How to Repair an Electric Cooktop Not Heating Properly

Have you ever experienced the frustration that surpasses the hunger in your belly as you go out to the kitchen to cook a meal only to find the cooktop burners won’t fire up? If one or more of your GE electric cooktop burners fail to get hot, read the following short, yet detailed troubleshooter, and soon you’ll be back to cooking those delicious meals you’re so accustomed to.

Surface Coil is Burned Out

  • Each burner is controlled by an independent switch that functions according to where you have your selector knob set.
  • The switch then allocates whatever voltage is necessary to send to the element to achieve the desired temperature.
  • If the element fails to heat – regardless of what setting the selector knob is at – the element has probably burned out.
  • Inspect the element for any visible cracks, burn marks or damage that would prevent the element from getting hot.
  • The element may not have any apparent damage, yet still, fail to heat, and if this is the case, use a multimeter to test for continuity. If the element fails the continuity test, it most definitely needs to be replaced.

Malfunctioning Element Receptacle

After years of constant cooking, the contacts in the receptacle can fry and malfunction. This will cause an interruption in voltage sent to the element. Sometimes the element will work and sometimes it won’t.
  • Inspect the contacts in the element and the contacts in the receptacle for damage or burn marks.
  • If there is any faulty appearance to the receptacle, it will need to be replaced.
  • As always, you can use a multimeter to test for continuity and if the receptacle tests negative, the receptacle will need to be replaced.

Faulty Element Switch

  • The switch regulates the heating element.
  • When the element reaches your desired temperature, the switch turns off the voltage. In order to maintain the correct temperature, the cycle continues during the cooking process.
  • A faulty switch might prevent the element from working at all.
  • Here’s what to do: If your cooktop has an element the same size as the one that is not working, try switching them.
  • If the element fails to work, then you know you need to replace the switch.