Grill Elements in Ovens and Cookers
If your oven or cooker has a problem it is usually either the fan element or the grill element has stopped working. The grill element is generally fairly simple to replace, particularly if you are good with mechanics and confident to do it yourself. If not, however, you will need the services of a good local engineer. This will obviously cost you more, but it is better than paying out for a new element and then breaking it because you weren’t sure exactly what you were doing.
Type of Element
You will need to identify which type of grill element is used in your make and model of oven/cooker. Check in your manufacturer’s handbook, as this will help you to identify the replacement part you need.
There are two main elements, infra-red and non infra-red. It is fairly easy to identify them as the infra-red glows red when in use and non infra-red doesn’t – not rocket science is it. Grill elements simply heat by using the current running through the oven. They are fairly basic components, which means they either wok or they don’t
Selecting the right spare part
As stated above, you should be able to identify the correct part from your handbook, but if you have lost this, the make and model should be sufficient to identify the correct part. In some cases it is necessary to also have the serial number as well, sorry to say this is found behind the oven housing, which means you will have to pull the oven out first.
With more common parts, such as grill elements, there may be many on offer on the internet, and you may find a really good deal. As with most things, if the price is much lower than all other quotes there may be a good reason for this, and it could be that this is one of the many poor quality copies flooding the market. Try not to go for the cheapest, but go for a supplier that you have used before and have some confidence in. Read the online reviews as well, as this may steer you away from buying a poor quality part.
Replacing the part
As with anything involving an electrical appliance, make sure the oven/cooker is disconnected from the mains supply before you do anything. It is very simple to do, but can have severe consequences if you forget to do it.
There are a few options of how to remove the old element. If you don’t have your handbook available, you could have a look on line to see if there is any kind of tutorial available for your to check first.
You will need to locate the locking bolts which, hopefully are at the front of the element, but some are located at the back. The only way to access some of these bolts is to remove the back panel of the oven. You will, therefore, need to pull the oven/cooker from its current position. If you are working on an appliance that is built-in you will probably need to enlist someone to help you as the oven will be very heavy to move. You will also need to locate something to take the weight of the oven while you are replacing the element. You will definitely need someone to help keep the oven stable during this time.
You will find that some elements have an additional support bar that runs through the oven housing. This should not be too difficult to remove, once you had undone the locking screws, move the element to one side to release the support bar, and then tip the element downwards and the other side of the support bar should come loose. If your new part does not include a replacement support bar, you will have to carefully remove the one from the broken element. You may also have to drill small holes in your new element to take the support bar, and then refit in the same way as you removed the old element.
You may be fortunate to have the type of element that just pulls out from the front, designed in this way to aid cleaning. Great care must be taken when refitting the new element so not too much pressure is used to avoid damaging the fixings at the back of the element.
If you have not actually replaced a grill element before, it is a good idea to take some digital photos of how the wires run when you take out the old part. This should then make it much easier to install the new part in as smooth a way as possible.
Once you are happy you have refitted the grill element, reconnect the power and turn on the grill to check that all is OK. If it is still not working, check the electrical current is running OK first, and then carefully check back to make sure that all wires have been reconnected. Once this has been done and as long as you have bought a bona fide part, the repair should be successfully completed.