Model #SVE47100W, this slide in downdraft range had been working normally, but while recently cooking dinner, lasagna to be exact, a fire started inside the oven and after that, it would no longer heat. The broil element was still working which is a good indication the unit still has both electrical circuits functioning. A pretty simple problem to repair, and not much to diagnosing.
Electric ovens, ranges, and cooktops, all use two 120 volt AC circuits to provide the needed current to get the elements hot enough to do their job. At the wall or appliance connection, these two circuits are generally referred to as a single 240 volt AC connection. Just like any other electrical connection, a complete circuit must be made for current to flow. On a normal 120 volt AC circuit, this would consist of the hot lead and the neutral. Because the 240 volt AC connection has two circuits, and a neutral line, components that only require 120 volts AC to operate can use either of these leads and the neutral, while both leads together are used for the heating circuit.
The reason for this explanation is any of these 240 volt AC appliances will still have functioning components such as the oven light, control panel and even convection fans even if one of the circuits has failed. The general rule for trouble shooting is if none of the heating elements is functional, start with the circuit breaker and find out where the circuit is dead. If only one of the elements isn’t working, start with the element itself.
Because everything was working on this range, except for the bake element which had caught fire, the reason for the lack of heat was obvious. This element had failed opening the electrical circuit. The resulting fire was probably more for show than anything else.
The important thing to remember when servicing elements is to turn off the power to the oven. Older models, such as this Jenn Air will have voltage going to the element at all times. So if you remove the screws and attempt to pull the element connectors and wires forward to change the element, a shocking surprise may be in store for you.
Once the power was off and the element terminals accessible, I used my meter to verify the condition of the element, which measured as an open circuit to no real surprise. I installed a new element making sure the terminal connectors were tight and not likely to slide off. Put it all back together and with power again to the unit, the new bake element heated just like before.
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