Why do oven heating elements break? [for beginners]

Since ovens are used for evenly and smooth cooking, their heating elements are to bring out a brilliant performance to deliver an outstanding experience.

These particular elements function to heat an oven inside supplying a proper level of temperature according to direction. 

Generally, the heating elements can be two types such as baking and broiling. While the first one is located at the bottom of the oven, the second one is located at the top of the oven.

Both of them are connected to the power cord by wires on the backside of the oven. 

Whatever they are, it is necessary to maintain them accurately since they can break down, explode, or burn out due to damage, overheating, and some other unexpected issues.

That is why you have to gain basic knowledge about the heating elements of an oven. 

Therefore, I’m here going to discuss some points about the heating elements of an oven, especially why they get broken and how you can manage them.

Hence, no more elaboration. Go through the main article.

Why do oven heating elements break?

As I’m going on to say, oven heating elements can break down or damage, or explode due to several reasons. In order to fix the problems, you have to find out the reasons that cause the elements to break apparently.

However, at this moment, there is a brief discussion about them. 

Regular expansion and contraction

The first and foremost reason that leads the heating elements to break is the repetitive expansion and contraction of the elements. This is an interesting fact to think of.

The interior of an oven has to go through a lot of pressure due to excessive heat and temperature. Thus, when a particular level of temperature is set to heat the oven, consequently, the inside gets completely hot.

At this moment, the wires of the oven expand because of extreme heat when the temperature reaches the highest level. Again, when the temperature becomes low and cool and back to the previous station, then the wires also shrink and go back to the previous condition.

In this way, there happens a regular and repetitive extension and reduction in the wires. And this constant corrosion and change of the wires can cause the heating elements to break down or get damaged visibly. 


Overheating is another significant and noteworthy reason that can be responsible for breaking the heating elements. It is basically mandatory to ensure a proper temperature level during the cooking task.

Any mismanagement of the temperature panel can lead to overheating.

If you overheat your oven at times, it can eventually damage the heating elements by breaking them which can even bring an explosion. That is why you should control the temperature program competently and should not overheat the oven. 

By the way, there can be some other unavoidable reasons that create overheating. One of them is a faulty thermostat. The work of this important component is to ensure and manage the temperature level.

But if it fails to work and sends the wrong information to the oven sensor, then the temperature goes out of control, and eventually, the oven gets overheated. 

Another fact is the stuck dirt and leftovers on the chief control board. Excessive dirt and residue can hamper the progress of temperature and consequently cause overheating. 

For this reason, it is indispensable to provide proper heat to the oven maintaining the temperature level. 

Electric Problems

Sometimes, electric problems can be responsible for breaking the heating elements. For instance, a loose connection between the electricity and the heating elements can make an impossible transformation of voltage which can finally lead to breaking or damaging the elements.

Receptacle wires of the heating elements can also create this problem. Due to severe heat around the oven, the air can rush to the wiring elements, and consequently, the elements can expand, loose, or break. 

Is it usual to get weak & break the oven element over time?

Definitely, it is very usual to get weak and also break the oven heating elements over time. Actually, it goes for every instrument in the world.

No appliances are made immortal and undecayable. They can be long-lasting but eventually, they can wear out when their lifespan is over. 

In the same way, the oven heating elements can get weak, damaged, or break when their capability is over. You can find out the problems by noticing so many syndromes.

Likewise, if your oven is not getting proper heat, you can be sure that there is something wrong with the heating elements. Besides, if your food is not perfectly cooked, it also forecasts damaged or weak heating elements. 

Well, now it is necessary to think of the replacement of the heating elements if they are weak, broken, or damaged. And you can fix this job at a reasonable cost. 

How long does the oven heating element last?

The lifespan of the oven heating elements completely depends on their workload, efficiency, quality, durability, model, and brand of them.

Hence, it can vary regarding these factors. However, estimation shows that the average lifespan of the heating elements can range from 3 to 7 seven years.

Overall, a lifespan of 5 years is very common.

How to know if the heating elements are bad in the oven?

