Electric Stove Burner Control Switch – Problems It Can Cause And How To Test It

One small part on your electric stove can be causing you a number of problems. This part is called the burner control switch. Here, you will learn what problems this switch can cause and how to test it to learn if it needs to be replaced.

What problems can a burner control switch cause?

  • Burner only works intermittently
  • Burner indicator doesn't illuminate
  • Burner works only on high
  • A single burner doesn't work

How do you test the burner control switch?

The following test is for stoves that are equipped with burner control switches with two wires. Some stoves are equipped with three-wire switches, and this test will not provide you with the answers you seek.

Turn Off the Power

Turn off the breaker powering the unit. Be sure to test the stove to make sure that you have shut off the right breaker to avoid electrical burns and shock.

Find the Control Switch

Look in your owner's manual to find out where the switch is located in your stove. Some units are located in the back of the stove while others are accessible by lifting the stovetop.

You will need to remove the screws to access the switch in either location. As you remove the screws, place them on a strip of tape or in a jar that can be set aside to prevent losing the screws. If you are accessing the underside of the stovetop, you may need to open the oven to access all of the screws that need to be removed.

Test the Switch

Prior to disconnecting the switch, take a picture of it as it is. This will help you reconnect everything later. Now, take a look at the labels on the switch.

  • L1 and L2 – Power Supply
  • H1 and H2 – Lead to the Burner Heating Element
  • P – Leads from the Switch to the Burn Indicator Light

Set your multimeter to X1 ohms. Turn the burner to high heat and touch the multimeter probe to the L1 pin and the second probe on the H1 pin. You should get a reading of roughly 20 ohms. Repeat the test on the L2 and H2 pins. Any reading over 20 ohms shows that the switch must be replaced.

If the test provided you with positive results, repeat the test at the medium heat setting. You should see very little resistance on the multimeter. If there is high resistance, replace the switch.

Turn off the heat control and retest. The results should include no continuity or infinite resistance.

Test the P and L1 pins with the burner turned on. You should get a continuity reading showing that the light should be turned on. If the light doesn't illuminate while the power is on, you should be able to make the repair by replacing the little light bulb.

For more information, contact Prompt Appliance Services, Inc. or a similar company.