976 about 7 years ago that came with an old but nice looking GE electric stove.
Stove worked well until about a year ago when the switch for the 8" element became erratic. Having been raised where DIYS was SOP I didn't even consider calling for help instead, armed with the stove model number, I went to the internet (How on earth did I ever survive before internet?) and found this site where I quickly found the exploded view of my stove, IDed the switch, ordered and received it within a day or so. Fantastic turn around time!
Now I've never ever worked on an electric stove so I was quite methodical in my approach.
First I read the instructions (you know, when all else fails…) that came with the new switch, then I pulled the stove out, unplugged it and removed the tin back that covers the switches. I drew a diagram of the old switch orientation and which wires attached to what. Then I disconnected the wires, removed the knob and the two screws hiding behind it that hold the switch to the stove.
Oops, the new switch was not identical to the old!!
First: I noticed was that the stem for the knob was longer BUT they proved break off notches so that it can be shortened.
Second: the stem on the old switch was a half round while the new stem was square. I tried the 'half round' knob on the square stem and it went on firmly. Nothing ventured nothing gained.
Third: the terminal orientation did not match. So armed with my diagram and the instructions I made sure I knew which terminal was which (they are labeled). Once assured I knew what went where (I made notes) I installed the new switch and attached the wires (following my notes).
Being an optimist I reinstalled the tin back, plugged the stove in and pushed it back into position before (with my legs, arms and fingers crossed) I tested the switch (which was not easy considering the position I was in). Lo and behold, no puff of smoke and…ta-da…everything worked as it should.
All in all, upon receiving the switch the whole thing took less than 30 minutes.
Less than two weeks ago one of the 6" elements fell apart, still worked but lost the supports that rest on the trim ring. Back to the internet to ordered a new element and new trim rings (just for the cosmetics). Again great service, I think I received my order the second day.
Along with the element they also supply new screws plus the spring clips which hold the ceramic insulator together. There's only two wires to contend with so its easy to determine which is the left wire and which is the right. The old terminal screws were locked in pretty good so I used pliers to hold the terminal while loosening them. There's very little slack in the wires so it was a tad awkward reattaching them to the new element.
I did notice that the threaded hole on the new element seemed to be slightly larger than the old. I noticed this when I used the old screws, one would tighten, the other did not so I replaced with the screws they supplied (Duh!). Well I do have an excuse, the new screws were longer which I feared would prevent the insulator from 'closing'.
I probably spent the most time attaching the insulator. I found I needed to fiddle with position of the terminals before the two halves of the insulator would meet. I splayed the wires out slightly then cocked the wire ends slightly so that the wires would neatly leave the side of the insulator. I also adjusted the terminals and the bendable wire part on the element so that they were parallel to each other.
ANYBODY can do this