Since the oven heating elements can get damaged or nonfunctional due to several reasons, there are some common signs to notice the bad heating elements. Thus, these signs are mentioned here. 

1. While running the oven, you should catch a glimpse of its inside. When the temperature is increasing, there is supposed to appear a bright orange color inside the oven because of the heat. If you do not notice the color or notice the red color, then be sure that your heating elements are not working or malfunctioning.

2. The actual function of the heating elements is to heat the oven inside maintaining a proper temperature level. Thus, if you perceive that your oven is not getting the exact temperature and not being hot, then you can be confident that the heating elements are bad. 

3. A defective thermostat or temperature sensor can also prove the capability of the heating elements. If this mandatory part becomes faulty, it can be a good sign of the bad heating elements.

4. In terms of performing a continuity test, if the multimeter can not read or measure the ohms, then it is a symptom of damaged heating elements. 

5. Cooking food takes a notable and fixed time. But when you notice that your food is partially cooked or not perfectly cooked taking a lot of time, surely, it indicates the fault of the heating elements.

6. And the final syndrome is the visible damage to the heating elements. These elements can sometimes get damaged or broken due to overheating constant expansion and contraction, and electric issues. If you can see any break in the heating element, then they are certainly damaged. 

Is it worth replacing the heating element?

Since the cost of replacement of the heating elements is less than the whole cost of a new oven, then it is obviously worth the money.

It is basically a cost ranging from $20 to $25 excluding the technician cost to replace the heating elements. Thus, it is not an expensive job.

Therefore, it can be said that replacing the heating elements is really worth it

How much does it cost to replace the oven heating element?

I’ve already indicated before that the cost to replace the oven heating elements can range between $20 and $25 without the professional cost. If you can do it yourself, then the cost of a technician is left in your pocket.

However, the professional cost can range between $50 and $150 considering various facts. Hence, the whole cost of replacement can go between $20 and $200 on average.

It is mentionable that the cost can vary according to places, the skills of professionals, the quality of elements, brand, etc. 

Frequently Asked Questions about “Why do oven heating elements break”

Why does my oven heating element keep blowing?

The oven heating elements can often keep blowing as a result of some unavoidable reasons. In general, frequent expansion and contraction of the elements can primarily be accountable for this.

As I’ve pointed out earlier, when a certain level of temperature is set, the elements including wires get expanded. Similarly when the oven is turned off and the temperature becomes normal, then again the elements shrink.

In this way, the elements constantly expand and contract due to the temperature variations. And this process finally leads them to keep blowing. 

Overheating can be another striking reason that keeps the heating elements blowing. It is fundamental to ensure a proper level of temperature.

If the oven is provided with overheat, then its heating elements can be damaged by keeping blowing.

It is very necessary to ensure the safety of electrical issues. You should check the wires and the connection so that no problems seem to be happening.

Otherwise, it can also cause the heating elements to keep blowing. 

Are oven heating elements universal?

Although the heating elements of an oven are universal, they are only for certain models and brands. The elements of a specific manufacturing company will go the same only for that specific company’s ovens.

For example, if you have an oven manufactured by GE, then you can replace the heating elements manufactured by GE. Therefore, it is possible to replace the elements from the brand which oven you have owned.

You can find and buy them in local storehouses or on amazon

Will a new oven heating element smell?

Yes, new oven heating elements can produce a certain type of smell for a few days. In terms of a new oven, it can basically happen because of the oven insulation around the oven cavity that comes as a result of extreme heat.

Specifically, the heating elements can smoke due to oil-coating burning and consequently produce an odoriferous smell. Besides, it can also happen when grease on the surface is burnt off. 

Final thoughts on “Why do oven heating elements break”

In conclusion, the heating elements are a very significant part of an oven. That is why it is highly emphasized to ensure their proper operation.

You should take care of them regularly so that any casualties can be avoided. Otherwise, they can keep blowing, explode or burn out if they become damaged, broken, or worn out.

For this reason, if you notice any sign of problems with them, you should fix and replace them as soon as possible. The whole cost can be worth the money since it is affordable and can offer effective performance. 

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